Book Review: Friendship Love And Killer Escapades (FLAKE) by Pankaj Giri


Book: Friendship Love And Killer Escapades (FLAKE)

Author: Pankaj Giri

Plot: Four years of college, away from home and drowning in the loads of assignments and examinations. Meet the students of RIP college of Engineering, a run-of-the-mill institute in Bangalore, who learns the toughest lessons both from and out of their textbooks. Lessons in friendship, love and life in general.

Rating: 3/5


snippets of college life

First of all a huge thanks to the author for contacting me and recommending this book to me and also showing a faith in my reviews. secondly i want to mention how much it breaks my heart to write this review since the author has been nothing but sweet and kind all through our interaction and i am probably going to rip his work with my review. I am afraid that the author would be sending ninjas anytime now … so if for a prolonged time there is no reviews or activities on my goodreads account….you know who to blame and where to look for me ;)…

To be fair to the author and the book i am taking this review in sections… so lets begin the scrutiny

Plot: The book to me basically sounded as snippets of college life. More like your friend telling you stories and instances from his hostel and college days. SO basically there is no continuity or a thread that holds together all the stories but individually these short stories or snippets give you a very vivid and bold peek into boys hostel and their pranks and struggles and dilemmas through four years of college. The whole book is somewhat like diary entries.

narration since it is like recollection of memories and events, things does start right in the middle and end abruptly and in fact the ending is still a question mark for me as there are so many characters that i am curious about as to what happened to them. The end felt like hasty and cut short almost immediately. Narration is jerky and sometimes the various tracks that is running parallel in the book do tend to overlap each other and breaks the smoothness of the flow of the book.

characters since you spend so much time listening to all these characters you do get involved with the stories through the help of these characters. some of the characters do create impact while lots of characters that keep popping in and out add a bit chaos as in “where did that guy come from?”. Two characters of the story stand brighter than others since basically they get more coverage in the book.

Language Now this is the section that would keep me here all day. It seems that the whole book was run through thesaurus ( which kind of reminds me of an episode from the series “friends” where joey was supposed to write a letter and he uses thesaurus for this purpose … remember!! ..anyone??)

Another thing with the language is that there was brutal abuse of certain words like … erelong, heretofore, withal, hitherto, anent … these words were used and repeated at least a million times in the book which kind of takes away the charm and beauty of story telling and then there are certain words like “paws” and “mitt” which i am not even sure was the right word they were looking for and neither was the word “ejaculation” (which was totally inappropriate and out of context) wherever it was used.

wow ain’t i am being a Grammer Nazi ?

But i will gladly admit that compared to many other contemporary indian authors, the book actually has a cleaner language in the sense that there is no “Hinglish” and “shayaris” (oh Lord !! we thank you for this day and this tiny little miracle) ;). Yes maybe the authors have repeated the words more times than i would have appreciated but at least they have maintained and justified the language used and have not adulterated it with native slang and jargon and still able to capture the Indian teen verbal behaviors.


There are certain parts that you will be able to relate if you have been a victim of Indian engineering college and the turmoils of examinations and never ending assignments added with the confusions and trials of being in a relationship for the first time

The book is good with its capture of college and dorm life but as a work of fiction there are lots of areas that needs a tender care and one of being the language and the weapon of narration. The book kind of starts and ends instantaneously and leaving lots of questions open. In bits and parts yes the book has its charm but for me on other levels the book still requires a nice thick coat of polishing.



2 thoughts on “Book Review: Friendship Love And Killer Escapades (FLAKE) by Pankaj Giri

  1. Before proceeding, I would like to thank Merril once again for her honest review which I really appreciate. However, I read the review in detail yesterday night and discovered that there were a few points which I should justify; few people might read the constructive criticism that Merril has highlighted, take it negatively, and think twice before trying out my book. I would like to apologize to Merril in advance as some points might slightly contradict her observations.

    You see, language is a double edged sword. If you write in simple, legible English (like most Indian contemporary authors do), there is a huge risk of being labeled as a Chetan Bhagat copy and your writing to be regarded as an essay by a 8th standard student etc. (I’ve seen several similar reviews in Goodreads).

    We, consciously, wanted to prevent that. We wanted to use heavier language, describing events and ambience before starting out a scene. Although we might have overdone the language part a bit, but we’re satisfied to be in an exclusive circle in this genre by employing decorated language, describing ambience properly, and adopting our own style rather than copying Chetan Bhagat.

    Hitherto/Heretofore (before now), Withal (In addition), anent (about), Ere long (before long). I’ve always written Ere long separately. “Ere” means “before” and “long” everyone knows. That way, people can generally understand what it means – before long, this thing happened.

    The reason why we’ve used these relatively complex words recurrently is that once the reader sees that a particular word is used repeatedly, he/she should be curious to know its meaning and once he/she knows the meaning of the word, it will be embedded into his/her memory forever. This, of course, may or may not work; it was merely our thought process, an experiment. Anyway, taking “heretofore” as an example, even if we would have used the simpler word “before”, even that would have been repeated multiple times. At least the reader will learn a new word and enhance his vocabulary.

    In addition, the words “paw” and “mitt” are just synonyms of the word “hand”. Example usage in book:

    “the caress of her paw transmitted an electric impulse to his heart. Her mitt was as delicate as a lily”

    These references don’t seem to be incorrect to me. I’ve seen many people, even in Goodreads comment “Finally, I’ve got my mitts on a copy of some book”.

    The word “ejaculation” is never used in our book. However, the word “ejaculated” is used a few times. The word has two meanings. One is the sexual reference and the other is “say something quickly and suddenly/blurt out”. Example usage in book:

    “Yes,” Richa ejaculated without pondering.

    When her mom calls her to ask if she has reached her friend’s place, Richa gets nervous and without thinking, suddenly blurts out “Yes”. This also seems to be an appropriate usage of the word, instead of using the plain “said”.

    Even for the ending, we have tried to give closure to all the major characters (Prakash, Purvesh, Richa, Anand and Aakash) but maybe closure of some unnecessary characters might have got missed out. Yes, we could have added an epilogue to show what happened to at least the major characters afterwards but somehow decided against it; wrong decision, perhaps.

    Nevertheless, apart from these things, I totally appreciate Merril’s review and will try my best to improve upon the narrative style, tone down my language a bit, and come up with a more properly knit story in my next book.

    Cheers! 🙂

    Pankaj Giri, author of FLAKE purchase link:

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