Book Review: Fantastic 40 – A Collection of 40 Micro Stories by Reetwika Banerjee

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Book: Fantastic 40 – A Collection of 40 Micro Stories

Author: Reetwika Banerjee

Plot: “Fantastic 40” is arguably one of India’s first assortment of English micro stories (shorter than a short story) which is an amalgamation of author’s figments of imagination based on fiction works depicted in the form of crispy narrations. It contains 40 stories encircling various moods of life including love, humour, trust, revenge, happiness, anguish, sarcasm, mystery, affection, sportsmanship, friendship, thrill, romance and forgiveness. Though all the events/characters depicted in the book are purely imaginary, yet readers can easily identify oneself with most of them. Target readers will mostly include the young readers – agewise or mindwise who enjoy reaching climaxes in a single breath. The language used being extremely crunchy, it will also attract anyone who enjoys witty puns and sweet love stories.

Ratings : 3.5/5

Review

Mix of Hits and Misses

Huge thanks to the author for sharing the book with me

I think I should start with an apology before proceeding with the review as very many things I am about to say may not be what the author wanted to hear and probably she would be in a murderous rage by the end of my review .

Also brace yourselves as the review is going to be a mile long….

So here it goes “apologies if I am being harsh and rude… its not me!! it’s a birth defect as I was born without a filter to my brain and mouth ;(

And now the review

Fantastic 40 is a collection of “40 Micro stories” which in itself was actually a pretty creative idea and a fantastic attempt. As mentioned it is a collection of shorter than shorter collection of 40 stories, more like miniature stories and because of which I am going to review them all separately rather than the book in general to be fair to the content

 Story 1 A night in solitude –   

The very beginning of the book opened such heavily that I was running heavy breath searching for the nearest dictionary. The whole story seemed to be squeezed out of a thesaurus machine with heavy language using to narrate a simple story. I found the language really discouraging and the ending a little incomplete… made me curious as to what happened next.. But then the story was one of the good ones in the book.

Story 2: Clumsy Old Lady –  story 14- come back soon.  Story 15 Koolget Mint-  story 27- New Reebok shoes

one of the best stories in the book and fortunately the onslaught of language was reduced and a smoother narration and language was visible in these stories. Even for such short length, the stories did had the ability to touch one’s heart

Story 3: One Rainy Day –

For a humor element it did work its magic. But at the same time left open a lot of unanswered question and wish at least there was one more line to the story that could give a little more completeness to the story because as of now we are left stranded in the middle of the road

Story 4: Friends call me “Bubu”. Story 11- Intelligent Buying-  Story 13- “non Virgin Mama-  Story 18 Regular Problem of Regular Lunch- story 19- Standing Ovation. Story 20- mama’s struggle with the chicks story 22- Cross link story 23- PIS- ing whole Night story Story 26- Delivered successfully

I actually failed to see the purpose, point and depth of these stories and felt this did not add much to the book, except bringing down the book along with it in some cases and some of the stories in this set actually felt like forcefully inserted.

Story 5 : Met her on Board- story 16- A sweet Revenge-  story 31: The lone passenger story 34: Slightly Bent story 35: Height of coincidence story 36: Met him By chance: chapter 39: With M.K. Gandhi on 15th August 1947

Failed to convey the whole meaning and soul of the story because of which it some of them remained unimpressive while others failed to resonate

Story 6: The cursed Well.

This was another fantastic story that the book had to offer. Perhaps this was one of the stories that had a proper head, tail and body and was complete in all regards. I wish all the other stories had adopted this form. It was thrilling, exhilarating and fun to read

Story 7 : Need for General Quota. Story 24- Even in Baby Show Story 25- Green Washing

I stand by the cause and the message was loud and clear but doubtful whether the story was clear enough. It was fair enough though has still some holes that needs to be filled. The story started nicely yet ending was a little too hasty

Story 7: My Lost Note , Story 12 Titli’s mom .  Story 28- On an emergency

The story was fair enough and had a little heart touching element to it

Story 8: Totally Owled – Story 9: ice tea Story 10:  Hacking into a green world story 29: Girls, look out! story 33: Jai baba Lokenath story 38: The Dic Boy

it can be looked on for its humour. Though the beginning seemed to be going in a different track midway the stories crossed over to different lane but somewhat still landed fairly on its legs

Story 21 : A feel Good :

While the story started out with a little bit of curiosity and intrigue, there were times when the narration was fluttering without aim and then when things started to make sense, it got chopped off hastily without valid reasons

Story 30: Handicap.

One of the good stories in the book and even had a nice sweet message to it

Story 32: Still waiting : story 40 : Last time with my boyfriend

Now these ones I found to be absolutely creative and unique and sweet too while at it

Story 37: Tsimasham:

lets say this was one story that I had a lot of expectations from but kind of failed towards the end. The story kept wavering towards various genres and while had something worthwhile to say the ending was inconclusive or elements were still missing out on this otherwise a good story

So in general the book has a combination of the good, the bad and unfortunately the ugly too but you can neither deny the creativity of the book which brings to you shorter than short stories neither the fact that for a short book I definitely have a longer review. The book hardly requires any time so why not give it a try

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