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March 14, 2014

Notes on Carnival



Author : Multiple
Publisher : Litizen.com


Rating : 3.5/5


'Carnival' is a collection of fifteen short stories written by multiple authors in various genres. The initial idea of bringing around these stories is to put them on the website 'Litizen.com' where authors seek feedback on the content and overall quality. The best of the lot is then published in this book named 'Carnival' (first being 'Labyrinth' released earlier).  As a personal opinion, i am not a great fan of multiple genres anthologies. I feel as a reader they demand greater concentration and you tend to drag the book into multiple sessions which take away slightly from the overall experience of enjoying the book. However, the quality of short stories in Carnival is overwhelming and most of the stories stand out for their unique storytelling style.

Rishabh Chaturvedi, who has written 3 stories (also the co-founder of Litizen) explores sci-fic genre the most- 'Rhode Island' is about an oil millionaire hunting for pleasure and the detailing of the imagery of the island is well captured. 'Carnival' as the last story explores sci-fic genre and time travel through a father and a son. 'Morarka House' is a bitter sweet tale about the greed of lawyers and property dispute of two brothers.

'Opportunity knocks but once' by Sheela Jaywant throws in an interesting premise of choosing between bad and the evil while keeping your morals tucked in a medical world. 'Agni' by Sreelatha Chakravarthy take us back to the times of Ramayana and show us the mind of Sita before the Agni Pariksha she has been unscrupulously subjected to. 'Ayesha' by Vivek Banerjee explore the dark machinations of the mind and eagerness to draw wrong conclusions. 'Grandma's Secret' explores the schizophrenic mind of the head of a family looking to bond ties with her granddaughter.

However, my personal favourite vote goes to Sharath Komarajju' who shows great potential in dealing with diverse genres. 'The Music Shop' deals with the concept of time travel while pushing your luck to infinite limits. 'Envy' deals with the last person/robot on earth and his personal taste in music. 'End of an Era' deals with college crushes and the writer keeps the narrative tight, peppered with humour not to allow the story to sunk into stereotype romance.

Overall, the book delivers on providing us quality short stories even though the number of stories exploring science fiction and time travel sound repetitive and borderline boring at times in the narrative. Couple of stories seems underdeveloped and does not delve too much exploring the emotional quotient of their lead protagonists. But these are mere nitpicking's in an otherwise solid anthology exploring different genres. If you are a short story fan, it is one book you should not miss this year.
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