Short stories are not my thing. I do not indulge in short stories too often. ‘Isles of Mambo’ arrived unannounced at my doorstep. The publisher sent me a copy of this book without informing me. Had I been given the choice to pick this book I certainly would not have selected it because as I said before, I don’t like short stories. However, after reading ‘Isles of Mambo’, my perception towards short stories has changed completely. This book contains a bunch of stories each different from the other and each of them having the most unpredictable conclusions. I devoured every story in this book over a lazy Sunday afternoon and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed every single one of it. Before this book, I always thought that it is not really possible to like every story in a collection of stories. But trust me, this book changed even that for me as I loved each and every story in it.
Isles of Mambo by Alok Karkera
Publisher: The Write Place
The shuddering of the aircraft woke up Vicky Taneja.
Thus starts the first story in a collection of stories. When you look down with Vicky at the city he is going to land into, and his eyes train on the blue plastic covering the roofs of slum dwellings, little are you prepared for the burst of flavours that explode in your mouth when you take a bite from the slice of the mesmerising city by the Arabian Sea.
As you dive into each story, you begin to intuitively think that you know what will happen; but you won’t. Know only one thing: these stories of people like you and me; their fascinating lives are really stories full of nooks and corners and hairpin turns.
Isles of Mambo is nothing that you are going to expect. As you move from the vantage view of Vicky to the collapse of Adonia, Isles of Mambo offers a twist in every tale.
(Blurb as on the back cover)
I LIKE Isles of Mambo Because,
…the book is well-written. The author’s knack for writing shocking ending is what makes this book so enthralling. It is difficult to believe that the author is not a professional writer. Every story in this book is unique with the most believable characters and an ending that will leave you gaping at the book. Being a fiction addict, I thought nothing can shock me that easily anymore. But after reading ‘Princess’, ‘I Live By The Arabian Sea, and ‘The Kill’ I was forced to eat my words. Nothing in this book goes by your prediction. Even when you predict something unpredictable the writer startles you with the most unlikely twist you could never have imagined. I especially felt this while reading ‘The Pill’. Though I enjoyed all the stories in the book the aforementioned titles were just the best from the rest.
I Do NOT Like Isles of Mambo Because,
…of how my city is criticised in the very first story of the book. I am a Mumbaikar and am very well aware of the shortcomings of my city. However, I just cannot stand it when people criticize my city unnecessarily. The writer narrates a natural calamity that occurs in Mumbai and how different people viewing the same calamity react differently to it. I understand the juxtaposition of the rich and poor living in the same city but for a city so forgiving and accommodating, the writer could have gone easy with the description of the poor living conditions of certain parts of Mumbai. This is just a Mumbai loving person’s rant against anyone highlighting the ‘blemishes’ of the city. This point won’t have me striking off a star from the ratings for this book.
Final View: ‘Isles of Mambo’ is a masterful creation of some marvelous stories that will send your brain for a spin with its most surprising endings. I am recommending this wonderful book to everyone looking for a short, engaging, and meaningful read. This book is worth every paisa spent on it.
You can check out Amazon.in for a discount on this book.
**This book is a free PR copy sent by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.