Title: Thirteen Kinds of Love
Author: Soumya Bhattacharya
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Publication Date: 25 September 2019
Genre: Fiction; Short Stories
Purchase Link: Amazon
I’m a sucker for a good love story! So, when Blogchatter gave me a choice between three books to review, I picked the one by Soumya Bhattacharya entitled “Thirteen Kinds of Love” published by Harper Collins India. Read on to know if this anthology of short stories, lives up to the mark.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Soumya Bhattacharya is the Managing Editor of Hindustan Times and a published novelist. He has five critically-acclaimed works to his name, across genres of fiction, non-fiction and memoir. He has written for established platforms like the “New York Times”, “Guardian”, “Independent”, “Sydney Morning Herald”, “Granta”, as well as contributed to several anthologies published in India and abroad.
The book is a collection of thirteen short stories, based on the lives of residents of different flats in a posh apartment complex named Imperial Heights in Bandra, Mumbai. Though their lives are entwined, each episode explores varying sides of the 4-5 unique story lines. They are written as separate short stories to be read independently.
The stories are meant to show numerous facets of love, but in reality, go far beyond to include themes of anxiety, greed, poverty, adultery and even death.
Having read a string of average and disappointing books by Indian authors in recent times, Bhattacharya’s “Thirteen Kinds of Love” felt like a breath of fresh air to me. His vocabulary is impressive, grammar faultless, character building thoughtful, and plot lines well-constructed. He successfully captures and retains the reader’s interest.
Bhattacharya’s real strength as an author lies in his characters. He creates flawed and fragile people that are easy to connect with, despite the humdrum nature of their stories. I say humdrum, for there is nothing novel about a driver’s envy of his employer’s lifestyle; the infidelity of a rich businessman that frequently travels abroad; the sudden attraction a widow feels for her new neighbour; the untimely death of an anxiety-ridden inveterate corporate climber. These stories have been told numerous times before, yet Bhattacharya breathes life into them through his well-etched protagonists.
A few of the stories are a tad dramatic and could have been dispensed with, such as the insinuated rape of a young girl. In my opinion, the excessive melodrama doesn’t fit with the tone of the other stories.
Overall, I was most impressed with Bhattacharya’s creativity. He has penned thirteen stories, most of them numbering thirteen pages. Instead of grouping connected stories together, he has arranged them in a random sequence, which makes them more interesting. He is a talented and gifted writer, and I particularly enjoyed his take on the flurry of sub-standard writers publishing (or printing!) books these days, mentioned in one of the stories. Echoing his thoughts, I feel that it takes a lot more than language skills to write well- one must have creative ability as well. Bhattacharya has plenty of that.
The story lines are predictable and lack the ingenuity that could have made this a great book, but still make for easy and pleasurable reading. I recommend this book to people who appreciate good writing, and enjoy reading works of fiction set in modern Indian urban landscapes. The short length and easy readability of the stories will appeal to` bibliophiles constantly on the move.
Buy a copy of Soumya Bhattacharya’s “Thirteen Kinds of Love” on Amazon by clicking here
Reviewed as part of the Blogchatter book review program
*I’d like to thank Blogchatter and Harper Collins India for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. The post is not sponsored, but it contains affiliate links. When you purchase a copy of the book through my link, I earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Please support my blog by purchasing through my link!
**Copyright in all pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla and cannot be republished or repurposed without permission from the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.
I love your reviews and sometimes I just read it for the eloquence. Its a treat to read new love stories. I am yet to start my reading for this year and this looks like a good book to start since I am not able to take out time
Thank you so much for the lovely words Urvashi! I think you’ll enjoy this one 🙂
Wow maybe I should start with this kind of book coz the novels are really hard to read with kids interrupting you all the time. Sounds interesting too
Yes it’s very easy to read
first of all, the name itself is so intriguing, how can one resist this one…the verdict contradicted my opinion but still gotta read as I am always looking for some good writing for inspiration
Looks like a good book to read during my upcoming trip to Madhya Pradesh. Thanks for the recommendation.
Thanks for sharing the review, I love reading short love stories and I’m definitely getting this for myself.
I love reading new books and I am def going to check this out , seems really interesting.
I always enjoy when fiction talks about flawed characters. It feels much real. This book may not have nothing new to offer but just for its easy storytelling I may pick it up.
every love story is different and so is every book, getting to reach an anthology of 13 stories is great. will go by your review and grab this book i guess it will make a good travel read.
Yes you’ll enjoy this one
Thanks for the honest review about the book. This book looks interesting. I really like the cover page of the book which defines everything will definitely going to read this book.
I have been looking for a good book to gift to my bestie… Thank you for sharing your review… This book looks good! ❤️
I like such books which talk about different stories in a book that comnect with each other. Such books take us more closer to reality.
Thirteen kinds of love.. The title is just so irresistible! I am definitely grabbing this book.
Amazing and beautiful post. Thirteen Kinds of love is a beautiful short novel that is impressive, convincing. It’s an intricate mesh of relationships and lives.
This sounds like a great read. Reading about the thirteen kind of love is intriguing.
Thanks for stopping by
Even I love reading love stories and this seems my type of book ,will going to read it
Hey, Bandra Mumbai? Thata where I recide. I am getting this book for sure. I prefer short stories as they grab your attention and this one already has my heart pounding.
Tales are loved if they are relatable. If you are giving 4 as rating then surely this book has many good stories to relate with.
I also love to read love stories. After reading the review this seems a good pick for reading. Thanks for the honest review Noor!
This is such a nice review. love stories are always special and nice to read. I will try to get this.
Such a amazing book and loved the way you reviewed it ,some love stories are so relatable that I cud feel my memories too
Thank you for appreciating
Glad to know such stories are still publishing, as there is a dearth of some good reads, thanks for your heads up noor.
Interesting title of the book! It led me to believe it has stories of different kinds of love but the review seems to suggest that these are all romantic love stories. Your suggestion that they may be predictable is also a bit of a dampener.
That’s ok.. You may still enjoy the book, if you enjoy reading fiction
I would love to read this book specially because the form is short stories and my book of short stories has recently been published too. The book sounds interesting and I would check it for sure
I am glad that you find a good read after a period of disappointment, the plot and title of book really sounds interesting to me, thanks for sharing detail and honest review, will check out this for sure,
A crisp and informative review, Noor. I have read this book and our thoughts on it match well.
Yes I read yours too. I trust your reviews 🙂
I am a sucker for love stories and your review is so tempting that i am going to order one now. Short stories these days have become so interesting.Attention span has decreased and short stories are catching on.
Yes I agree 🙂
I love such books, will definitely keep it in my next read.
I love reading and your reviews always give a some great book to read. I will surely grab this one asap. Thanks for the detailed review
Your review is so thorough! I have a lot to learn from you! I agree totally that many of the recent Indian authored books are mediocre. I’m looking forward to grabbing a copy of this book now after your assurance that it’s good!
Thank you so much Brindha 🙂
Being not an avid reader this seems a perfect book for me…i love to read short stories as they are easy to read and not much time consuming. Thanks for suggesting this book.
I read this book on the way to Bangalore last month and thoriugtho enjoyed reading it
That’s good to know 🙂
That is a very honest and crisp review. The book seems interesting and short stories are always easier to read. Will definitely check this one out!
I love this a lot ❤️❤️❤️ It’s very inspiring and nice ☘️. It is a great honor to be in your blog 🙇
You deserve my follow right away!!!
I’m following this blog!!!!
Wow! Your review has encouraged me to read this one.
I’m glad 😊