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Chicklit gets a macho touch

books Updated: Oct 05, 2011 01:01 IST
Soumya Mukerji
Soumya Mukerji
Hindustan Times
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Chetan Bhagat’s latest novel, Revolution 2020, takes on the new-age notions of love triangles. Bhagat, as always, has a male protagonist who falls in love, strong, fast and forever. He is one among the tribe of male writers whose plots are practically chicklit — only, the central characters are male.

Some call them the writers of male chick pulp, while readers like to call them the male equivalent of Bridget Jones. Another such writer is Ajay Khullar, who’s book The Nothing Man is along similar lines. Journalist-turned-writer Khullar describes his hero "Baru as a retrosexual, who does not have to work for a living". "Twelve years ago, I started writing a manuscript and could not complete it. It stayed with me. It is my story — of an unfinished manuscript," he says. The writer thinks that the "25 and above" segment is his readership.

Chetan BhagatWriter Chanchaldeep Singh Sandhu, an upwardly mobile Germany-born Punjabi, has just published his urban love novel, I Never Thought I Could Fall in Love. The campus romance features Ronny, the playboy, who thinks he has hit a jackpot when he has sex with Miss Fresher. But destiny seems to have its own plan, and Ronny falls in love.

"I had got my annual job appraisal and thanks to my boss, it was not on the better side of the bell curve. I was so frustrated that I shot a mail to him saying, ‘a bad boss and a good wife will make you successful one day’," Sandhu said. To distract himself, Sandhu began to read a novel.

"After finishing it, I told my wife that I was feeling inspired to write," the writer recalled.

Twenty-six-year-old software engineer Ravinder Singh’s novel, But Then What Happened To Ravin, is a sequel to I Too Had a Love Story, a contemporary tragedy. It picks up the hero’s life when he is sent to Belgium on a project ... and falls in love again. "The first book was dedicated to the girl I could not marry. But the sequel is more fictional," he says. "These are basically urban stories. You can call them male equivalent of chick lit. They target across the spectrum — not only the big cities but readers in the smaller towns can identify with the books too," says Kapish Mehra, publisher of Rupa & Co, whose books Resident Dormitus and The Incredible Banker reflect this genre.


Fear comes in a book

Book: Dancing Jax

Author: Robin Jarvis

Publisher: Harper Collins

Price: Rs 499

There’s a book within this book that might scare you off children’s fiction forever! Havoc comes to a small sleepy town with Dancing Jacks — a book by Austerely Fellows, a mean spirited man who dabbled in dark magic before he was forgotten. Crates full of copies of this book are found in a haunted house by Jezza, a small time gang leader. Seemingly harmless tales of knights, damsels in distress, jesters and courtroom characters begin to take over students of the local school. The plot turns from high school drama to zombiewood, as Jezza transforms into Ismus, the prophet in the meta-book. Scary and gripping, you’ll find yourself hooked and wondering if any of your favourite characters will survive till the sequel!
Damini Purkayastha

Bachelors beyond the party
Book: The Bachelors Theorem

Author: Sanchit- Prateek
Publisher: Cedar Books
Price: Rs 150

Two young college lads, backslapping buddies as you’d guess, make sense of all the confusion that goes about in those years, all through a math theorem! The book, as it takes you through Midhansh and Sidhesh’s different yet converging worlds, traces their starkly diverse pasts, deals with their present problems and everyday experiences all with a simplicity that seems too profound for the average Indian guy-lit. The boys’ lives are more than just about guzzling beer: They both find themselves enrolled in a theorem proposed by their professor, Ross Bachelor. Through its course, they get to know each other’s past, grow through the friendship, and rise and crash on the path of love. A no-frill read that puts the emotion back in bachelorhood.