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It isn t easy writing a coming of age novel It is almost treading on dangerous territory Do you really want to compete with the likes of J.D Salinger and the rest when it comes to talking about growing up No matter what the context or the setting, I still believe it is a risky proposition to even consider At the same time, reading a novel of such a nature can be fulfilling or not for the reader There will always be the danger of comparison More so, there will always be that funny moment o It isn t easy writing a coming of age novel It is almost treading on dangerous territory Do you really want to compete with the likes of J.D Salinger and the rest when it comes to talking about growing up No matter what the context or the setting, I still believe it is a risky proposition to even consider At the same time, reading a novel of such a nature can be fulfilling or not for the reader There will always be the danger of comparison More so, there will always be that funny moment or instance which you have already read about or experienced The newness then is difficult to look for I must say that that didn t happen to me while reading, The Virgins by Siddharth Tripathi I am wary when it comes to reading a debut writer Like I say these days, You throw a stone in the country and chances are it will hit a writer There are dime a dozen debut writers but to hold your own is the task that I feel not many can get through Siddharth Tripathi successfully manages that through his book The imagery of India as is and as is aspirational is brought out very well throughout the book and that was a major selling point for me I was hooked from the first word The book is about becoming a man and yet at the same time, it is about what it really takes and means to become a man It is layered heavily, but doesn t seem like at if you are reading it superficially It is seething with issues and yet Tripathi makes it all a light read, which I am sure it is meant to be, given the audience The Virgins is about three friends living in Banaras Pinku, Bhandu and Guggi Pinku is a school dropout, with responsibilities towards his family, dreams of marrying a girl he loves and he is all of nineteen Bhandu s life is a mess His family is not the perfect family and he is also searching his way on the road to love Guggi is always up to no good and trouble, thanks to his friends as well Besides this, they have their class 12 exams round the corner and life couldn t getexciting From there on in this small town India, their lives begin and take on a different turn The writing is clean and sparse It isn t typical of how teenagers become men It isn t typical of all the drama that could have been a part of the book and I can only be thankful that it isn t There is nothing crowding the book I must admit that the book does seem a little long however that is not what gets in the way of the reading experience What I felt at times was that the book could have been better edited in some places The sentences are just in place but may be not all the time The chapters were too fleeting and that should have been taken care of Besides this, I loved the plot and the writing Siddharth knows how to deliver and this is visible through his debut Banaras almost came to life through this book The sights, the smells, the traditions, the religious bias, the gossiping neighbors, the uncles and the so called friendly aunts, all of it was almost like a painting on one big canvas The book has a lot of soul to it A lot of scenes will flash through your mind as you read the book This book makes me want to visit Banaras and experience life there as is and may be even reread the book in the city A great debut and definitely a must read A link to the Deccan Herald review along with the review texthttp www.deccanherald.com content 3A debut with a lot of promiseArkadev Ghoshal, Nov 17, 2013, DHNS The VirginsSiddharth TripathiFingerprint2013, pp 320250Avid readers of fiction have different ways to tell if they have liked a story However, the commonest among them is to see if the characters of the book remain in memory long after the last page has been turned That s one of the successes of debutant author Siddharth Tripathi A link to the Deccan Herald review along with the review texthttp www.deccanherald.com content 3A debut with a lot of promiseArkadev Ghoshal, Nov 17, 2013, DHNS The VirginsSiddharth TripathiFingerprint2013, pp 320250Avid readers of fiction have different ways to tell if they have liked a story However, the commonest among them is to see if the characters of the book remain in memory long after the last page has been turned That s one of the successes of debutant author Siddharth Tripathi The protagonists, antagonists and even minor characters he fleshes out in The Virgins remain in your thoughts long after the book has been read For a first time writer, Tripathi s prose is lucid enough to show promise of greater things to come There isthan a hint of style in how he develops his characters and dispenses information to his readers, and that further whets the readers appetite And then, there s the story itself The way he builds it bears the hallmark of a master storyteller just beginning to come into his own.The three people around whom the narrative revolves are Varanasi residents Pinku, Guggi and Bhandu their real names are rarely of use or consequence in the book The story begins with Guggi and Bhandu abandoning a hapless Pinku in front of a girls hostel, to be chased and beaten by a cop, after Guggi tries to attract the girls attention by shouting at them his introduction.As things move forward, we learn that Pinku is one of the elder siblings of a family whose head had deserted it years ago, only to return later and mooch off his wife and son s earnings And this wasn t even the first time he had been abandoned thus On an earlier occasion, when Guggi had deserted him while trying to steal a flowerpot, he had taken the rap, but not without falling for the young girl of that house.Bhandu, on the other hand, is battling to score some good marks in his board exams, especially because his mother is a professor, and despite his parents separation amid reports of his father s adultery He also wants to score the family abandoning American woman who frequents one of the holy city s ghats, but she doesn t even seem to know he exists.Finally, there s Guggi, whose outrageous and often criminally minded plans, each of which he chooses to describe as sexpot for some reason, cause him enormous glee, but spell doom for friends who dare to accompany him The son of a corrupt IAS officer who gets cut down to size, Guggi goes to great lengths to take over the protection racket yes, the students need protection, if not from one another, then from outside forces who take sides in quarrels.Guggi s actions form a major theme of the story, but also notable in the narrative is the treatment of student politics and an undercurrent of violence that seems omnipresent in all walks of life in parts of Uttar Pradesh Also noteworthy is Tripathi s development of minor characters and his effort to showcase different aspects of human nature through them One can t help but feel sad for the fate of the peaceful tea stall owner, who can do precious little to stop one orof his rich customers from leering at or harassing his teenage daughter.All in all, The Virgins may not be the best debut novel of recent times, but is definitely jostling to climb up One can indeed expect much bigger things from Tripathi Review They were the days when there were many mails flooding my mail box from authors, publishers and marketers, alike, asking to review so and so book One of those mails contained a mail from Bharti Teneja, Marketing Manager of Prakash Books It read,Hi Sudeep,I got your reference from a friend and would love to get views on our latest release The Virgins by Siddharth Tripathi Enclosed is the brief and a presentation which the author has done Do let me know if you would like to review it an Review They were the days when there were many mails flooding my mail box from authors, publishers and marketers, alike, asking to review so and so book One of those mails contained a mail from Bharti Teneja, Marketing Manager of Prakash Books It read,Hi Sudeep,I got your reference from a friend and would love to get views on our latest release The Virgins by Siddharth Tripathi Enclosed is the brief and a presentation which the author has done Do let me know if you would like to review it and send me your postal address.ThanksBhartiThose days The Virgins was one of the best in the market, considering the critics I had a very bad time trying to refrain myself from right away accepting the offer That would have been so unprofessional So, instead, I sent a short reply asking Bharti to go through our review policy and contact me if they are okay with the terms mentioned I secretly feared, what if Bharti didn t contact me back I mentally made a note to wait for four days, if Bharti didn t contact back before that, I would order the book Such was the liking the plot of this book developed in me Fortunately, Bharti did reply back saying, something like, I have gone through your review policy already Tell me the shipping address so that we could ship you the book Well, I wasthan happy to accept.Plot from the jacket How does one become a man Three young friends are about to find out.With six unmarried sisters and a perennially drunk father, Pinku, a 19 year old school dropout, has only one dream left to marry the plump girl who d caught him stealing flowerpots His friend and confidant, 17 year old Bhandu, is not faring any better his parents are divorcing, his father has abandoned him, and the American tourist he is infatuated with doesn t even know he exists Bhandu and Pinku seek solace in the distracting shenanigans of their friend Guggi a pampered rich brat who can do anything for a thrill Guggi s reckless hedonism lands the threesome in a series of sexpot escapades each adventure weirder than the one before.But their seemingly innocuous joyride is about to end.With their Class 12 exams around the corner, Guggi, restless to leave a mark, takes over the school s notorious protection racket in a violent coup The fallout drags the trio into a murky world of heartbreak, betrayal, and bloody vengeance.Fast, funny, and earthy, The Virgins is a coming of age novel that marks the debut of a promising writer.About the author from the jacket Siddharth Tripathi was born in Allahabad and schooled in Banaras He is a B.E from NIT Trichy and an MBA from MDI, Gurgaon Siddharth currently lives in Gurgaon and works as a consultant for a business advisory firm He also writes a blog on music and films The Virgins is his first novel.My view of the book Cover design If you have read my LWCITCT post of this book you could have understood the fondness I developed for the cover of this book It is the perfect cover design material It has one of the best cover design in the market, so far It has the exact colour, the colour of radium, which will not only draws one s attention.To read the entire review, click here Siddharth has woven a beautiful interplay of some simple characters and their complex circumstancesthe book engages the reader with a staged unfolding of who these characters think they are, who others think they are and who they actually areSome befitting descriptions, real as life incidences, unbelievable happenings and a racy plot makes this a perfect debutA must read for all those who want to experience the small town life because they missed living in one A well written story close to home is always special Any good book is enjoyable but when the characters speak your language and the stories are something close to ones personal experience, the fun of reading is enhanced For those who have spent their childhood in the second tier towns and cities of India, where a Pinku will be never be called Pinku but Pinkuwa, a Bhandari becomes Bhandu or some other distortion , this book brings back to life the setup under which the middle class societies A well written story close to home is always special Any good book is enjoyable but when the characters speak your language and the stories are something close to ones personal experience, the fun of reading is enhanced For those who have spent their childhood in the second tier towns and cities of India, where a Pinku will be never be called Pinku but Pinkuwa, a Bhandari becomes Bhandu or some other distortion , this book brings back to life the setup under which the middle class societies operates Through boys full of funny devilish ideas, with ambitions gripped by moral dilemmas and family constrictions, love in its innocent and obsessive forms, school and gangwars,a section of the city of Varanasi is brought to life in vivid detail An enjoyable book for anyone who is inquisitive to have a look around First of all, Kudos to Siddharth for introducing me with this interesting tale of friendship,love, deceit and Banaras.The characters of Pinku, Bhandu and Guggi and their chaotic life is brilliantly portrayed and so is Banaras.The story is fast paced, edgy and engaging I just wish guggi didn t..better not reveal the suspense.I liked this novel for it s sheer simple yet smart narrative style and didn t felt once to be reading it as someone s debut work At times, I felt a couple of ambiguous w First of all, Kudos to Siddharth for introducing me with this interesting tale of friendship,love, deceit and Banaras.The characters of Pinku, Bhandu and Guggi and their chaotic life is brilliantly portrayed and so is Banaras.The story is fast paced, edgy and engaging I just wish guggi didn t..better not reveal the suspense.I liked this novel for it s sheer simple yet smart narrative style and didn t felt once to be reading it as someone s debut work At times, I felt a couple of ambiguous words would ve been replaced by simple ones and also relating with the characters was initially troublesome but once the story took its pace, it was all good.Long story short good work and worth reading.My best wishes for the next novel.I would love to see how Gurgaon is presented with the new characters The Virgins Funny, entertaining and touching A remarkable story of friendship, love, deceit and how teenagers grow into men by learning the hard way Siddharth style of writing is incredibly witty and fast paced making it a page turning adventure From the first chapter itself, the story gets you hooked All characters, situations, backgrounds are so detailed that you can visualize the scenes with ease The story feels very very real and through this book everyone can relive their school life friendshi Funny, entertaining and touching A remarkable story of friendship, love, deceit and how teenagers grow into men by learning the hard way Siddharth style of writing is incredibly witty and fast paced making it a page turning adventure From the first chapter itself, the story gets you hooked All characters, situations, backgrounds are so detailed that you can visualize the scenes with ease The story feels very very real and through this book everyone can relive their school life friendship, gangs, violence, board exams, weird teachers, family pressures, pretty girls etc This is a book highly recommended by me Most readers will finish this in single sitting *Download ☠ The Virgins ☘ How does one become a man Three young friends are about to find outWith six unmarried sisters and a perennially drunk father, Pinku, ayear old school dropout, has only one dream left to marry the plump girl who d caught him stealing flowerpots His friend and confidant,year old Bhandu, is not faring any better his parents are divorcing, his father has abandoned him, and the American tourist he is infatuated with doesn t even know he exists Bhandu and Pinku seek solace in the distracting shenanigans of their friend Guggi a pampered rich brat who can do anything for a thrill Guggi s reckless hedonism lands the threesome in a series of sexpot escapades each adventure weirder than the one beforeBut their seemingly innocuous joyride is about to endWith their Classexams around the corner, Guggi, restless to leave a mark, takes over the school s notorious protection racket in a violent coup The fallout drags the trio into a murky world of heartbreak, betrayal, and bloody vengeanceFast, funny, and earthy, The Virgins is a coming of age novel that marks the debut of a promising writer Siddharth Tripathi writes well I am a huge fan of books composed almost entirely of short sentences, fast paced action, and lots of tension How much research he s had to do I cannot imagine, but his book is outstandingly real He managed to break my heart, he made me hate some of the characters, and that s where he won the day I am a sucker for happy endings this book didn t really have a conventional happy ending still, it ended well enough for all concerned A beautiful story of friendship, love and circumstances of guys woven in Banaras city making it a page turner The book has small chapters making it a fast paced story The most interesting part is the phrases written in the beginning of every chapter giving a nice touch Siddharth, has written a wonderful story with the characters so different yet so much in common A good light read making you smile many times during the read.