jangshersingh.com by Vishal Bhatia

Jangshersingh.jpgI received the book, jangshersingh.com by Vishal Bhatia from the author as a review copy and would like to thank the author for the same. When the author asked whether I would like to read the book and review it, I realized that the book is a sports fiction novel and thought why not? This book is the debut work of the author.

The blurb:

Jangsher Singh, a top junior tennis player, meets with the sweetheart of his youth on one foggy afternoon outside his ancestral village in India. When he is caught in the midst of an intimate moment by her “very old-minded” brothers, the situation turns bloody; he will never again be the same. Several years later, a scarred Jangsher emerges in Melbourne at a Grand Slam, a rookie wildcard at the top of his game.

His tournament record will determine the fate of two bumbling pseudo-geeks from Sydney—Yug and his tobacco-chewing cousin, Aman—who can’t seem to catch a break. The car they borrowed for their weekend getaway, an Audi R8 called Flame, has fallen into the hands of a brutish thief, and now they must do whatever they can to get it back.

Come Monday morning, will Yug be able to return Flame to its owner in Sydney? Will Jangsher be able to withstand the fierce gamesmanship of Hierro, the greatest southpaw ever to have played tennis? Might Aman be able to establish an official website for the Indian rookie in time to save himself from financial ruin?

Can Jangsher be victorious against Hierro? Will he end up facing the great and widely beloved Temujic—what chance might he possibly have of keeping up with the reigning champion? It will take guts of steel. No quarter shall be asked, and none given.

The story:

Jangsher Singh has a date with his girlfriend Reet at the well that guards the Brassica fields 2 kilometres past Kartar’s. Their rendezvous is disturbed by her brothers who beat Jangsher and leave him to die taking their sister along with them. The story then moves to several years later, to a tennis court where Jangsher is playing a tennis match in Melbourne, Australia as an unranked Asia Pacific wildcard at the Australian Open. He has a girlfriend Sally and is there with his mother and grandfather.

On a weekend, Yug and his cousin, Aman Oberoi, an IT person, drive from Sydney to Melbourne, in a borrowed Audi R8 to watch Grand Slam. On the way, they run out of fuel, they meet with an accident, get blackmailed by the accident victim and have to give him the car. To get the car back, they have to give him money and that too by Monday.

What do they do? How will Jangsher be involved inthis?

Read on to find out.

My take:

The title of the book is unique and so is the cover. The writing is simple and the story maintains a decent pace mostly. The language at certain places could have been simpler, eg Brassica fields, it took me a few minutes to realize that he was talking about the fields of mustard that Punjab is covered with.

In the book, two stories move in parallel. One, revolving around the game of lawn tennis, and the other, around how two boys try to get their car back. They meet at a common point. The author introduces too many characters at the beginning making it difficult to keep track of all of them but as the story moved on, things started falling into place. Supportive characters are plenty, but most of them come and go. He has used nicknames for Jang’s opponents.

Some parts in the story were funny and at some places I felt, this could have been made smaller. Editing is one thing that needs to be looked into. The author has vividly described certain scenes, some were not required. It was more like watching a movie. Second half is interesting and the ending was a surprise.

One thing that I want to know is if Jangsher can drive a Hummer, why does he not know what an ipod is?

A promising debut, tennis lovers would definitely love the book.




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