Book Review: As Boys Become Men

Book: As Boys Become Men

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Genre: Fiction

Author: Mukul Kumar

as-boys-become-men-original-imaefkrthnnhujfqJust because a couple of Bollywood movies with three friends became popular, it seems three is a magical number.

And just because Chetan Bhagat made his college life into a crowd pulling story, doesn’t mean everybody starts writing story of their  college days.

I too went to a college and it was one of the first few all girls architecture college. We had to struggle quite a lot to make people see us as serious students. This way I guess I am qualified to write my college life story as well.

In this book “As Boys Become Men“, the story revolves around three civil services aspirants and their trials and tribulations. The three boys hailing from Bihar come from modest backgrounds and each one carries the burden of expectations of their families. The boys struggle with biases towards students from Bihar, accommodation problems in the expensive capital city, finding love and no-strings attached relationships, coaching sessions, anxiety of results, successes and failures.

Now I don’t know much about preparing for a civil services exam. No doubt it must be a hard nut to crack….after all not everyone becomes an IAS officer. But after reading first few pages, I was not much inspired to read the book. I had to literally force myself to read the story, all because I had signed in for book reviewer’s programme.

The effort in describing a scene like ‘the trio is laughing and chatting’  or ‘the boys finish eating and switch off the movie’ throughout the story do not really make for an attractive reading.

The story telling is way too ordinary….not interesting enough. The reference of ‘Monalisa’ and ‘Soma’ again and again do not work at all. The struggle of a civil services aspirant does not ‘shine’ through the entire narrative at all.

When I received the book, someone asked me what my opinion was judging from the blurb. And I honestly replied that the blurb seems promising but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The blurb is better than the story inside. I have even skipped portions of book because it did not hold my attention.

I am quite disappointed by the story and the mediocre style of writing. I am dying to read a good book now where the language, the situation, the characterisation and plot all come together to make a good read.

Read if it works for you….