I have received a e-copy of this book from the author, herself, for reviewing, which I won in a giveaway on http://thetalespensieve.com/
When I have accepted to review this book, I had second thoughts, The plot sounded very girly. The last time I read a girly book, my basic instincts were to tear off the book and burn it and bury the ashes, what was left of it. It was No Dealine for Love by Manasi Vaidya.
But this book was not that bad. In face, I enjoyed reading this book. The humor-filled narration of the author made it not just bearable but also entertaining.
Plot (from Amazon):
Arty Facts is the amusing story of a small town girl, Aarohi who lands up in Delhi and the dubious and ludicrous people she encounters, no matter where she goes or how hard she tries to stay away from them. This book is dedicated to everyone who has been harassed by their horrible bosses, loves bitching and enjoys taking this flight from reality with their bitching buddies-- a god-send I'd say in this wild, wild world! So while you hop skip and jump through the jungle called life, don't forget to bitch a little!
About the author:
Ankita Kapoor was born in the erstwhile princely city of Lucknow, in India in 1983. She holds a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the premiere Delhi College of Arts, New Delhi. She worked for one year as an Arts Coordinator in a popular art gallery, and she worked two years as a Lifestyle journalist in New Delhi. Both the roles gave her a window into the social milieu of the twenty-first century city circuit. Apart from painting, writing is her passion. She spends time travelling, cooking and fooling around with her gal pals, or as she'd like to say "Bitching!" Presently, she lives in Dallas in Texas with her hubby, who she credits for the support and strength he lends... and ofcourse the numerous books that line not just her wall, but her life!
My take on the book:
First of all I would like to thank Reshmy Pillai, for considering eligible for reviewing this book and for asking the author, Ankita, to send me e-copy of the same.
The whole of the story revolves around a verb - bitching. The famous act of talking and expression displeasure over a person behind their backs. I primarily read girly books or book authored by woman authors so that I could understand something about the most confusing species of human - woman. I believe a bit of understanding would help me collect enough courage to tackle a unfamiliar girl at the bar. And yeah, I have learned something from this book. The book contains many bitching facts of woman and man alike, but nothing else. I don't think knowing a few facts of bitching might help me pick a girl.
Anyway, trying to not drift from the very topic of discussion, the read was a breeze. I completed it in a day. It is a mere exaggeration. A good reader could complete it in, at most, three hours. So small was the story and add to that, the smooth, breezy narration with humorous and witty style of the author.
I am not a big fan of girly books. (I believe this book to be one, too.) But the humor in the narration of the author made it interesting. I strongly believe the author had her way with the words. Or else, I wouldn't even got through the first ten pages.
The story is a first account narration of a girl from Lucknow, who lives as a paying guest in Delhi. At the start of the story, the protagonist is unemployed and on the verge of running out of her bank balance. She needed a job and that too very soon. With the help of her bitching friend, Pawan, she gets a job a art gallery, The Shades. Then on the story is narrated in the form of dairy entries. The narrator goes on to explain the various incidents she experiences and various ludicrous people she comes to meet during the time she works in The Shades.
Cover design and the title:
I think the title - Arty Facts - of the book is very witty. It is a homophone of the word Artifact, which means, an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.
The cover design of the book is catchy, too. It is kinda of some weird painting that are sold for a very huge amounts for some balding - if not already bald - rich, insane businessman, who buys it even without knowing what the painting really signifies. Since I didn't get a hard copy, I can't comment of the paper quality and the extra features of the cover design and the design of the back cover.
Story and the other remaining aspects:
I can't agree with one point mentioned in the plot of the story. I don't think the protagonist is a small town girl. She drinks every form of spirit invented yet on the face of the Earth. But I could be wrong. Maybe, she got used to drinking during her brief six-months stay in Delhi. Or maybe, small town girls do drink.
Though the narration was witty and humorous, I couldn't much get myself to enjoy the story. The story was most of the time happens in the setting of a art gallery, which I am least aware of and best part of it was about artists and their painting, which I am least aware of, too.
Overall, I think girls would enjoy reading this book more than guys, or precisely me.
For all those girls who love bitching and who are willing to read a light, funny read...
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.
Title : Arty Facts
Author : Ankita Kapoor
ISBN (edition I've read) : N/A (e-copy)
Rating : 2 out of 5
Read between : 25-05-2013 (one day)
Reviewed for : Reshmy Pillai (http://thetalespensieve.com/)