Well, I was left really disappointed and dejected with the novel “Half Girlfriend” by India’s best-selling author(marketing genius but content is not up to the mark) who is enjoying a cult status in India .
The story is yet another of those cliched-overdone themes. I cannot even call it romantic but a lame story of an illogical village bred boy “Madhav” and a city girl “Riya”. Mr. Chetan Bhagat has penned down an insincere and lame story in the form of “Half-Girlfriend” that has literally nothing new to offer to the readers. In fact, I believe this novel is better suited as a “Masala Bollywood movie” instead of a paperback fiction novel.
It is not that I do not like Chetan Bhagat and have a tendency to harshly defame his works like a well-acclaimed novel-critic. I loved reading his two novels, “Five Point Someone”(made into the super successful cult youth film- 3 Idiots) and Revolution 2020. To be honest, I started out reading novels only after reading Chetan Bhagat’s initial novels which catered to my interests because of the simple and relatable language and story in the novels. But with “Half-Girlfriend”, Mr. Bhagat has hit a big low in his literary prowess.
Chetan Bhagat is considered as the common man’s author in India but with “Half-Girlfriend” he has made a mockery of the common man’s sentiments as he has presented a story without a proper structure and devoid of logic and unrealistic cliched- portrayal of characters that cannot be justified with the “Common Man” tag.
I will rate “Half-Girlfriend “2 out of 5 stars” and recommend you to read it if and only if you have nothing good to do in life and want to kill some time. I hope Chetan Bhagat will improve upon the story line of his upcoming novels in the future and justify himself as the “cult-status-common man’s author” in India.
So to be honest, “A Thing Beyond Forever” by Novoneel Chakroborty is a quite matured piece of literary work and does not actually seem to be his debut novel. I was really impressed with Novoneel’s style of writing, English vocabulary and his flow of words after reading the novel .
Actually, after reading the “Prologue”-first chapter in the novel, I was literally blown away by the creative portrayal of the delicate human emotions with the use of clever Metaphors, similes and poetic style. However, one thing that I must honestly admit is that Novoneel has put in a lot of effort and used a lot of English vocabulary words in the first chapter of his debut novel which were hard to comprehend for me . But as the novel progressed, the words used in the novel became simpler and easier to comprehend.
The book revolves around the character of “Radhika”- a young, hard-working doctor who goes through some bizarre series of incidents that lead her to her first love in a fantasy re-birth scenario. However, please do not mistake this novel to be one of those cliched chick-lit romance fictions. Instead, this novel asks deeper,philosophical questions about true love, trust, suffering, emotions, re-birth, life & death and makes us contemplate hard on these metaphysical, spiritual aspects of life.
The book asks a lot of questions and allows the reader to interpret the answers to them and actually affects our mind and its perceptions related to life. I believe any novel that can have a deep impact on our perceptions and thinking is bound to be called a “Good Novel”. Kudos to Novoneel Chakroborty for writing such a well-crafted novel that provokes our thoughts and makes us ponder.
I will urge all the bibliophiles out there to try this novel and will rate “A Thing Beyond Forever” 4 out of 5 stars. Also try Novoneel’s other works especially “The Stranger Triology” and “Ex” which are fast paced psychological thrillers that leave the readers captivated.