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….


About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
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