Book Name – Two and A Half Rainbows
Author –Siddhartha Krishnan
Rating – 4 🌟
What’s in a name? Juliet had asked in the famous Shakespearian tale.
But for the reader in me, the title of a book often plays a great role in choosing it. And that is how I chose Two and A Half Rainbows by Siddhartha Krishnan. The magical and unique title of the book speaks of many colours and that is what this book is – colourful.
A collection of 16 beautiful stories, each different from another plot-wise yet all the stories leave a lingering thought for the readers. The themes swim across a plethora of subjects – familial relationships, life’s bittersweet memories, mystery, love, friendship, and even horror. The stories range from multiple personalities to myth-busting, from blind superstition to hypocrisy. In short, the potpourri has something for all kinds of readers.
The language is warm, crisp sprinkled with unique metaphors and similes. And kudos for the great editing that makes the reading experience a pleasure. At no point, the book looks like the work of a debutant.
Now as in all short story collections, some stories touch one more than the others. And this book is no exception. To be honest there were two or three stories that did not move me much but overall the experience was good. While I marvelled at the elegance in the subtle regret of the story Meeting Rosanna, the uncommon trope of Tigress in the Backyard was impressive. Amongst some other special mentions were the stories Fireworks and Duel. That does not mean the other stories were any less. Stories were written in a lucid manner with a twist at the end. But I do not want to focus on the stories in detail which are to be the best read to understand, let me discuss the positive points that adorn this book.
A unique feature of this anthology is that much like the curious title of two and a half rainbows, the endings of most of the stories are kept open to interpretation of the readers. For a debut writer, this was a risky step as many readers detest unresolved endings but, for me, it was a sign of appreciation. Unlike authors who doubt the audience’s intelligence and goes about with more tell than show, Siddhartha trusts his readers’ intellect. And I thoroughly enjoyed the layered narration and the fact that the conclusions of the stories are not spoon-fed to the reader.
As already mentioned the language was fresh and without unnecessary ornamentation which made it an easy page-turner.
The nuances of human emotion are well tackled in the stories and often provided a different perspective to a normal ordinary situation.
Another feature that I liked about the book was how each story started with a relevant quote from the ale itself. The short teaser raised the intrigue of attentive readers.
The idea of a little longer stories to divide into parts was also an intelligent ploy and I want to congratulate the writer or the editor, whoever thought to implement it.
Overall this short, interesting and thoughtful string of piquant stories may remind one of the Ruskin Bond styles of prose. But that doesn’t take away the charm. This delectable read is highly recommended.
Get the book here