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The mighty Bombay blogger Amit Varma’s first novel, “My Friend Sancho”, is a quick and entertaining summer read, which also manages to make some serious points along the way

A seemingly quick and light story, it’s only after you finish reading the book do you realize that serious issues, like the Hindu-Muslim Divide and Police Encounters, have been deftly dealt with by the author, astutely leaving it to the audience to take a stand on them as they wish to without moralizing on the issue himself. Amit Verma brings you the people you meet everyday, the story hits on class, caste, religion, globalization, urbanization, mall culture, journalism, the media, freedom and so many other things. After delivering numbers of acclaimed columns, Verma comes up with “My Friend Sancho”, a contemporary love story set in Mumbai. It follows Abir Ganguly, a young, cynical crime reporter who is asked by his editor to do a profile on the victim of an alleged police encounter, Mohammad Iqbal. In the course of doing so, he meets Muneeza, the dead man's daughter. The book is about the unlikely friendship that forms between them, and how it changes Abir. What are excellent in the book are the irreverent humor and an adorable charm of being wacky and sarcastic. There are quirky punch lines thrown every now and too many similar references of cow, politics and pet animals just like his blog. Even though there are too many pointers of himself and his blog which may be goofed off considering it as an in-joke but unfortunately, it is done repetitively and at times, on such inopportune moments...it borders on narcissism and ultimately puts off the reader. However, with engaging dialogues, crackling wisecracks, and long food-for-thought passages, the book always keeps you on tenterhooks. To add more fun, you will be overwhelmed with by the role of the lizard at Abir's home, which is portrayed to be a really important part of his conscience but eventually falls apart by the end of the book. No doubts it’s well intended and provides the required sarcasm, but it never fly off on a tangent to make it more memorable. Similar sentiments are also echoed by the sudden climax of the book, which may also be an indication for a sequel. Just be there at www.rightbooks.in/product_details.asp?pid=9788190617314&MY%20FRIEND%20SANCHO to grab this RightBooks.in presentation.

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