The Virgins by Siddharth Tripathi

Title-The Virgins
Author-Siddharth Tripathi
Publisher-Finger Print
Price-250 INR
Source-review copy from talespensieve

First things first.'The Virgins' by Siddharth Tripathi is the coming-of-age story of three teenage boys which is set in Banaras.So if you have started reading this review expecting the book to be a serious take on virginity/extra-marital relationships or something of that sort,I'm sorry to disappoint you.On the contrary,Siddharth Tripathi's book is a light,breezy read which can be easily finished in one sitting.Though umpteen number of buddy tales have been published in the recent past by debutant Indian writers what makes 'The Virgins' different from the rest is that unlike the others which have metro cities as their backdrop,this one is set in a small town (Banaras).

The Plot- The Virgins is essentially the story of three friends-Pinku,Bandhu and Guggi.Though all the three are three diverse characters,their bond of friendship is really strong.All of them have their own share of woes which range from being poor and a school drop out to being rich and sexually starved.The book is all about their 'brilliant' plans and escapades during their journey to manhood.

The language and Writing-The writing is crisp and fast paced.English is pretty okay with not too many complicated sentences.Grammatical errors and typos are far and few and the overall book design is also pleasing.
The Characters- All the characters,be it the protagonists or the peripheral ones are very well etched out.Pinku is distinct because of his intellectual ways,Bhandhu is special because he is the typical innocent boy next door while Guggi is lovable because of his brashness.There are some 'thoughtfully named' characters like moods singhand they really add on to the entertainment quotient of the book.

1.The author knows how to keep his readers engaged to the proceedings.There is never a dull moment in the novel,the jokes keep coming at regular intervals and the antics of the pivotal characters manage to keep the reader entertained for most part.
2.The city of Varanasi and it's beauty have been described quite well by the author.
3.Full marks to the writer for not making the tale preachy or Bollywoodish towards the end.
4.The brilliant characterisation of Pinku,Bandhu and Guggi and their funny escapades covers up the big holes in the plot to an extend.
5.The Cover design is superbly done and is in perfect sync with the overall mood of the book. 

1.There are a lot of crude dialogues in the book.Agreed,boys of this age might mouth profanities.But when it comes to print,reading all those lines repeatedly becomes irritating and plain boring after a point.
2.The book doesn't have a proper plot.It merely narrates a couple of incidents and more or less gives the character sketch of it's principal characters.Though it worked for most part,the lack of a credible story line might be a turn off for atleast a section of the readers.
3.Too many sub plots which didn't really add anything to the narrative.
4.The plot takes it's own sweet time to garner momentum.For instance,the first couple of chapters really didn't make any sense to me!

Verdict-On the whole,'The Virgins' is an entertaining read.I'm giving 3 out of 5 for this '3 Idiots' meets 'Fukrey' kind of story.
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on

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