Official Review: The Fine Print and Other Yarns

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EmunahAn
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Official Review: The Fine Print and Other Yarns

Post by EmunahAn » 29 Aug 2018, 03:31

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Fine Print and Other Yarns" by Dinesh Verma.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Fine Print and Other Yarns by Dinesh Verma is a captivating collection of short stories that largely presents the clash in culture experienced by Indians who traveled to France throughout three decades.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I shares accounts from the 1980s when the economy in India was closed and full of restrictions. Part II deals with an age that witnessed the appearance of the internet and the more relaxed setting of the Indian economy in the ‘90s. Part III largely dwells on the early 2000s when the internet was still growing. In the story ‘The Overcoat’, we meet Amitabh, a generous man who goes through radical change after facing financial hardships in France. In another story, we encounter Alu, a young man from a privileged background who faces the challenges of sharing a hostel with diverse characters. The author also incorporates stories from India and even accounts that are not told necessarily by Indians.

Mostly, I loved reading the book because all the stories were downright hilarious! The change that occurs when a person encounters cultural shocks and economic hardship is simply captivating. The characters in the book are engaging and relatable. Their reactions and comments were really comical and presented the different sides of human nature. The story ‘Bawa and his White Fiat’ features a stubborn man who will not relent and change due to social pressure. Bawa treasures his white Fiat and continuously defends his position of not switching to a newer car model.

While still containing humor, the stories present important themes that made me take a closer look at the underlying message. In the story, ‘Bawa and his White Fiat’ for example, Dinesh Verma highlights the changing economic landscape in India from the stringent 1980s to the more relaxed economic restraints in the 1990s and the growth spurt that follows in the next decade. The story ‘The Mobile Phone Dealer’, features a government employee who travels in the same cabin with a criminal. On one hand, Ram is disgusted by the criminal’s boastful speeches. Yet, Ram recognizes the obstacles the lawbreaker has had to overcome. This conflict makes this story even more thought-provoking.

Dinesh Verma has a unique ability to capture human nature in its rawest and most honest form. While a sprinkling of humor is present in all the stories, every reader captivated by accounts that feature cultural differences especially those from India is bound to love this book. I rate The Fine Print and Other Yarns 4 out of 4 stars.


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The Fine Print and Other Yarns
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Post by kandscreeley » 04 Sep 2018, 14:25

Wow! It sounds like there are a lot of different themes to these stories. I do enjoy being able to read stories in short bursts instead of all at one time, so books like these appeal to me. Thanks for the review. I'll look into this one.
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Post by kdstrack » 04 Sep 2018, 19:18

This book really interests me. Having lived in different countries, the theme of cultural shock is of particular interest to me. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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Post by Likey » 06 Oct 2018, 06:29

Great review, thank you! Do you know if the stories are based on real events?

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Post by gali » 26 Oct 2018, 08:05

A set of stories revolving around Indians in Paris and the culture clash they experience sounds good. It is good that the stories shade some light on the cultural shocks the characters encounter outside of their country. Humor, important themes, and good writing make for a good book. I am not fond of short stories, but I am glad you enjoyed the book. Thank you for the review!
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Post by Misael » 26 Oct 2018, 08:12

I like short stories, it is nice to meet different characters in different plots or themes or genre. This books seems hilarious and full of relatable stories and people. Happy reading to us!

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Post by FictionLover » 26 Oct 2018, 08:18

I haven't read short stories in a while. You make them sound very nuanced. I like the idea of a criminal traveling with a bureaucrat. Most people would find things to dislike about both those characters!
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Post by Strangerthanfiction » 26 Oct 2018, 08:36

Great review. This book of short stories mostly set in Paris featuring Indian people sounds interesting. The mixture of themes of culture shock and economic class differences over three decades seems not only humorous but also a bit educational. Congrats to the author on a terrific review. Thanks so much for sharing.
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Post by rusyalana » 26 Oct 2018, 08:37

I'm not a fan of short stories but I'm sure the book will find its reader. It really dwells on topics that a lot of people have encountered not once but on many different occassions and these are cultural shocks and economic hardship. It will attract the people's attention. Congratulations on becoming BOTD!

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Post by Jgideon » 26 Oct 2018, 08:38

I am not a fan of short stories. However, I do like that the author has included several themes in the stories and kept each story interesting. I am glad you enjoyed reading them. Great review.

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Post by Nerea » 26 Oct 2018, 08:43

A very interesting plot that convey the socio-economic history of India. I'll give it a try, short stories aren't that bad either. Thank you for your kind review.
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Post by Laura Bach » 26 Oct 2018, 08:45

Stories of Indian culture are a value to everyone. Indian history is something I am not familiar with, but I want to learn more.

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Post by Sha_hrun » 26 Oct 2018, 08:53

Great review. I am a huge fan of humor and I would love to read this book

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Post by stacie k » 26 Oct 2018, 08:54

This collection of short stories highlights culture shock and economic hardship, captures human nature, and is told with a sprinkling of humor, making it enjoyable to read.
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Post by Zimall » 26 Oct 2018, 08:55

Thumbs up for a good review...i think i wont be interested in this book as i am not an indian and these stories describe the life of indian guys. It would be hard for me to relate to this story so its a no for me.

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