The Girl in Room 105 Paperback – 9 October 2018
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About the Author
Chetan Bhagat is the author of nine blockbuster books. These include seven novels—Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011), Half Girlfriend (2014) and One Indian Girl (2016)—and the non-fiction titles What Young India Wants (2012) and Making India Awesome (2015). Chetan’s books have remained bestsellers since their release. Several of his novels have been adapted into successful Bollywood films.
The New York Times called him the ‘the biggest-selling English language novelist in India’s history’. Time magazine named him amongst the ‘100 most influential people in the world’, and Fast Company, USA, listed him as one of the world’s ‘100 most creative people in business’.
Chetan writes columns for leading English and Hindi newspapers, focusing on youth and national development issues. He is also a motivational speaker and screenplay writer.
Chetan quit his international investment banking career in 2009 to devote his entire time to writing and make change happen in the country. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Anusha, an ex-classmate from IIM-A, and his twin boys, Shyam and Ishaan.
From the Publisher
Your previous books are more about friendship and love. Why did you write an ‘unlove story’ this time?
Chetan Bhagat: Friendship and love are still important. However, sometimes love can go too far. One can love someone too much for instance. I felt after so many love stories, it is important to explore the other side of love - too much love, the heartbreak it sometimes causes and hence the need for all of us to learn how to unlove. I did this in the form of a fun thriller, sort of a first for me.
As an author, attempting different stories is more satisfying for me personally, and that is what I have been trying to do in the last few books. One Indian girl was in a female voice, while The Girl in Room 105 is a fun thriller.
Who should read The Girl in Room 105?
Chetan Bhagat: I think everyone should! While there are thriller elements in the book, it is really hard to classify it in a particular genre. The book has a lot of humour, love, bromance and it also touches on the issues we see around us today. If you want a fun, easy read that engages you and yet makes you aware of life around you - you will enjoy The Girl in Room 105.
In the book, you have written that you heard this story from a co-passenger on a plane. How do you decide which stories are worth writing about?
Chetan Bhagat: I meet a lot of people now, owing to the popularity of my previous books and my speaking engagements as a motivational speaker. Many people come and tell me their stories. However, only a few stay stuck in my head, and eventually develop into full books.
What’s your advice for people going through heartbreak?
Chetan Bhagat: I think a heartbreak can lead to a serious loss in motivation and even cause depression. It is not to be taken lightly as a severe heartbreak can cause your self-esteem to plummet. I think taking a step back and figuring out who you are and what you want in life is a great exercise to do in such times. A focus on yourself, fitness and setting new important goals can help too. Time is still required for the wounds to heal though, more than anything, you need to learn how to unlove. Which is also partly why I wrote this book.
You have included a Kashmir angle in The Girl in Room 105. What drew you to this topic / state?
Chetan Bhagat: I feel Kashmir is an important issue, but a lot of Indian youth are not fully aware of the details and/or are not interested in it. While Kashmir has come many times in movies or in news reports, existing films and TV programs tend to focus a lot on the terrorist angle there. However, what is life for ordinary people there? What do people like you and me go through over there? I thought if I can touch upon these issues by setting part of the story in Kashmir, I will do a service to the cause of creating awareness about Kashmir. I am not an expert on Kashmir, the issues are really complex and hence The Girl in Room 105 is not a Kashmir book or has a solution in that sense. But it will help you understand Kashmir a bit better perhaps, and make you feel closer to the people there hopefully.
Have you ever drunk-texted or drunk-dialed an ex? Tell us the truth
Chetan Bhagat: Haha. Yes, indeed, haven't we all? Sometimes, you don't even need to be drunk to make a fool of yourself. You are just so heartbroken that you just call and text and do whatever to get the other's person's attention. My advice: Don't do it!
Successfully writing a book in a different genre - does it give you a confidence boost?
Chetan Bhagat: I think so. More than anything, it keeps me engaged and lets me be in the beginner mode all the time. There's always new things to learn when I do a different kind of book, which is more fun and challenging.
It keeps you humble too as you realize how much you don't know. It's much better than repeating yourself doing the same thing over and over and thinking of yourself as some genius.
Will you write any more thrillers?
Chetan Bhagat: I might. Although the approach will be different. Even in this thriller, the humour aspect makes the book different from other thrillers. In other books, maybe there will be something else in the book apart from being a thriller.
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- Paperback : 312 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542040469
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542040464
- Item Weight : 318 g
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 2.54 x 19.81 cm
- Publisher : Westland; 2011 edition (9 October 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #79 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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1. A Girl in Room 105 - A Girl. A Room Number and Mr Chetan Bhagat - I bet any man would buy this book to help himself when the internet connection is down.
2. The Cover - Are you kidding me? At first, I googled who the girl is in the cover but was met with nothing but denial.
3. Mr Bhagat released a book trailer was better than an average Bollywood movie.
4. Whenever I search a book on Amazon, this book shows in the list of Promoted Products. No problem though. He has the money. He can do anything with it.
The above 4 factors were what enforced a simple man like me to buy this book. And I was a tad bit disappointed with the fact that this book has got nothing to do with s**, instead, Mr Bhagat uses profound terms like "making love".
Coming to the review,
This book is what one calls a childish thriller. I mean it has those Bollywood types go-gaga love and romance between two families that are eventually never going to accept each other. It has elements of suspense in it which is, unfortunately not that difficult to guess (at least for me) along with the antagonist being totally unpredictable until the end of the very story. Special emphasis has been made on certain elements like childish writing skills, the reason being Mr Bhagat wants every Indian to read it (and cuss about it eventually). However, to be honest, if you have got a 100 bucks (it will eventually sell at that price), I suggest you buy this book and read it when you are too lazy to watch movies like Race 3.
By the way, Mr Bhagat, do you have Zara's number?
I think I have fallen in love with her more than Keshav Rajpurohit.
From the writer of one of the most enjoyable love stories, comes this new Crime thriller, rather being sold as an "Unlove" story.
It's a Murder Mystery, weaved around the tissues of love, connecting all the characters with one major plot pillar, and each other.
When you start, you might get a Deja-Vu feel of Half Girlfriend, but hold on to it, it'll change.
It will get better, I wonder why Chetan Bhagat never ventured into this arena before, he should have.
Apart from a few moments, where you feel the plot could have been tighter, and the conversations, a bit more crispier and intense between subjects, it's an overall nicely led to the mystery reveal type of story.
The result is slightly unexpected, so the ending is not bad at all.
So, I can summarise it this way:
"A love story writer, ventured into crime thriller arena, and yes, didn't disappoint."
If you're willing to purchase it for a casual or travel read, go for it.
But don't expect Agatha Christie, Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn type of a thriller.
Thank You for reading the review, if you find it useful, don't forget to mark it so.
Save your time and money, re-read any of your favorite CB novel, if you were once a fan like me.
Would recommend "Marry me stranger" over this.
What I liked about the book!
1. The narrative of CB is simple. Anyone who understands basic colloquial English (Read as Urban Bred, Convent Educated, English speaking population) can quickly fall in line with the plot and flow through it wihtout first referring to the dictionary. Good for beginners and good to form reading habits.
2. The "Prologue Continued" chapter gave me the courage to actually not hate CB. CB is a character in his own story, but the story doesn't end with CB knowing the end of the story. Which is, I think a nice experiment and I can say that it's impressive.
What I didn't like about the book!
There are a hundred flaws which I want to talk about, but let me take the biggest out of all and talk about it. The heart of any story is in the characterization of the actors in the story. I want to talk about Zara Lone's characterization as she is The Girl in Room 105. By the time I finished reading this book, I was so very disappointed with Zara Lone that if I meet anyone with that name, I would perhaps think twice to make friends with that person. Let me recount Zara's story and while doing so annotate it with my own doubts, questions and commentary.
Zara Lone, a Kashmiri Muslim, doing her PhD in the area of Big Data Analytics and Networking in IIT, having a brilliant argumentative capability, falls in love with Keshav Rajpurohit, son of an RSS Activist, also studying in IIT (forcefully), later taking to work in a IIT-JEE coaching institution. Not likely to happen, but let's move on as love is a crazy thing. Let me point out here that Keshav doesn't have any vision for his life. He simply joined IIT because someone made him do it. A strong woman like Zara is unlikely to find him attractive. But let us say love is crazy and move on. But the fact that keeps nagging me is how come Keshav doesn't discover his own passion, being with Zara. It's like they never talk about that part of life at all. Why doesn't she, with all the brilliant debating skills she has, point Keshav towards that direction, making him see where he wants to go in life!
Zara has suffered because of the instability her father brought about in the family, by marrying repeatedly and wants a stable family life complete with parents-in-law, husband and children. When Keshav introduces her to his family, they reject her. This makes Zara re-evaluate her relationship with Keshav. She breaks up with Keshav. Once again we find a weakness in Zara's characterization. She could have easily debated with Keshav's parents and made them see her point of view. She could have fought to win them over. Keshav and Zara then approach Zara's family. Her father asks Keshav to convert to Islam. Keshav refuses. Here too, Zara (portrayed initially as a brilliant person with independent views about nationality and religion, an activist working for the cause of Kashmir), simply cries and blames her father but doesn't argue with him using her intellect. This leaves me confused.
After this bitter event in her life, she again chooses Raghu, a Hindu, and this time both sides parents agree to their marriage. If Zara's dad had insisted that Keshav convert to a Hindu, why does she choose another Hindu? Given that Zara's dad wouldn't repeat his request, he would perhaps not be too supportive of their marriage, in which case, her dream of a stable family would still not be realized. Is Zara so stupid that she doesn't realize this?
By the end of the story, we see that Zara realizes that Raghu can give her a stable family by being loyal to her, but is not sexually or romantically exciting. She begins to miss Keshav as he is both. So, she ends up meeting this handsome military officer, Faiz Khan and begins an affair with him because she misses the fun and excitement of being with Keshav. Faiz Khan is a Kashmiri Muslim, but is married and has kids. He was attracted to Zara since long (they are family friends) but she was first with Keshav and then with Raghu and he could never get a chance to express his affection to her. So, when Mr. Khan makes advances to Zara, Zara relents. Where does that leave her? After seeing her father in multiple relationships and having suffered the consequences, how can Zara get involved in frivolous sexuality? This, as I see it is the biggest hole in the story!
So, in the endgame, The Girl in Room 105 fails to express completely. None of Zara's brilliance is reflected in any part of life except in the opening paragraphs where she participates in a debate competition. None of Zara's independent and free-thinking nature is reflected in the story. The Girl in Room 105 has nothing to say. As a consequence, you the reader have nothing to read except a few bad jokes and some nice Bollywood like scenes. Read if you want to. (less)
This sex scandle love n all bored of every such cheap thing ....
Don’t u get boredom of same plot in ur every book ??
Top reviews from other countries
I would strongly recommend all Chetan Bharat fans to read it and if you enjoy thrillers then this is the book for you.
Also kudos to Amazon for delivering on the 11th, just two days after the book was published in India.
i have read 2 books by CHETAN BHAGAT and i must say i have enjoyed these books so much. i have just started read the girl in room 105 and only completed 20 pages but it has got my attention already, i have struggled to put the books down and the others have dragged me further into the stories. thank you so much shane.