Second Night Paperback – 20 January 2019
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‘Dogra hasn’t tried to flaunt his linguistic skills in the book and that makes a difference because pared down to minimal gymnastics of word-play, this book hits the readers with a friendly thud’.- The Open Magazine
‘The hop from a cliché romance set in Delhi University to quick sketches of characters in Mussoorie happens quickly enough to get any sceptical reader interested in the material’.- Outlook India
‘All the twists, turns and hairpin bends that one encounters on the hilly terrain are also present in Second Night. The climax will make the journey worthwhile.’ – Sakal Times
‘Veteran diplomat Rajiv Dogra has written a strikingly original and compellingly beautiful novel.’- India Strategic
‘Terse narrative and the succinct plot make this an enjoyable reading experience…Overall, Second Night is a fast-paced gripping story that is sure to leave you charmed.’- The Alive Shadow Blog
About the Author
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- Item Weight : 240 g
- Paperback : 248 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9353333253
- ISBN-13 : 978-9353333256
- Dimensions : 12.85 x 1.4 x 19.84 cm
- Publisher : Rupa Publications India (20 January 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #342,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book was a complete let-down, and a waste of time.
Even after reading more than half the book, i still wasn't sure what the point of the story was. Or what the story itself was, for that matter.
The book description tries to pitch this as a love story. Except that the protagonist keeps losing that plot to innumerable nonsensical ones in each chapter. Instead of etching out believable, real characters, and a solid storyline to go with them, the author seems to go off on a tangent in each new chapter. Too many inconsequential plots waylay the reader, making the narrative amateurish and uninteresting. Too many characters are thrown in and thrown out with equal ease without really a need for them in the first place. One suddenly finds oneself hopping from an English home in Mussourie to the ghost town of Bhangarh, for no apparent reason.
All the while the author is pitching the reader a story about a man and woman, supposedly very much in love at one point in life but not together...the reason for which takes forever to be told, and is highly juvenile when it is finally revealed.
All in all, a very poor attempt at fiction by a writer who has written very readable and authentic non-fiction books.
I read the blurb before picking up the book and I was kind of intrigued and then began the journey of reading it. Initially I thought that the book doesn't seem anything like the blurb but then by the end I understood why the blurb was so crisp and succinctly written.
Coming to the story, It is the story narrated from the point of view of 'Sat'.....the story just moved between various life experiences, the past, the present, his dreams, his love and his hopes for the future. He happens to come to Mussourie with his two friends Shiv and Shyam who are his friends and sons of Mrs Keeling. Mrs Keeling has been an adult figure in his life and many of his learnings are from her. This story is about their reminisces on the two nights they stayed there. Although my paraphrasing of the story does no justice to the actual narrative.
The story just flows seamlessly between their experiences and as a reader the time is spent in understanding their characters and lives and when we get absorbed in that experience the author brings a twist that brought a smile on my face.
The things I liked a lot in the story...the absolutely amazing narration with lots of quotes that absolutely touched my heart. I loved the character of Mrs Keeling.
What I would have loved differently.....I wanted to know the complete name of 'Sat'....No ... actually there is nothing I would like to change.
If you like to read a story that goes slowly and steadily, that gives you places in the book where you want to just close the book and think about the lines then pick this one up. It may be a little challenging for new readers or beginners but read it to enjoy it!!
The story begins with the love story of Sat-Sati in college. Love knows no bounds, for their hearts are pure. After being hoodwinked by the circumstances, Sat retreats into solitude after Sati leaves him for no solid reason in particular. However, life goes on and a time comes when Sat decides to visit his beloved Mrs Keeling who is like a motherly figure for him. Under the shadow of unforeseen events, Sat reunites with his best friends Shiv and Shyam. Reminiscing the days of their college life, the trio spends the second night in Mussoorie unearthing layers of pain in their heart. While Shiv is unsure if he believes in love anymore, Sat declares that his heart only beats for Sati and no one else.
The author’s prowess to capture the earnest-yet-awkward cadence of adulthood is something to look forward to in this book. He explores the pathos of relationships like friendship, love, parental love and love between siblings. While the central love pair is nicely rendered, the character sketch of Sati lacks the lustre. Failure to build up her character makes her reasons complex and irrational. A similar problem arises when Shyam and Shiv’s relationship with Mrs Keeling is kept under the wraps because it does not allow the readers to comprehend the intensity of the bond shared between them. Certain chapters are perplexing because their relevance cannot be understood.