Title: Fantastic 40
Author: Reetwika Banerjee
Genre: Short Stories
Publisher: All About Books Global
Price: INR 240.00
It’s a great endeavor for a reader, as well as for the author, when he reaches to the last page of the story or fiction and sighs with a sense of satisfaction. Finishing a novel at times looks as evading the battle ground or like lived altogether a different life and coming back to the present. Reading offers an awesome feeling that cannot be described in sheer words.
I had read many stories, short stories and as well as never ending fiction but I was really unaware of the term micro stories until I took out Reetwika Banerjee’s Fantastic 40. She exclaims the book as a collection of micro stories. Many a times I had observed relevance of word ‘micro’ with different hypothetical subjects of higher education such as ‘micro-biology’ or ‘micro-economics’ but it is for the first time when I have seen its use in the world of literature. I might be incorrect at the point as it would have been used earlier by other authors but Reetwika’s book was my first encounter with micro stories. I really appreciate and endorse the caliber of the author for acquiring the risk of getting her work published. Finally I would say that she has done a great job.
Well, I flipped the pages to reach to the very first story named “A Night in Solitude” and started reading. The beginning immediately transferred me from my vibrant living room to the solitary woods and the sheer sight of the leopard raised goose bumps for a while. But soon it relaxed my nerves as I progressed with the story. Hold your breath, this is just the beginning. The rest thirty nine stories will spin your head as each new story will tinge you with a unique experience.
The stories touch different colors of life and the immediate change of genre from story to story soothes or sensitizes your nerves. Where one story talks about the solitude of woods of Himalayan low lands and another elucidates about social values. And then relations, lifestyle, rituals, customs, sports, humor, suspense, and horror almost every flavor has been touched and packaged in a single book. The transition from one story to another give a sensation like you are enjoying a strawberry candy and its sweetness turns sour as the crux of having mango flavor melts into your mouth and it continues till you reach end of the book.
It becomes customary for the author to write short stories of having m vivid flavors because serving the same dish every time may become monotonous and it may also irk the reader. I believe Reetwika has done apt justice with the book which confirms that it has been written keeping the reader in mind.
Last thing that displeased me for once was its shelf price as it didn’t seemed justified for just 128 pages. A 250 pages bestseller by a top Indian author would be easily available for just Rs 100/- or so. A higher price for the book may veer the reader’s mind to go for the purchase. But, looking towards the positive side, the price calibrates with the value of the literary work presented by the author. Those who have keen interest in real literature will buy the book. It has become a trend now days to buy books of celebrity authors to decorate the bookshelves of lavish living rooms. Being and author and reader I strongly recommend that one must buy books randomly off the shelf.