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Friday, July 26, 2013

Boomtown by Aditya Mukherjee: Review

This, Boomtown by Aditya Mukherjee, is another book I received from the publishers, Rupa, to read and review. And again, before I proceed to the review, here's the basic details about the book:

Title: Boomtown
Author: Aditya Mukherjee

No. of pages: 300+

Publishers: Rupa

Genre: Fiction
Release Date: July 2013

You can read the cover jacket of the book here: READ


A very popular and 'old' restaurant in the lanes of Chandni Chowk - Khan Mian Khan - has been catering to the palates of patrons and newcomers alike for years and years now. With
secret, traditional, family recipes that have been passed on for generations, this restaurant stands the test of time and passes the taste levels with flying colours. The owner, old Khan Mian, is looking forward to pass on his legacy to his chosen grandson Jaaved, who is actually planning to reinvent most of the traditional dishes with a new and modern twist, albeit without the knowledge of his grandfather.

JJ, the wealthy son of an established family, harbours dreams of doing something of his own, and once he chances upon the delicacy prepared at the Chandni Chowk restaurant, that's actually been tampered and made outstanding by Jaaved, hits the idea of opening a chain of restaurants that will showcase the culinary talents of this young chef, by fusing the traditional with a modernity.

Of course he can't do this on his own, so he sets about creating a team that comprises of Roy, an out of work engineer from Bangalore, and Sheetal, a single mother with a son who live in Gurgaon.

Together, with their different skillsets, the 3 friends, along with Jaaved the cook, begin their journey towards planning a chain of restaurants across India that will be like nothing done before.

My take on the book:

To be honest, this is a debut novel and I quite liked the premise of the book - it was interesting, had enough in it to hold you and let you want to read what happens next, is written in a light breezy and easy manner, and is short - half an hour of reading for those who are into heavy reading. For others, who are not much into reading and would prefer a light easy read, this again is a book to go to. Of course you can choose to read it over the course of a few hours or days, but what I mean here is that the writing is pretty easy and anyone can grasp it.

The story is nice, the settings are real, Delhi and Gurgaon I know and could identify with the places described, Bangalore I wouldn't coz I haven't really been there. There's quite a bit of detailing, the author has tried to share locations he is familiar with in different cities and thus give the audience a feel of the story being real - works.

The kitchen scenes are good too - with menus, preparations and recipes lending a realistic feeling and authenticity to the main premise of the book. I sometimes actually ended up missing the Chandni Chowk food that I used to hog on earlier.

As for the language of the book - it's very very basic - which again could be a good thing since Rupa Publications really caters to the masses now, and not really to heavy-duty readers. So it will be more suited to mass reading especially by those who are not looking for a literary  read but want something easy.

If you've read and liked Chetan Bhagat (who also happens to be with Rupa Publications), you may like this book. It's a similar style of writing and language.

All in all, it's a good book, fun, easy and super-fast to read and finish. You may give it a try.

I give it 2 hearts: Okay read

- Debolina Raja Gupta