Book Review: Love @ Air Force

“This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com

 

“A heart is a more sophisticated device than a Sukhoi”

“The violent romance of the Fighter planes with the clouds in sky… the pulchritudinous Officers walking around arrogantly… the runway with the logo constituted by the concentric tricolored circles in the background… is the spectacle meets our eyes at the feeble mention of the Air Force but there is more about the Air Force besides these…” – Official book blurb

 

Love @ Air Force is Gaurav Sharma’s debut novel, and is a love story set against the backdrop of the actual and perceived hierarchies at an air force base station. Most of us would have heard stories about what hierarchy and order means in the armed forces. Most of us are familiar with the world of class based societies where the rich and the poor don’t mingle, the masters and the servants don’t, and so on. And we are familiar with the fact that some of these divides and biases flow from one generation to another. A King’s daughter doesn’t marry a foot soldier’s son.

Such is the premise of the book, and Gaurav weaves a simple tale of unfulfilled love and compromises about JWOs and Seargants and Officers. The book is written with a lot of heart, and one can feel the personal nature of this story. Gaurav’s father was a JWO in the Indian Air Force for more than 26 years, and the narration for most part seems autobiographical.

The central theme of the plot is disarmingly simple. It does not have many layers, neither for the characters, nor for the story. One hopes for the author’s sake that such a plot lends itself to being a Bollywood romance drama, wherein an old-ish Shahrukh Khan gives up on his love for Madhuri Dixit to find happiness with Sri Devi. Or something like that. The question is – would you want to watch that movie? Or read that script?

When the theme is simple, the narration takes precedence over the story. The language, the imagery, the characters, the conversations. And that’s where the book fails to delivery. The quality of editing is horrendously disappointing. Without reading the book with great attention, I could find more than 20 glaring mistakes. A 50-page shorter version with crisper editing, a scrupulous editor with zero tolerance for grammatical errors and irrelevant flowery prose would have made the book so much more bearable. I had a tough time finishing the book, simply because halfway through the book, one could foresee the end. The quality of prose was far from being noteworthy. And unfortunately, the excitement that the air force delivers on a screen was completely missing from the narration, as most of the book is a bland narration of a love story come undone by the class distinctions of a military society.

 

I will go with a 1 on 5 for this one. Passable. Breaks my heart to say this, but your first and the freshest piece has got to deliver a little more passion.

 

“This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

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