Short stories are something I love to read. They provide a refreshing break from the full length novels, and mostly hold my interest in its length and plot. A few short story books of late haven’t quite lived up to expectation, and I was hoping that one comes along that keeps me glued to it.
The book Final Cut by Uday Gupt did manage to do that. It has six short stories and a novella. I think the first thing that appeals to the reader in the book is the cover, which I felt was very nicely designed. The second is that all are set in India at various time frames, which give the stories a breath of their own.
“Hodson’s Gold” explores the key to a treasure, hidden by a British officer during his time. “Friends” explores the friendship between two unlikely people with completely different mindsets and backgrounds. In “It Only Happens in India” a Pulitzer winner comes to India to do a story. “Will Reena”, the sole novella, explores the story of Sukumar and Reena. “Buddha Poornima” is a story set in the 1st century, and is based on the customs before the festival. “The Last Supper” brings out the story of two British officers, who are part of a painting, and who have committed suicide. “Final Cut” brings out the story of the final trick of a magician.
Does each story have the capacity to hold my interest as a reader and offer a twist, or something to make me go wow? I feel so. The writing style in itself is different and enjoyable, though with respect to the first story Hodson’s Gold, I felt the way the initial details were given about Hodson and his quirks and actions made the read a tad boring, like a history book. The plot however was different, and the ending made me sit up and take notice, even laugh out loud in awe. The language is simple, and I couldn’t find any major editing issues. It entertains and engages me as a reader. And that in the end, makes it a very successful book.
In A Gist:
Positives: Cover design, characters, plots, entertainment factor
Negatives: Some parts are boring
About the author:
Uday Gupt currently works for one of the largest banks in the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi. He has been a regular contributor of opinion pieces on economic issues to newspapers and publications. This is his first collection of fiction
Title: The Final Cut
Author: Uday Gupt
Genre: Short Stories
Publisher: Leadstart Corp
Price: INR. 195