Notes on Mice in Men by Anirban Bose1:42:00 PM
A couple of years back,I got a chance to read Bose's debut novel,'Bombay Rains,Bombay Girls'- a coming of age story of a group of medical students.Frankly speaking,I didn't like that book very much as I had found it only mildly amusing.So when I chanced upon the author's second work('Mice in Men') in the local Landmark's Book store,I was a bit apprehensive initially but still decided to give it a try as I have a thing for well crafted works of short fiction.
' Mice in Men' is an anthology of short stories set in contemporary India.Most of the tales have a medical background(which is understandable as the writer is a doctor by profession) and in one way or other portray the joys of being in the medical profession.The writer has made sure that all the medical terms used in the stories are explained in a very simple manner without resorting to extremely complicated medical jargons.I particularly liked the story of the young doctor('The Magic of Medicine') who is in a dilemma to treat the 'illegal immigrant' who is fighting for his life.As in the case of any other anthology,'Mice In Men' also packs in a couple of bland and even mundane short works('The temptation of fate') of fiction.The writer has a good attention to detail but the un-necessary detailing backfires atleast in a few occasions-('The faithfulness of traits').On the other hand,I also felt some stories to be a bit confusing and lacking clarity('Stockholm syndrome'-well, it is obviously a well written piece but the author seems to have overlooked a couple of loose ends in the narrative).
'Mice in Men' is undoubtedly a better work when compared to the writer's debut 'Bombay Rains,Bombay Girls'.If you have a penchant for short tales of fiction,you can definitely give it a try.
Verdict-A good read.I'm giving it a three out of five.