Wednesday, February 12, 2014

25 Strokes of Kindness Review: Pros, cons and Ratings

Source: Google Images

Book: 25 strokes of kindness
Genre: Fiction (anthology)
Authors: Several
Publisher: Grapevine India
Pages: 247
Price: Rs 125 (excluding discount)

Story 1
Title: Ouroboros
Author: Nanya Srivastava
Pros: Unpredictable story, satisfying climax
Cons: Average writing, some questions stay unanswered
Rating: 2.5 on 5

Story 2
Title: Is it kinder to give or receive?
Author: Asfiya Rahman
Pros: Fresh story, good writing
Cons: Nothing much. The climax may have been handled better
Rating: 3 on 5

Story 3
Title: A pack of Parle-G
Author: Himanshu Chhabra
Pros: Quite a beautifully imagined story, endearing characters, sharp observation of life by the author
Cons: Flawed structuring of a few sentences
Rating: 4 on 5

Story 4
Title: A ten dollar wedding
Author: ArashitaaSehrawat
Comments: This is a story more than just inspired by a classic short story. But since the author is a 17-year old, I would let it pass   : )

Story 5
Title: Please Hug Me
Author: Preeti Shenoy
Pros: Crisp narrative, subject of HIV
Cons: It’s more like a non-fictional memoir. More suited for a personal blog than for an anthology
Rating: 2 on 5

Story 6
Title: Pentimento
Author: Rafaa Dalvi
Pros: Emotional story exploring love between a man and a child, warm plot
Cons: Average narration, mediocre writing
Rating: 2.5 on 5

Story 7
Title: Fifteen Minutes
Author: Nikita Singh
Pros: The setting, the story, the humour
Cons: Nothing as such
Rating: 4 on 5

Story 8
Title: Savings of life and love
Author: Parul Tyagi
Pros: Brief, engaging and offbeat
Cons: Some mistakes in sentences
Rating: 3 on 5

Story 9
Title: Crossroads
Author: Renuka Vishwanathan
Pros: Writing, narration, clarity of events, humour
Cons: Nothing
Rating: 3.5 on 5

Story 10
Title: Court sentence
Author: Naman Kapur
Pros: Storyline
Cons: Ordinary climax, average writing
Rating: 3 on 5

Story 11
Title: A piece of contagious kindness
Author: Sakshi Budhia
Pros: Message in the story
Cons: Average writing and narration
Rating: 2.5 on 5

Story 12
Title: The lost girl
Author: Arushi Pathak
Pros: Moving story, warm and fresh
Cons: Nothing much
Rating: 3.5 on 5

Story 13
Title: Letters to Karka
Author: Pernasi Malhotra
Pros: Everything
Cons: Nothing
Rating: 4 on 5

Story 14
Title: The helping hand
Author: Ruchika Thukral
Pros: A court battle, nice arresting stuff. The climax adds another dimension and reveals the suitability of the title
Cons: Slightly confusing in the beginning, few unconvincing sub-plots
Rating: 3.5 on 5

Story 15
Title: The photograph
Author: Nikhil Khasnabish
Pros: A promising start, a thought-provoking climax
Cons: Uneven pace, patchy writing at places, abrupt end
Rating: 2.5 on 5

Story 16
Title: The Collateral Emotion
Author: Shomprakash Sinha Roy
Pros: Narration, vocabulary, quality of writing, freshness of story
Cons: Slightly disappointing climax
Rating: 4 on 5

Story 17
Title: The last one
Author: Ishita Das
Pros: Lots of emotions, good writing
Cons: Nothing as such
Rating: 3.5 on 5

Story 18
Title: Lessons of a father to his daughter
Authors: Paromita Bardoloi and Ricardo Vaz
Pros: A nice little story about goodness and how kindness gets repaid
Cons: Average writing
Rating: 2.5 on 5

Story 19
Title:Colours of Gratitude
Author: Kalyani Manojna
Pros: Simple story with a lot of heart, excellent writing and great language
Cons: Apparently nothing
Rating: 3.5 on 5

Story 20
Title: Reality Check
Author: Anjali Kirpalani
Pros: Engaging writing
Cons: Mediocre story, average narration
Rating: 2.5 on 5

Story 21
Title: A rare sight
Author: Namrata
Pros: Touching story, simple and uncomplicated with a warm end
Cons: Technical mistakes- like proofreading errors, minor mistakes of usage of words, like use of ‘off’ instead of ‘of’
Rating: 3 on 5

Story 22
Title: Six rupees
Author: Husna Advani
Pros: Crisp, arresting, a brilliant finish
Cons: a couple of grammatical errors
Rating: 4 on 5

Story 23
Title: Love Thy Neighbour
Author: Privy S
Pros: Original story, good climax
Cons: Mediocre narration and writing
Rating: 2.5 on 5

Story 24
Title: An act of kindness
Author: Sachin Garg
Pros: Good start, some quirky dialogues
Cons: Ending seemed hurried, lacked that ‘wow’ factor
Rating: 3 on 5

Story 25
Title: Santa for Christmas
Author: Drishti Dasgupta
Pros: Powerful touching story, even pacing, makes an impact
Cons: Nothing really
Rating: 3.5 on 5

~Ritesh Agarwal


  1. Thank you for the review. It was good that you reviewed each of the 25 stories. Hopefully my writing will be less mediocre in future. Cheers Ritesh for an unbiased review :)


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  3. Very differently but very well done review.

  4. @Rafa, you will improve as you write more :)

    @Indrani, thank you for dropping by

    @Mr. Sehgal, will look into it. Thanks for the invite

  5. Woww I'm soo glad to get a 4!.. it was great to read the pros, thanks for the appreciation. N yeh i'll try n figure out the grammatical errors, so i don't make the same mistake again..
    I m posting the review on my facebook page (hope u dont mind)
    Thanks again :)


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