Sunday, July 15, 2012

Broken News: Book Review

Broken News is broadcast journalist Amrita Tripathi’s debut novel and tells the story of M (whose name as we find out in the end is Meera), an overworked and paranoid journalist with a news channel who is on the verge of losing control of her life and facing a nervous breakdown. Broken News is essentially the story of a young professional whose life has been taken over completely by her job and whose problems have begun to get bigger than she can handle.  The book follows M’s journey in the news world, generously sprinkled with the predictable; cigarette and coffee breaks, profanity, bitchy and competitive colleagues, being overworked and the death of a close friend.

The book starts with being a monologue of sorts by M and I was seriously missing more characters and most importantly, dialogue. A few characters come along as the story progresses, but nothing deep really. It’s difficult for me to give you a quick beginning, middle and end of this book because to be honest, it was hard for me to find one while reading it. Broken News barely skims over the surface of M and the other minor characters in the book and really does nothing deep in terms of plot and character and the reason I found this a tad disappointing was because as an insider, Tripathi could have easily added more depth and flavour to this book.

The one point in this book on which I would like to congratulate Amrita is on having brought up the issue of mental illness and stress in the Indian context, considering how most such problems are conveniently brushed under the carpet and what a taboo it is in India to visit a counselor!

All in all Broken News isn’t exactly an earth shattering book, but if you’re looking for a light and not very complicated read, then pick up a copy.

Westland Books gave us a lovely opportunity to interact with Amrita Tripathi over coffee and delicious finger foods at the very lively Fresc Co at Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj. It was wonderful to talk to Amrita about the book, her experiences in the news industry and what she's working on next.

(This is a book review requested by the publisher)

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