Books

Book synopsis:

A book that starts as a set of short stories, and ends up on the net.

Reviews:

I loved this book at two levels: one is the concept of the meaning of life itself and what the purpose of life is: is it Love? Is it Money? Or is there a greater Happiness (or spiritual joy) beyond all these? The author skilfully shows how we are the masters of our own destinies, as we make the choices that shape our futures. Beyond the entertaining, easily-readable philosophy, however, is the magic of the Internet, where readers can read (and write) alternate endings as well.

No one concept itself is new, whether the New Age philosophies or the new technology but weaving them together is a very skillful effort by the author, and a joy to read.

S Rajagopalan

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The characters in this breakout novel will stay with me for a long time. The problems they face and how they are handled are not always the way you think it should be done, but at the end of each story you have the ability to go on the internet and read alternate endings or write one yourself. I found the book thought-provoking and I had to read each individual story, check the alternate endings, and then think about what I had just read. On the surface, the stories could be set anywhere, in any time period. It’s only when you have finished the book that you realize the questions are ones we all have. Love, Peace, and Happiness – we all strive for the ultimate answers, but what will we do to achieve them? Is it worth going against our religion, friends and family, belief system? Should we try to reach the pinnacle? Are we ignoring what we already have – what is right in front of us in our everyday lives? Is there success in understanding yourself and accepting who you are at the place you are right now?

Rituraj Verma is a forward-thinking author who has created a memorable cast and scenes and I believe readers of all kinds will enjoy this book. The philosophy is universal, the prose excellent, and the reader will be left wondering about his/her own life and the success they long for. I look forward to reading more from this excellent writer!

Linda Baumann

***

Have you ever read a story and hated how it ended? Solution: Let readers create the ending they prefer. I read this fascinating collection of stories centering on the complications in relationships in modern India. Each story has a distinct perspective and potential moral to learn…and an ending, but if you don’t like the ending, you can go to the author’s website and add the ending you would like. Brilliant!

I really enjoyed the flavor of this book. I’m always curious about stories from authors who are from a different culture than I am. Granted, it’s lazy research, but I think I’ve gained a tiny insight to Indian culture and perspective.

I would recommend this book to short story enthusiasts along with readers who have always wanted to change the end of a story.

Christine Cunningham

***

When I received the ARC of this title, I wasn’t sure what to expect; the unsubtle title and the unconventional approach of offering links to alternative endings (and the chance for readers to add their own) suggested that this was either going to be really, really good or really, really bad.
Happily for all involved, this was really, really good. The stories alone make for enlightening and engaging reading. I started off musing on how different Indian culture is from Western culture when it comes to love and marriage, and ended up with a deeper appreciation for the commonalities; we are all, at heart, striving for the same things, the love, peace and happiness of the title, and struggling through the layers of cultural and familial expectations and the push and pull of love and lust to find them.
The alternative endings lift this book onto another level. It’s kind of like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” for grown-ups. I’m deeply impressed with the way the author has thought outside the square to allow the readers to further engage with the text and with himself.

Tracie McBride

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