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Home / Thoughts / Liking and not liking a book: it’s beyond personal choice (featuring The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi)

Liking and not liking a book: it’s beyond personal choice (featuring The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi)

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It is easy to shout the messenger! Isn’t it? However, only if we learn to care to listen to the message, the world can change. Likewise, critics and readers, at times, just shout their opponents out rather than carefully listening to what others have to say. Liking or disliking a book, from the perceiver’s point of view, has more likely become a game of ideologies and biases rather than literary merits or demerits. And that’s why we have missed the key points. The reasons behind readers disliking a book often traverse the subjective realm of personal preferences, but at times, the qualms extend beyond individual tastes and delve into the domain of objective literary flaws. While personal opinions can shape one’s reception of a book, instances arise where inherent weaknesses in the craftsmanship of a work become evident, transcending the boundaries of subjective interpretation.

Literary flaws that compromise the overall quality of a book can manifest in various facets, ranging from weak character development and inconsistent plotlines to lacklustre prose and clichéd dialogues. When these elements fail to meet certain standards, readers may find it challenging to connect with the narrative or derive satisfaction from the reading experience. Moreover, issues such as poor pacing, implausible story arcs, or an absence of thematic depth can contribute to a book’s downfall in the eyes of discerning readers. While literary preferences are diverse, the recognition of these more objective flaws may lead to a consensus among readers that extends beyond personal taste, fostering a collective acknowledgement of the work’s limitations.

Ultimately, the distinction between subjective dislikes and genuine literary flaws is a nuanced one. While readers’ tastes vary widely, a consensus on certain aspects of craftsmanship can emerge, shedding light on the inherent qualities that contribute to a book’s success or its struggle to resonate with a discerning audience. Acknowledging the presence of these objective flaws allows for a more nuanced discussion about the standards of quality literature, guiding both readers and authors in their exploration and creation of impactful literary works.

Now, coming to the second part of this article. The novel by Amish Tripathi, a bestseller and epoch-making to an extent, The Immortals of Meluha, broke many records of readership and won national as well as international recognition for the author. I should also congratulate the author because he tried his best to put Indian English literature in front of a global audience. However, over time, many readers and critics did not admire many things in the book. In this article, as follows, I will try to bring to light what are the things, so-called literary flaws, that did not garner the appreciation of critical readers.

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi, despite its commercial success and widespread popularity, has faced criticism from literary critics and serious readers for several reasons. One primary contention lies in the narrative structure and character development. Critics argue that the characters lack depth and complexity, making it challenging for readers to form meaningful connections with them. The protagonist, Shiva, has been criticised for his one-dimensional nature and predictable character arc, leading to a narrative that lacks the nuanced exploration of human complexities often expected in serious literature.

Another significant point of critique revolves around the language and writing style employed by Tripathi. Some critics argue that the prose lacks sophistication and subtlety, with instances of overly simplistic language and dialogue. The absence of literary finesse and nuanced expression can be a deterrent for readers seeking a more refined and artistically crafted narrative. The writing style, at times, has been deemed pedestrian, failing to evoke the depth and richness that serious readers often seek in literary works.

Furthermore, the incorporation of mythological elements in the narrative has been met with mixed reviews. While some appreciate the fusion of mythology with a contemporary storyline, others argue that the execution lacks originality and finesse. Critics contend that the blending of mythology with a fictional narrative requires a delicate balance, and in the case of The Immortals of Meluha, this balance is perceived by some as tipping towards a formulaic and predictable outcome. These collective concerns contribute to the dissatisfaction expressed by critics and serious readers who may have expected a more nuanced and artfully crafted literary experience from the novel.

And the game doesn’t end here, with criticism. Now, as the ball lies in the court of the author, they must pay attention to their critics. Yes, authors should pay careful attention to their critics for several compelling reasons. Firstly, critics provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of a literary work. Constructive criticism, when analysed thoughtfully, can serve as a mirror reflecting aspects of the narrative that may require refinement or enhancement. Authors have the opportunity to view their work from an external perspective, gaining an understanding of how readers interpret and engage with their writing.

Secondly, critics often represent the diverse perspectives of the reading audience. By listening to critics, authors can discern the varied reactions and expectations of different readers. This information is invaluable for authors seeking to create works that resonate with a broader audience. Understanding the preferences and critiques of different readerships allows authors to refine their craft, adapt their style, and potentially appeal to a wider range of literary tastes.

In essence, critics serve as a vital component of the literary ecosystem, offering authors a pathway to growth and improvement. By carefully considering and internalising critiques, authors can elevate their writing, hone their skills, and contribute to the continual evolution of literature. The act of listening to critics is not merely an acknowledgement of external opinions but a strategic move towards honing one’s craft and ensuring a more impactful and resonant literary output.

 

In conclusion, the relationship between authors and their critics is symbiotic, with each playing a crucial role in the evolution of literature. Critics offer a lens through which authors can gain valuable insights into their work, encouraging them to refine and enhance their craft. While not all critiques may align with an author’s vision, the discerning author recognises the potential for growth and improvement that thoughtful criticism provides. Embracing the constructive aspects of feedback, authors can navigate the intricate landscape of literary creation, creating works that not only reflect their artistic vision but also resonate with a diverse and discerning readership. Ultimately, the dialogue between authors and critics contributes to the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of literature, ensuring its continued relevance and impact.

 

Written by Rahul for Desi Readers

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