Fiction, Indian Fiction

Pinto Has An Idea by Rajeev Saxena #BookReview

I have an idea too. Let me spend the rest of this post outlining why I didn’t like this book, and you could nod your head along with me at the end of every paragraph.

“Pinto has an Idea” by Rajeev Saxena is the author’s debut novel.

Got this from GoodReads

The plot of the story goes like this:

Young Pinto (a nickname for Rajat Srivastav) is a “thinker” who wishes to solve the problems of the people in his surroundings by using simple scientific ideas. He invents a machine to remove the corn off the cob in his childhood days and that makes him a hero in his village. He enters IIT, Kanpur, thanks to his parents’ monetary sacrifices, and grows up to be a scientist with a Ph.D. working in MIT. However, he throws away his work on theoretical physics and sets out to solve the practical everyday problems of the world he lives in. And of course, sets out to get back with the love of his life, Lavanya.

With Lavanya, Pinto decides to solve the problems that people all over India face. From figuring out how to hire servants in the most effective way to delivering groceries right to your doorstep, Pinto has created ideas for all and sundry. This book takes you through all those ideas, and much more.

What I liked about this book is the description of Pinto’s childhood. The start of the book was pretty interesting, and I did feel hooked into the book with the simplistic descriptions and inventions by the author.

What I didn’t like about the book is everything else besides Pinto’s childhood. It seemed drab, boring, unimaginative, and I constantly felt,  “Even I could think of these ‘inventions’. You don’t need an IIT degree to create an app that connects servants with families.” I didn’t get an “Aha!” moment while reading the book. This is an indicator that the ideas were not very well researched. And that, coming from a Commerce student is a sign for concern.

Moreover, I didn’t appreciate the use of “tell, don’t show”. (For those of you who don’t know, the rule that every author should never dare to break is “show, don’t tell” type of narration) I felt overwhlemed by the repetition of information. If a dialogue states that the character is exasperated, I don’t need additional adverbs to inform me about the same thing! The book seemed like the many skits I used to write in my school days. The dialogues felt boring, and I pretty much skimmed through many pages of this book. (I also now know what my school-going audience felt like when they watched the skits I had written and directed.)

Also, the book didn’t seem to move in any particular direction. It seemed like a TV show where each episode only has the same characters, and there’s a mini-plot in every chapter, with a minuscule sub-plot running through the chapters. Though this format suits the plot of the book, I wasn’t particularly impressed by it.

I would give this book a 2/5 stars, mainly because of lack of ingenious ideas and a very shoddy execution. I recommend it to people who want to know more about simple non-IIT ideas that they can implement in their daily life.

Pinto Has an Idea


Note: I received a copy of this book from Banaja Prakashini in exchange for an honest review.


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