Friday, 2 June 2017

Review Spotlight: HALF PANTS, FULL PANTS by Anand Suspi

Anand Suspi


Half Pants Full Pants is a sort of childhood autobiography set in Shimoga of the 70s and 80s. Given the era and milieu that he grew up in, it carries a flavor similar to that of Malgudi Days. All the characters in the book are real and most of them are still in Shimoga, of course now in their mid-40s. Quite a few are from prominent families and are now active and important members of Shimoga. The book vividly captures the real childhood adventures of this generation of people in Shimoga. It’s a glorious reminiscence as well as a tribute to this wonderful town.

R. Balki says

“After Malgudi Days, I could never imagine that someone could create a childhood classic for adults to regain their innocence even for a few hours. Suspi’s tales would have made R K Narayan smile. Oh! That beautiful Kannadiga gene!”

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My Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A digital copy of this book was provided to me for an honest and candid review.

I am mighty glad I picked this up to read - it turned out to be a brilliant ode to childhood and fond musings of what yester years used to be for the kids from the 80s and 90s. Having been born and brought up in a metro myself, it initially took a while to get into the protagonist's shoes and visualize a place of such simplicity as Shimoga. But once I was drawn in, it was pretty hard to shake myself out of the setting - in fact the character names, the locales, the train stop names all continued to linger in the memory long after I finished the book.

What absolutely appealed to me were the tone and the tenor of the book. The author has, to my immense relief, chosen to do away with pompous sentence constructions and bombastic idioms, because well, the story is being narrated by an 8-year-old, right?! The narration is simple, endearing, and makes you smile at times with the way the world appears to an 8-year-old. Although there have been previous winners of the nostalgia genre, with India's all-time favourite Malgudi Days and The Wonder Years topping the list, that hasn't stopped the author from taking a dip into the genre with full gusto, and he has quite apparently done a great job.

If you relish reminiscences and relaxed retrospections, then this book is definitely for you!

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About the author

An advertising writer for over 20 years, he started with Mudra, Mumbai in 1995 and subsequently spent a large part of his career in Lowe Lintas working under Balki. He was the Creative Head of Lowe Delhi between 2007 and 2010. Currently, he lives in Gurgaon and is the co-founder of an ad agency called AndAnd Brand Partners.

Half Pants Full Pants is his first book, a sort of childhood autobiography set in Shimoga of the 70s and 80s. Given the era and milieu that he grew up in, it carries a flavor similar to that of Malgudi Days. The notable difference would be that every story is real and the characters are all in their mid-40s now, often reminiscing about the gloriousness of their growing up years.

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