Book Title: The Cockatiel Confessions and Other Collected Works
Author: Lavanya Srinivasan
Genre: Short stories
About the Author: Lavanya is a chartered accountant by profession. I find her as adept with words as she would be with numbers. She is passionate about world mythology and fantasy tales. She has authored two fantasy thrillers: “Maya & the Mind Mystics” and “The God, The Girl & The Gem”. You can read more about her and her work here- http://thelavmuse.com
Review: For me, there were two reasons to pick this book for review. Firstly, I love to read Lavanya’s work. Secondly, I enjoy short stories- as these are ‘chota packet, bada dhamaka’.
Blue Moon- Sci-fi! It takes us to a future realm, full of possibilities. It’s especially exciting to read about a new technology. It shows us a new world while portraying our current world as an ancient one. We indeed sometimes look back at the pre-computer era as an archaic one. The author subtly warns about the environmental damage being done to the planet. The story deals with the powerful yet benevolent artificial intelligence (AI). Don’t miss Wribulizer– a dream for every writer.
Sunrise & Shadows- Lavanya tells a futuristic emotional story of a woman who sacrifices her life for her mother. This story not only warns us about the overpopulation on earth but also shows a grim reality of how we humans are consuming all the resources.
Confessions of a Cockatiel- an interesting fun story told by a cockatiel. The gobblefunk words used throughout the story remind of Roald Dahl. Lavanya has imagined how it is like to be a cockatiel and how does it think. It’s good to see the world through its perspective.
The switch– There have been movies and stories written about this, nothing new in the plot. Yet, I much enjoyed this tale for the interesting style in which it was written. It comes with a message- ‘you don’t need to be in other’s shoe to understand the shoe bite.’
The gods are crazy– The story starts with a conversation, without any introduction to the characters or the plot. I feel this style loses the reader’s attention. The opening of a story needs to grab the reader’s interest. The choice- is a story which I could relate well as a mother. A mother teaches a life lesson to her son, something we mothers constantly try to do. (*Any conversation with our kids must lead to impart a valuable life-lesson 😊)
What works: I enjoy how Lavanya steps inside the mind of a mute bird or a celestial object and narrates the story through their eyes. Few stories are left for readers to draw their own conclusions. This is what a gripping short story does to you. It draws the readers in; the readers are engaged and become one with the story.
What needs improvement: I love the cover, however, the illustration matching with the title could have been more effective and appropriate. In a couple of stories, words and phrases are repetitive. Few sentences can be shortened or split into two for a breezy read.
The author has a unique voice and style, which resonates with me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing her stories. The style is elegant with carefully crafted sentences and precision in vocabulary. All the stories are a pleasure to read.