A bland cup of coffee – Unlikely Tails: Book Review


When I was asked by Blogadda if I wanted to review “Unlikely Tails” by Mani Padma, I jumped at the chance because I am lagging behind miserably in my Goodreads Challenge. Imagine I can’t even muster up 12 books when I’d promised myself just two books a month? That’s nothing short of shameful.


So I grabbed the chance to read this book and was quite surprised when I received a thin envelope containing a signed copy by the author.

Actually, I was thrilled that it was so slim.  I would be able to finish it in one night itself! It would be a quick if not easy read. Besides , I love reading Indian authors whose books I can generally relate to with ease.

And the cover with its intriguing shaggy tail had me wondering if it was a book of doggy stories. I love doggy stories. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The word tails was a pun and actually signified a twist in the tale. For indeed, each of these tales has an unexpected ending.

The Book :

Dr. Mani Padma, the author of the book has written this small anthology of short stories. Drawing on her experiences, Mani Padma tells stories that have a completely unpredictable end. The stories themselves are quite straightforward with very believable characters. I personally feel that doctors like lawyers have a ring side view of humanity with their constant interaction with people particularly those with problems. And problems as we all know appeal to humanity.

However, despite the particularly spirited and endearing heroines , there is something missing in the book.

Though the stories all deal with human relationships that are flawed, there is a strong leaning towards unrequited love and an undercurrent of mockery of all things traditional ( the arranged marriage for example). So while the endings may be unexpected, the situations are pretty trite. And the situations that are unusual are downright bizarre like the stories “Dead-End” , “Broken Heart” and”In Pursuit of Fame”.

I really enjoyed  “Pammi’s Escort Service” and “Dull-Iance”, though this last story could have been written in more refined language. But then perhaps the heroine did have a brusque manner  bordering on rudeness.

One thing is for sure, Mani Padma does manage to hook your attention . And the best part is that the stories are so short that you can finish off the book in half an hour or so. Surprisingly, I did so too!

Honest opinion

To tell you the truth, the book seemed more a collection of blog posts that have been published as a book. I also feel that part of the reason this book doesn’t scintillate is the sloppy editing. A case in point : On page 55, the author writes

“He felt fresh the next morning. He put on some freshly washed clothes……” Surely the editor could have helped with a  better choice of words?

On the other hand, the pedestrian writing and simple words make this book easy to understand.

Perhaps that's why this book will appeal to readers like me who don't have the luxury of time to read. Click To Tweet

You can buy this book at book stores near you or online via Amazon

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


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Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


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