Blurb (as on Goodreads):
A boy communes with the gods by talking to a pillar. The ‘hibiscus girl’ has her head in the clouds and feet gently planted in her husband’s home. Two women, married to the same man, find a strange camaraderie binding them together. The whole town gathers to save the friendly neighborhood shopkeeper’s ice cream from spoiling in the heat. Short-tempered Seshadri hides a terrible shame in his outbursts. A grandfather passes on the magic of self-belief to his grandson. Reminiscent of Malgudi Days, Adithi Rao’s debut Left from the Nameless Shop is a charming collection of interconnected stories set in the 1980s featuring the residents of Rudrapura, a small, fictitious town in Karnataka. This is a place bubbling with energy and the sense of community – one you probably lived in and loved while growing up. These are stories of the life you have left behind. One that you hope to return to.
The town of Rudrapura is full of interesting events and people who have big hearts. ‘Left from the Nameless Shop’ is a series of interconnected short stories based on the people living in this town. These people are always available for each other at a moments notice.
The stories are about small events, like saving an ice cream shop or finding one’s life partner, or a haircut etc. Each story gives us a set of characters, diverse and flawed, genuine and real. The small town atmosphere prevails throughout the book.
The writing, however, is a different sort of an issue. It is extremely difficult to get into the book initially. But once we know what we can expect it geta a tad bit easy. A lot of words are irrelevant and don’t help the stories in any way. But these stories are for entertainment purposes and one shouldn’t expect any sort of moral or poetic ending.
Another feature of this book that I found extremely strange is the use of fluent Kannada language without any English subtitles. It might be easy for someone who knows the language to navigate through the stories, but for someone who knows nothing of these languages, the dialogues feel like a burden.
‘Left from the Nameless Shop’ takes us to a small town full of stories and gossip, and a lot of love and support among its residents. An entertaining read which could have been refined a bit more.