The Glass House – A Year of Our Days by Chanchal Sanyal (Book Review)

The Glass House - A Year of Our Days

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  • Genre: Contemporary
  • Source: Review Copy
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 200
  • Publisher: Rupa
  • Publication Date: 20 May 2018
  • My Rating: 4 stars

Blurb

What makes a house a home? College professor M.B. and his designer wife, Roshni, are a yuppie couple living in the ever-expanding, smog-encrusted, roiling city of Delhi. They have finally achieved their dream of buying their own apartment—in an up and coming builder’s complex in Gurgaon. The problem is, it looks like it is going to be up and coming for a while. Along with this woe come tumbling a hundred others. M.B. is sure his wife’s growing distance and disaffection has less to do with the stalling on the house front, and more because she is finding solace in the arms of Rocky, the stud son of their Punjabi landlord. The landlord, on his part, ‘Fat-bum’ Khanna, is greasing his way further into his tenants’ lives, filling their ears with advice on how to navigate the growing mound of bank papers, loan agreements and, of course, construction jargon. What is galling for M.B. to admit is that he may actually need all the help the canny businessman landlord can provide. Further complicating things are his NRI brother, Tubluda, and his familial tiffs with an overstepping tenant, and M.B.’s growing fascination for the ‘resident bitch’ of the college staffroom, the glamorous South Delhi girl, Malati Patel. A darkly comic take on the big, bad city of Delhi, its many moods and characters, The Glass House presents a look into the ideals of urban happiness, and the pitfalls and prices that come along with its pursuit.

My Thoughts

The Glass House by Chanchal Sanyal is set in Delhi. Right from the start, we discover that the main character and his wife are looking to buy a house. He is contemplating the financial aspects while dreaming about being free of his landlord FatBum Khanna and trying to make a decision.

I really liked the author’s writing. This is the kind of writing style that I like to see in books being published these days. One that is simple yet witty and stands out.

I did not like the constant sexualizing of the female characters of the book. Some characteristics of M.B made me cringe.

The book drags sometimes especially when M.B is narrating his thoughts but my interest in the story remained. He is an observer and thinks a lot about various things including the nature of human beings, his surroundings and the withering city of Delhi.

The author shows many problems couples face after years of marriage such as not being able to have a child, financial difficulties and infidelity. I liked that book delved deep into many things and not just the desire to own a house.

The aspirations and difficulties of middle-class people are portrayed well in this book. This is a common story told in a unique style, I highly recommend this book.

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