A wry view of life for the world-weary

Literary Critic Of The Week


It’s hard being a reviewer, trying to come up with an interesting, thoughtful, possibly provocative take on a book or a piece of work. One approach I have not taken is literalism but at least it seems it can get you noticed.

Take Shilpa Shetty. Me neither but apparently she is an Indian film actress and won the fifth series of Celebrity Big Brother. A new reading syllabus has been introduced into schools in India featuring figures from popular culture, For some unaccountable reason, the Mumbai Times asked Shetty for her views on the new initiative. She was enthusiastic, claiming that it would cultivate imagination and creativity at a young age.

Drawing on her phenomenal powers of imagination and creativity, Shetty opined that “even a book like Animal Farm can teach the little ones to love and care for animals”. I must confess that this take on Orwell’s classic satire on totalitarianism passed me by but then what do I know?

I shall be fascinated to discover her opinion of Fifty Shades of Grey – a colouring book, perhaps? – and what about Moby Dick? Proof positive that you should never judge a book by its cover!


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