Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings – Kuzhali Manickavel: Quirky & Enjoyable In Tiny Doses


Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have WingsInsects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings by Kuzhali Manickavel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book piecemeal, stretched out over several months. Halfway through, I decided to finish the rest in one go. My conclusion is that the first style is better. This book is filled with strange, sometimes beautiful, sometimes bizarre snippets. Fantasy, memory and stark reality intermingle. It seems a bit much when consumed in one go but works well when you read them one or two at a time only.

I particularly enjoyed ‘You Have Us All Late and Follow’,’Coconut Water’,’Information Regarding the Two Main Characters’ and ‘The Queen of Yesterday’. After awhile, the styles start to get repetitive. (For instance, ‘Jame That Bread of Life’ is much like ‘You Have Us All Late and Follow’).

The voice is certainly unique as are the settings – Tamil Nadu with an uber-urban bent of mind. So you have characters named Malar, Alarmel and Senthil in live-in relationships, filthy roommate camaraderie and suicide-from-boredom. Kuzhali’s stories fall just on the right side of crazy – quirky enough to be entertaining, mundane enough to be relatable. This is poetry masquerading as literature.

I’d definitely recommend a read, for the novelty value alone. But you probably wouldn’t want to have a shelf full of books like this.

View all my reviews

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