Its Book Fair time again and off I went trotting to the BMICH the first day. Man, was it crowded? More people there for the scene than the books me thinks, but no matter I knew what I was there for. I headed to my favourite once a Book Fair year stop - the PH book stall and picked up my loot. So know that the next few reviews are going to be my haul.
This book is fairly new - last year I believe and to be honest, the cover caught my eye (Yes, yes, I am shallow and judge all books by their covers). I was a bit thrown at the beginning and didn't know who the author was until I started reading the book. But my aunt (yes we have an incestuous reading relationship) who I gave the book to, bless her soul, was confused and kept thinking that Sanjaya Senanayake was the grandson of Dr Manjula Mendis and that the story was all true. She is still reading the book and I have to assure her from time to time the story is all lies :)
Well this book is a riot and a hoot. I haven't read much humourous stuff written by Sri Lankans and while I loved Colpetty People which was hilarious then Ashok Ferrey degenerated into mocking rather than funny. I think with the war and all, we were wallowing in depth and conflict and sorrow and all that downer stuff. So perhaps its just good timing that this book which is totally irreverent, funny, sexy, (well there is a lot of sex) and plain ol fun reading came out when it did. This book will not win any prizes, it is just too flippant and unserious for that, but is definitely worth a read.
So now let me stop waffling and get on with the book. Dr Manjula Mendis has just graduated as a doctor and begins his internship at the prestigious St Ivanhoe Hospital in Australia? Not sure about the country but it is Oz or the US. Anyway, his very traditional and Sri Lankan parents want him to settle down and find a good Sri Lankan girl and so after boasting about their son, they spend the rest of their time looking for the perfect match. Dr Mendis has a foul mouthed sister who makes appearences throughout the book to either complicate his life or to inject some xxx rated words into the text. She is funny but perhaps the most unreal character for me. His colleagues are all wierd in some way or the other with even wierder names (that too was not a favourite for me). Then you have the film star Salma Cruz(Hayek and Penelope combo?) who lives in his imagination spicing up his sex life and his dreams.
The book is full of interesting medical titbits that always border on the insanely wierd, there is adventure, spice, mystery, competition, and at last happiness. It is after I finished the book that some of the names began to make sense to me! Perhaps you will get it faster. I'll let you read it and find out what I mean. Anyway, it's nice to see Sri Lankan writers getting into humour, a much needed category and it is a fabulous holiday read.