Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book review: 3's a crowd.

“A secret, sexual, romantic or emotional involvement that violates the commitment to an exclusive relationship”, is the definition used to describe infidelity in the book. 3’s a crowd is self-help book on “understanding and surviving infidelity”.
The book has a casual and very conversational tone to it. I understand that perhaps a lot of the examples quoted in the book might have been from real life stories. However, I kept feeling like they were cliché or too made up.  This I felt especially in the section where the author, Vijay Nagaswami, discusses the hallmarks of having an affair.
Prior to reading the book, I had a skewed idea of what an affair meant. I am not sure the book really helped change that. I do think that the author has done a good job of maintaining throughout the book that neither the “transgressor” nor the “aggrieved” is the victim. This is probably the very essence of any relationship, surviving the blame game. But I think practising that in reality is a lot harder than Nagaswami makes it out to be.
The author also briefly addresses the difference in the way men and women react to infidelity. I would have liked if this was further dealt with.

What I liked:
  • The conversational tone of the book.
  • The multiple examples that make the book not too boring (which is what I think when I think of self-help books, sorry)
  • The positivity that infidelity can be survived. Something I feel is quite lacking.
  • The attitude that infidelity could sometimes even be a random act that doesn’t mean anything in the long run.
  • The forward thought of addressing that often infidelity is just a sexual act and perhaps means little.
  • His language is pretty straightforward and the flow is good too.

What I didn’t like:
  • The fact that he just did not address the issue that some couples do not want to look past the act of transgression. (this could be seen as a good thing, but I felt that it needed to be 
  • The many examples after a while I began to read in a funny voice because it sort of became a joke.
  • I felt the book did not help me see the side of the transgressor, which I was hoping it would. I think this is something that is lacking in the book.

I would like to quote one of the examples, incase I am just being biased:

“One day after she had a bitter quarrel with her husband, she broke down in her cabin at office, when Samarath walked in. He asked what was wrong, they began to talk and Samarath began to play the role of a counsellor which came naturally to him. However, with Rati it was different. He started developing feelings for her. And she for him, since they spent nearly twelve hours a day at work to meet punishing deadlines. One day, almost naturally, he held and kissed Rati, who reciprocated with equal spontaneity. This set off a tornado of guilty in Samarath’s mind and even though nothing more than a kiss happened, he felt he had let Asha (his wife) down inordinately.”

Rating: 2/5
Final verdict: Not my type of a book.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


R-A-J said...

Aaah... I remember this saying where they reveal what the difference is between a wife and a mistress.. was a pretty good one...

nice review, Srinidhi.. really brought out ur perspective to the book.. I recently read this horrible statistic that over 60% of marriages in Bangalore fail.. so I guess, such books r probably a flavor of the season.. though i really hope its not a sign of things to come.. I see ur point as to self help books.. me too think they r kind 'bleh...'.. n hey, nice idea of finishing the review with an extract.. really brings out ur point.. nice work, Srinidhi.. :)

n btw, the difference is ...



Towards Harmony said...

Babe! I am not too much into self help books either, but would love to read this one.
Nicely written review, can I borrow you rating scale for my reviews, under creative commons ;-)