Book Review: Six Degrees – Game of Blogs
Authors: Bloggers across India
Published by: Blogadda.com
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
What is ‘six degrees’ and why is it a must-read?
In September-October 2014, 300 bloggers from across India came together to participate in the ‘Game of Blogs’. 30 teams of 10 members each were given a uniform set of 5 characters- Shekhar, Tara, Roohi, Cyrus and Jennifer- along with a little character description of each. Each team, with random team members, had to work together and create a story over 3 rounds using the characters. What happened over that one month period was a collaboration never seen before. There were eliminations after each round and the top 3 stories made it to ‘six degrees’- a published book of the collaborative blogging effort.
This solely becomes a reason to read the book without even going into the details of how good or bad the 3 stories in the book are. The same set of characters but completely different paths and genres of stories- it’s an achievement in itself!
‘six degrees’ consists of three stories- ‘The Awakening’, ‘Entangled Lives’ and ‘Missing- A Journey Within’. It took me three days to read the first story and one seating each to read the second and third stories. Ranking the stories in any way would be unfair- but as a personal opinion, I enjoyed reading the third story the most due to its subject and pace.
The first story ‘The Awakening’ took me the longest to read perhaps because it lacked action. It mostly had narration of background information which, although well researched and well-imagined, was boring and ‘done-too-many-times’. A lack of connect with real life made the story too over the top. The story felt like a mixture of sci-fi and suspense and it failed to keep my attention for long primarily owing to its ‘Save the environment’ theme.
I skipped to the third story after the first owing simply to the less number of pages it occupied after the disappointment with the first story. I must say I was impressed with this one. It was action packed and fast paced. Most importantly, there was huge coherence in the writing- The way it started I felt it had been well discussed and written. Towards the end it did feel like the story was dragged on just to include some plot elements because it was a requirement during the competition. But yes, the choice of subject by this team was not something I have read before and the title held true- Missing: A Journey Within. It was about more than just one character missing. (The chapter numbers in this story are all jumbled up- the editors might want to correct this in the next edition)
The second story ‘Entangled Lives’ is by far the most gripping of the three. A proper crime thriller and written coherently throughout. It's commendable the way the team members have put this story together. Hardly any lose ends or plot holes. But would it be incorrect to say that I had predicted the ending as soon as the major catastrophe happened? Or perhaps I was just thinking what I would have done if I was writing that story in the way it was written. Haha..
For some reason, all the three stories are based in Mumbai. Or were most of the team members’ location concentrated around the city?
Why ‘six degrees’?
In the Foreword of the book, the reader is left with the question to figure out why the book has been titled so. The one major thing that comes to my mind on hearing ‘six degrees’ is the theory of six degrees of separation- You are connected to any random person on Earth by six degrees of separation at most. In the book’s context, I think it refers to the way the book came into existence. Random people were put into teams and were to work together on a common objective of writing a story. The book celebrates this collaboration breeding creativity. And hence the title. Am I right Team Blogadda?
Why I wanted to read the book?
Well, I was a part of the Game of Blogs too. Our team ‘Supernova’ made it to the top 10 but didn’t qualify for the top prize. We were definitely disappointed but then it’s been nearly 2 years and our Whatsapp group still buzzes with messages every now and then discussing blogging, politics and almost every known topic on earth. The Game of Blogs did connect us to #CelebrateBlogging together. But I definitely wanted an answer to the question ‘What makes the winning stories better than what we wrote?’ and hence didn’t let go of this opportunity to get my hands on the book.
If you want to read the hijack story of Rajdhani Express and what happens to Shekhar, Tara, Roohi, Cyrus and Jennifer in its Delhi to Mumbai 16-hour journey, don’t wait. Click here and start reading. Join the du
6 Degrees is India's first book published through collaborative blogging, written completely by bloggers for the Game of Blogs activity at BlogAdda. Know more about Game of Blogs here. You can buy 6 Degrees: Game of Blogs if you liked the review. :)