Shades Of Words

48 Shades of Brown


Interesting title, right? That’s what caught my attention when I picked this book up. It helped ,ofcourse, that this was a coming of age story. I am a big sucker for those.

This award winning book by the Australian writer Nick Earls is funny and refreshing. The focus of the book is Dan , an average Australian teenager, and his last year in school which he spends away from his parents and instead with his very young aunt and her roommate -Naomi. Dan faces all the typical dilemmas ( and this brought back memories from my last years in school) – trouble with Calculues, a completely inappropriate crush , dealing with an overprotective parent and difficult family secrets.

The story begins with Dan accompanying his aunt Jacq, to her apartment, which will be his home for the year while his parents are in Geneva. He is on his own and initally struggles to fit in with the typically collegiate lifestyle that Jacq and her roommate have. His unexpected crush on Naomi also adds to his level of discomfort.

What’s interesting are Dan’s attempts to fit in and to seem cool and more mature to impress Namoi. On a picnic lunch in the university gardens, Naomi notices that the trees have been labelled with their scientific names, and mentions that it would be pretty impressive for someone to know them. It’s this that instigates Dan to become an expert in something that would seem intelligent but believable – bird watching.It is during studying the art of bird watching does he learn that birds are named using several versions of brown – 48 in all 🙂
These shades of brown become representative of the types of people and problems in the book.

There is no plot per say..but the book moves at an even pace and is definitely funny. Nick Earls uses metaphors and symbolism heavily and it takes a while to figure out deeper meanings. I truly enjoyed reading this and would recommend it .



Author: Vipula

Before talking about who we are, we’d like to tell you a bit about how and why Shades of Words came into being. It all started with the idea of “A place where we could share with likeminded people about things we enjoy. From books to music to movies to travel; Shades of Words was to be a place about the best of our experiences” We thought about why should anyone read us? The answer was that whatever we review would be a mix of our experience of the thing along with interesting and useful information about it. So in case you are reading us regularly or even checking us out once in a while then we have succeeded in our efforts someway somewhere. Who are we? Known as Kapil Sood and Vipula Gupta, we thought of Shades of Words on one fine Sunday afternoon. Tired of writing interesting RFP’s and project documentation; we decided to give this a shot. Yes! We work in Indian IT industry. Cupid struck us while were innocently slogging together on the highly intricate job of formatting and beautifying documents! And since then, we have been working together to establish Shades of Words as a place that we can claim as ours. (Because buying a house is still years away!) What else? Kapil also writes some blogs which you can read here and here.

2 thoughts on “48 Shades of Brown

  1. Interesting find I must say. Would like to definitely read this if I can find it 🙂

    Its certainly interesting to note that naming convention follows shades of a color too. I suppose a lot of such conventions exist which we dont know of.

  2. Yes…funnily the focus is not so much on the birds themselves…its more about trying to be a more mature and cooler person…trying to learn the ways of the world.
    I will lend this to you when you have time

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