Reviews roundup: Meet Me in the Bathroom; Eureka; What We Lose

The Strokes – New York’s finest – in January 2006.
 The Strokes – New York’s finest – in January 2006. Photograph: Stephen Lovekin/WireImage

“Every scene needs a chronicler like Lizzy Goodman,” was Jim Carroll’s wholehearted recommendation, in the Irish Times, of Lizzy Goodman’s Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011. The book is “a meaty oral history”, “a wild read” and “strikes all the right notes. As oral histories go, this is one of the very best.” In the Observer, former music journalist Barbara Ellen admired Goodman’s ability “to marshal a veritable army of interviewees who’re not only prepared to talk, but also to gossip, muse, digress, ramble, even bitch and fume, to build the most accurate picture”, making the book “beautifully paced, vivid, informative and compelling”. For the Sunday Times’s Lise Verrico, it was exhaustive at more than 600 pages, and “full of colourful characters, catty comments and incredible candour”.

Anthony Quinn’s novel Eureka also looks back at a swinging time, in this case London in the 1960s, with characters including acid casualty screenwriter Nat Fane. It is part three of a “loosely linked and hugely enjoyable trilogy”, explained Peter Stanford in the Observer, but “works just as well as a standalone”. Stanford found mysteries, wit and entertainment aplenty, but reassured readers: “If Eurekais beginning to sound too clever by half, rather like a 60s counterculture film, what brings it all delightfully together is Quinn’s flawless, easy-going prose. He never once puts a foot wrong either in the wealth of period detail or in giving each well-drawn character their distinctive voice. Clever, certainly, but in just the right measure.” The Mail on Sunday’s Hephzibah Anderson described it as a “pleasingly melancholic romp [which] gallivants towards a dark mystery”, and the Times’s Siobhain Murphy decided that “Quinn’s immersive approach to his historical fiction means we’re soon woozy with the sounds and sights of that significant year”. Not the Daily Mail’s John Harding, though. “[The 60s] are unconvincingly evoked here, with pop music limited to the Beatles and references to Mr Fish fashion and hula hoops feeling tacked on,” he wrote. “The book is padded out with excerpts from Nat’s film script. Let’s hope it never gets made – it’s as flimsy as a go-go dancer’s miniskirt.”

Critics were also divided over the debut novel by Zinzi Clemmons, What We Lose, about a light-skinned black woman living in the US. “Luminescent,” raved Lucy Scholes in the Independent. “Sometimes fierce and angry, other times quiet and tender, it’s a story about identity organised around [a] central, momentous loss – that of a parent – that expands and contracts, as with the beating of a heart, to encompass meditations on race, sex and love … Intelligently and impressively conceived, and beautifully told.” “A memoir trying hard to pass itself off as fiction,” complained Claire Allfree in the Daily Mail. “Clemmons, who shares a lot of biography with her narrator, has a bracingly clear-eyed view on racial politics and the psychological dissonance of living between two cultures, and the tension between her steady prose and turbulent emotions is beautifully sustained. Yet I found it frustrating … Clemmons has yet to make this territory her own.” But the Sunday Times’s Phil Baker was impressed, on balance, finding that “sometimes the result feels like a struggle between grief and pretentiousness, but the frankness and intelligence of the writing win out”.


Eureka Forbes eyes 33% revenue from vacuum cleaners by 2014

Home appliances maker Eureka Forbes on Monday said it is targeting one-third of its revenues from the vacuum cleaner business by the turn of 2014.

“The vacuum cleaner business currently contributes to 25 percent of our revenues. We would like that to grow to 33 percent by 2014, because that is definitely a thrust area for our business,” Eureka Forbes Chief Executive Officer for Direct Sales and Senior Marketing Vice-president Marzin R Shroff told reporters.

Last year, the company, which also markets water purifiers under the Aquaguard and Aquasure brands, air purifiers, home security systems among others, had posted a gross turnover of Rs 1,250 crore.

Eureka Forbes, earlier a joint venture between the Forbes Group and Electrolux of Sweden, started the concept of door-to-door selling in 1982.

Shroff said the firm will continue to Indianise vacuum cleaners to suit the needs of customers and create accessories that are useful for the domestic market.

“We have evolved heavily around the technology curve around this,” he said.

The company currently sells 16 brands in the vacuum cleaner segment, including a robotic one, Euroclean Robocleanz, which cleans the dust on its own.

A part of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, the company will launch two new products in the category that includes a silent vacuum cleaner.

“Next month, we will be launching a global vacuum cleaner that we have been working with our global counterpart. We have been working on this initiative for over four years now. It will be the most silent vacuum cleaner in the world.

“It is called the EuroClean IQ and it senses the level of dust and automatically powers up or powers down,” Shroff said adding it will be priced at Rs 19,999. Shroff further said they would also be launching a 5-in-1 vacuum cleaner by September-end at Rs 25,000.

“It is a dry vacuum cleaner, a wet vacuum cleaner, steam cleaner and extractor, shampooer and a blower,” he added.

According to industry estimates, the domestic vacuum cleaner market is around Rs 250 crore and Eureka Forbes claims to enjoy a market share of almost 90 per cent of this. Last month the company had said it would enter the packaged drinking water market by next year.

The company had said it would sell the product under the brand name of AquaSure, in 20 litres and one litre bottles, but has not divulged the prices.

Eureka Forbes, which started the direct selling concept in the country, claims to have 52 percent market share in the Rs 1,500 crore water purifier segment, with Aquaguard and AquaSure brands.

The bottled water segment is estimated to be worth Rs 3,000 crore and  is clipping at  25 percent annually. Eureka Forbes has already set up franchised operations for packaged drinking water in Andhra, and plans to enter Andhra, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat in a phased manner in the next four to six months.


[Source: Zee news]