snippets of book-reviews

Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie

ACTUALLY A OLD REVIEW I WROTE FOR MY BLOG (11.10.2005)

An engagingly enough and haunting narration of how one person can make a difference in someone’s life.

What does it mean to love someone? What does it mean to watch someone grow up before your eyes? or what does it mean to grow up with someone? Can one person mean so much in life? or for that matter Can one person change your life? There are some books that sneak right away into you, which can be there always with you, for you, to pour its meaning into you, when you are at cross-roads.

It is a story of a professor stricken with ALS, a neurological disease with no cause and cure. A professor who chose to come to terms with his imminent death. It is a chronicle of his tuesdays spent with a student. A student with whom, he could relate his very growing up days. His last classes with discussion about the truths of life, death, fear, love, society, regrets, marriage, family, aging, regrets, money, emotion, culture and a meaningful life.

It was an accident that I chose this book, one lazy noon with nothing to do, visited a nearby book exhibition, took it by the mere attraction of the title. Never Knew that I wouldn’t be the same person anymore. I cried along with Mitch and fought back my tears to keep reading. I cried for Morrie, Morrie’s family and friends, I cried for me, I Cried for my Teacher…..

Have you really had that someone? or were you ever been that someone to anyone?

 Cobalt Blue
Cobalt Blue
In a time, where sexuality and freedom of sexual choice been talked over and over again, here is a book that talks in subtlety and overtly under-tones. It is not a typical tale of an adolescent coming to terms with his sexuality or that of a girl learning to cope up with her first heart-break in life.
The setting of the story in a claustrophobic middle class family with three siblings, where the daughter and the youngest son falls for the mysterious paying guest forms the backdrop of the novel.Intriguing a read and subtly disturbing; It does raise a lot of pertinent questions about the familial space and relationships that function within this important social unit.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

The Kind of book that I sat two days and two nights, with nothing else doing to find out the ending.

A brilliant literary suspense. It is primarily the story about two friends, one a successful writer and the other an aspiring writer. The story is told by the aspiring writer who arrives in the small town of somerset to investigate about the murder of a young Nola thirty three years ago. with each turn of page, more suspense is built and more secrets and mysteries over the missing girl gets unraveled.

 

Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers
Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers
I have never run bookless in my entire life, yet I had the misfortune of reading this book, Had Woody Allen known this book, he would have definitely called it, significantly over-rated. Though in the preface, the gentleman of a writer Shashi Tharoor says “Though I have reviewed many books, including several Indian Novels, I have not included any of my book reviews in this collection. Rather this Volume seeks to assemble my ruminations on aspects of the literary experiences that go beyond any single book.” It is just an accident and the readers’ misfortune that the single book beyond which he couldn’t go is THE GREAT INDIAN NOVEL penned by yours Truly Shashi Tharoor

A glib of writer he is and every other instance he draws reference to his great scholarly and literary work The Great Indian Novel. His great desire to compare and contrast himself with Salman Rushdie alone two chapters; though he could have done it more convincing by being more self-indulgent.
It is more of him and him in every circumstance and less of ruminations about book!

Though I have to admit that there are certain chapters which thoroughly bowled me over! Can try! Nevertheless a good read

 
84, Charing Cross Road
84, Charing Cross Road
Started this book on an early lazy Sunday morning, a short read on a single sitting of three hours. A brilliant read, bringing back the magic of two lost art, Reading and Letter-writing, For someone who firmly believes that life takes you to the best people and best books, this is a greater testimony to my belief,

In a world mediated by mobile phones, internet, communication and the latest Jio-hyped-free data, it is a blessing, relief to know and to be assured that deep friendships take years to built and never in the era of blue ticks of sent items. I insist every reader to read, to know and to be lost in the thoughts of two different souls, and to see the beautiful unfolding of kindness and friendship.

Helena’s quirky personality and the ‘polite British reserve’ Frank’s blend of the personal and the professional attitude add life to their letters, be it the books, family or any odd things they talk about, they pour a bit of their candid selves into these letters.

Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the shore is one of the strangest books i’ve read. A journey that stretches itself onto the realms of magic as the reader approaches it. The story is narrated from different perspectives of  Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old boy who runs away from home to escape an oedipal prophecy and thereby making it true and then the story of Nakata, an old man who gained the ability to talk to cats after an incident in his childhood.


This entire book reads like a fine collage of  intense vignettes of unrelated dreamy scenes and poignant conversations. A meandering dreamlike tone drives the entire reading experience. A surrealistic “Kafka-esque” thread runs all along the narrative tying the loose ends, before the book ends. One can sense an intentional ambiguity in the very narrative and the plot. At times, it takes a toll on the reader to make connections every now and then, that said, it ain’t an easy read.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)
Apprehensively started reading this book, on a slight intrigue by the title. A Novel that refuses to be coming off age, yet predictable at times. Nevertheless a good read! Something that grows on you, if you have had a friend, with whom you grew up on your teen years. A poignant tale of love, friendship and family and how these three entities can affect the eternity of lives

On Chesil Beach

 On Chesil Beach

“They were young, educated, and both virgins on this, their wedding night, and they lived in a time when a conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible. But it is never easy.”

In a lot of ways, this still happens to be my first read of Ian McEwan. I could only feel a little bleak knowing how the entire course of a life can be changed by a single event in one’s life. Ian beautifully captures the thousand subtle emotions of two different individuals on their nuptial night. The entire novella revolves thoroughly around a number of seamless fragments of flashbacks and memories of Edward and Florence’s lives.

Powerfully through his brevity, the author captures these characters’trivial memories and tidbits of their everyday lives, hopes, dreams,disappointments and how one night that change everything.

The Signature of All Things

The Signature of All Things

A Fine achievement of history, science and storytelling. A tale complete in itself that I did feel like my world ceased to exist after Reading

Youth

Youth

This is the third of my coetzee’s book. somehow it was a drag right from the beginning, yet I managed to read to be drained. This narrative is painted with despair and the frustration that becomes the tryst of every day life. The wry observation of the hopelessness that one feels, wading through the alien streets of a different world in one’s youth is beautifully captured. Personally I could NT relate to the author and waited to finish off the book. May be, I read it in the wrong phase/time of life, nevertheless this is definitely not the best of his books or shouldn’t be the first of coetzee’s for one to start with.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Depressingly funny!
Rather Funny and Depressing at the same time in different ways; absurdly philosophical and intricately subtle. An easy read though it leaves you a bit heavy towards the end

The Mirage: A Modern Arabic Novel

The Mirage: A Modern Arabic Novel

A Poignant tale about love, betrayal and family. The sketch of an overprotective mother and the nuanced observations of the conflict and working of the mind of an overtly shy individual makes this writing a brilliant psychological portraiture. The novel leaves you feeling a bit disoriented. A wonderful story teller from Egypt. Thanks Rohit for introducing this wonderful writer 🙂
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