Thursday, October 26, 2017

The palace of illusion By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The palace of illusion By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

This is the story of Mahabharatha retold from Draupdi's perspective. It is well narrated. Lot of small details were discussed which i was not aware of.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Review I Funny: A Middle School Story (I Funny #1) by James Patterson

My rating : 4/5

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Goodread rating :  4.32/5
My rating           :  5/5

The cover of this book will tell you a lot about the life of the character in this book. They all live in a fine balance of hope and the desire. This is story set in India during the emergency years in late 1970's. I will agree, this a very fat book. I felt a strong connection with all the character. As the story started to role my emotion like love, rage, sadness, happiness, grew with them.

After reading 800 pages of this book I thought  all the character should have something good happening in the end. But author sticked to reality and show us, how an unprivileged person in the Indian society remains unhappy in his whole life. That part made me very sad.

The best part of this book is undoubtedly the prime minister speech. Author pictured them so well that I felt I am part of the crowd.  The helicopters, cutout. and the combination of helicopter and cutout. everything was so funny.

There are many things I didn't know about the emergency rule. The most weired one was the child control. I know china went through that for last 3 decades. but never imagined that it happened in India at that large scale.

In the end, this book is a masterpiece from Rohinton Mistry. Thanks to author who showed me another side of this world through his mind.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Review : The Hope Factory: A Novel by Lavanya Sankaran

My rating 2/5
Goodread rating 3.39/5

I was on 100th page of this book and the story looked hopeless. I wanted to give up. Since I have taken the challenge of reading 50 books this year. I picked this book again to give a last try.

The main issue with this book is, author uses very common Indian name for all his main characters. And also he introduces so many new characters with very common name in the subplot. Because of this the whole thing becomes a mess. I usually get lost which character belongs where. I thought Shanta is wife of Anand and Vidya is maid. He could have gone with different name or given a good impressing back story for each character so we can associate the character with some incident.

Gist: This is the story of Anand  a businessman and his maid Kamla a widow. Don't get excited, this is not a love story, this is the story about the struggle they both go through to achieve their dream. This is about, how Anand is muscled by his father-in-law and a politician for buying a 10 acre plot. and how Kamla raises her son through all the hardship.

The other thing irked me was the way authors "high society" people conversation. I have very limited knowledge from the movies and TVs,and i can vouch they don't match with authors depiction.

The two star is for authors true narration of the Indian society. He narrated very well about the political influences on  the businessmen and how election are contested.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rerview : Shiva's Fire by Suzanne Fisher Staples

My rating 3/5
Goodread rating 3.9/5

Shiva is the almighty god who destroy the world in order to rebuilt it. Nataraja is another name for lord Shiva. Nataraja means king (raja) of dance (natahanam). In hindu mythology parvathy is sakti the most powerful woman in the universe.

This book is about a girl named Parvathy. She is born during a strange circumstances. She loses her father on same day. From childhood till adult she has been always outcast for the some reason.  From childhood until adult she never had friends. People always make fun infront/back of her. Including her Aunt and cousins. But she was special. She has special powers. She can talk with animals and play with them. She knew how to dance from the young age. She is a great devotee of Nataraja. How this dance changes her fortune makes the crux of this book.

About the book and the narration is very simple. There was nothing “ah” moment. A simple family drama. Rag to rich story. Narrator didn’t exploit the magical power of Parvathi enough. I never felt how much hardship did Parvathy went through. There was no heart melting moment. There were many loose ends to the side story like we don’t know what happen to Nandhini. Or we never knew how Sathya felt about all his responsibilities,or the story starts with parvathy’s father but his story dies away without any creasing sympathy.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Review : Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Goodread link

To start with the title, It make very little relevance to the story. If you try hard you can connect the song lyrics to the story. In the end, author could have come with a better title.

In a gist, the story is about five people. All of them 'affected by'/'want' sex.

Characters : There are three main character Watanabe, Naoko and Midori. Wantanabe is in love with Naoko and also in love with Midori. Naoko loves Wantanabe. Midori has a boy friend but she is in love with Watanabe. All of them wants to make love. Because of this love triangle they are forbidden to have sex. One thing I don't understand is why can't love be simple.

The best character in the whole book is "Nagasawa" . His anecdote and philosophy are awesome.

Rest off the character are mundane and banal. All the female character in this book are weak and miserable. All of them have lust and desire. Author shows no respect to any of them.

The backdrop of 1960's japan is seldom utilized properly. This story could have set in any decade.

I was telling myself that I shouldn't had read "kafka on the shore" from the same author before I read this book. The later book raised the bar so much that I couldn't stand this dull book.


ps: watch the movie and save the time.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Review : Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut

This is my 9th book of the year. I am giving this 5 out of 5. So it goes.

Reading "Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade" was like riding a roller coaster.The narration is very unique. A non-linear time travel fantasy war book . This is one of a kind. Mind that this book was written in 1969. so it goes.

It starts of with the writer convincing the readers that the theme of this book wont be similar to other war glorifying fictional classics. This is a non-fictional/fantasy/satirical/….. hence you can put this book into many categories. This book is for all generations. The theme of this book is about the fallout of war. It portraits a new evil side of the war. So it goes.

Whenever we Google WW2 , the top hit will definitely mention the holocaust, Nazi, Gestapo, pearl harbor, London bombing, Hiroshima, Axis, Allied, Poland, Communism, East and West Germany, Hitler, Mussolini ,  Panzers, Submarines, spies, Iwo Jima, Inglorious basterds etc . But there is no mention about the friendly fire. No one cared about the idiot who gave the firing order without deliberating. No one discussed the killing of the friendly fire. So it goes.

In this book, we see the war from the eye of a Private who shouldn’t be in the war in first place. He is immature and very emotional. A weakling recruited by US army stuck in the friendly fire zone. I flinch at the thought of what would happen if I  was in that situation. Will I be cursing my own people or I will be praising them after winning the war? His time travel and abduction by aliens. So it goes.

Tralfamadorians, as the author calls the aliens, I like them and their logic about how they see the time. They see time as snapshot and they pick a good snapshot and live in that moment. So it goes.

Author uses “So it goes” phrase many times in this book.  He places them brilliantly whenever there is a  change in scenario, death, comic, satire etc. So it goes.


Review Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Goodreads link

Starting 2014, I set a goal of reading 52 books. “Kafka on the shore” by Haruki Murakami is my 8th book of the year.

The best way to describe this book is to compare with another movie masterpiece “Mullholand drive”. In his screenplay David lynch constantly keep us in the loop of reality and the dream world of Betty Elms. In this book author tries to keep reader in the loop of spiritual and the real world. And he is successful. The whole time while reading the book we are contemplating what are the connections between the characters and their stories.

 According to me the best way to enjoy this book is by having your own interpretation. And my interpretation is this book describes very complex human emotions and relationship.

  1. Nakata : The story of Nakata is that, the person with the most humble heart can be dragged to the dark side. He can be provoked to do evil things.But I don’t believe he attained zen. 
  2. Kafka : The story of Kafka is classic tale about a boy coming of age. Even though he is only 15, he has been introduced to us that he is living in a very complex world of relationship. On top of all this his desire and lust crosses path with his ambiguity over the purpose of his journey. In the end he found out all the answers to his questions, but he will be haunted by the event taking place between him and Miss Saeki.
  3. Miss Saeki : In my opinion is the worst of all characters in this book (At least Johnny Walker has some purpose to kill the cats). She is the one who started the fiasco which ultimately affected all the characters. It took away the childhood from Nakata. The whole book revolve around one selfish act of Miss Saeki. 
  4. Oshima : Oshima is the most humble character in this book. I really liked him. He is trying to prove that there are different kinds of people and they have their own opinion about this metaphysical world. 
  5. Hoshino : Another wonderful character who get enlightened during the journey with Nakata. I really liked the reference of the shoe shinning monk “Everyone is doing the shitty job. It doesn’t matter who is doing where.” 
  6.  Johnnie Walker & Colonel Sanders: I agree with author that both of them are concept. and they are introduced in the book to guide people in good or bad way. One thing i didn’t understand is why Sanders is a pimp. I felt it was a just a stretch or may be to show Hoshino is still not enlightened yet. 
  7.  I do believe there is some connection between stone, Nakata, Kafka and Saeki. It can be spiritual.
  8.  If Nakata remember that he killed Johnny walker then it is clear that kafka didn’t kill his father. 
In end it is an amazing book which leave you thinking about the spirituality and relationship.