Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In which I eat my words

This is a picture of me eating my words.

So I recently read a book. Its a little book of short stories called 'The Habit of Love' by an author called Namita Gokhale. And its terribly hard for me to admit; I liked it.

To get over this, I watched 'Almost Famous'. And no, I didn't like it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why I don't read indian authors

I confess, I am not a big fan of Indian writing in English.

I once tried to analyse why. I read to escape reality, not to face it. Indian fiction makes me strangely uncomfortable, for instance Arvind Adiga's 'White Tiger' made me queasy.

Similarly, I didn't finish 'God of Small Things', it seemed incestous and therefore, unpleasant. I started off by enjoying 'Field of Poppies' but was traumatised by a scene in which a man has sex with a horse.

I see poverty, hunger, violence, abuse around me on a regular basis. And in many cases, I am helpless and can't do anything about it. Do I need to be reminded about it in my books? No thanks.

Let me curl up with my book containing light hearted characters and happy endings. I don't need any more stress in my life.

On the other hand, books like 'Five Point Someone', 'Only for you Ma'am' etc. annoy the hell out of me and I don't want to put myself  through that either!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Books I am reading

High Fidelity
This is a story of a thirty-five year old guy whose girlfriend breaks up with him. If I am annoyed, I would say this book is about nothing, if I am in a good mood, I will say that its a story about a turning point in your life. Where you doubt everything about yourself; you wonder if your life amounts to anything at all.
Basically, this is the story of Rob, a music-obssessed record-store owner whose lawyer girl friend breaks up with him. The plot traces his sadness over the break-up, his short fling with an American singer, and his relationship with his employees at his faltering record-store. The book is well-written in the sense, that while you can't identify with Rob, you get  him. You empathise with him, and in my case, kind of have a crush on him.

Hunger Games
This was a much hyped book, and I was reluctant to read it. I loathed the Twilight series and the Vampire Diaries series with a vengence. I can't believe that such utter horrible writing exists, and is actually popular.
Anyway, (taking a deep calming breath) Hunger Games had me pleasantly surprised. I loved it. I adored it. It was a fine piece of writing, with a heroine who can actually take care of herself, as well as others. It's well-constructed, gripping, and draws you in.
This is the story of Karniss, who lives in District 12 of a repressed society ruled by the tyrranical Capitol. Every year, two "tributes", one girl and one boy under the age of 18 are forced to fight in the reality show like Hunger Games. The twenty-four participants, two from each district, fight each other to death. The last survivor is showered with gifts and money and lives a life of luxury.
I can't wait to watch the movie, and just to clarify, I am Team Gale!!

The Immortals of Meluha
I am glad this book is borrowed, and that I didn't spend money on it. But someone else did, and I feel for that person. Apart from the mildly interesting book cover, there is nothing about this book which appeals to me.
Imagine, if Ramanand Sagar wrote a book about Shiva. That's how this book is like.
The author definitely knows his dictionary well. Infact, I am sure he got a full score in the verbal section of his GRE and GMAT exams.
This is supposed to be a modern retelling of the story of Shiva. But none of the characters are well written. You see the hard work that has gone into researching that book, the historical fact-checking and meticulous plot-line. But it somehow remains blah. Everything about Ram-rajya is glorified, even the fact that babies are separated from their families, and that there is a caste-system firmly in place. Everyone is too happy, there is no discontent. There are 'evil' Chandravanshis, but their 'cruelty' is unconvincing. Shiva is supposed to be the saviour(from what?), but he somehow reminds me of Shahrukh Khan trying to play a village bumpkin.
When I picked the book, I thought this would be a refreshingly modern look at Shiva. But here Shiva is 'modernised' by giving him dialogues like 'Shit! Why did I say that' and 'What is the big deal about my blessed blue throat' which only makes it tacky, not modern.
I am so disappointed in this book that I have abandoned it half-way.