Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Review: Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So yeah I am finally done with my first read of a Bronte sister book and yay it's Wuthering Heights the name of a house which sees so much through a short period of 50 years or so. The story is mostly told through the flashbacks or recollection by the housekeeper Ellen Dean and in the last part by the tenant Lockwood. So sad to know that it was only novel by Emily Bronte would have loved to read more of her work.

Coming to the next stop in my classic train, we arrive to perhaps few of the most famous literary works in the world. The story though by now many of you would already know this after all this book has more than a million ratings so more than a million people have read it on goodreads and countless over the year who didn't have access to internet or awesome Goodreads . This is as much as a love story as the tale or love so passionate that it destroys multiple families in the heat of it's passion. Or it's about hatred of an anti-hero who sucks the joy out of everyone he touches till everyone is as miserable as he is. This was the original 'An Abundance of Katherines' here are two Katherines a mother and the daughter. Both love stories and oh how can I forget in the second go all were cousins and cousins and cousins. Even Heathcliff was a foster brother or maybe just a servant as they treated him as such. I guess it was the first book to tell the tale of such bright love that it burned everyone it touched and drove the people in love mad and even after they died they roamed around as ghosts, oh yeah there are ghosts in here too, lurking here and there. But it's a love story, it's a hate story, it's literature, it's classic now what it's not is a horror story. Oh but it contains horrors, the horrors of cruelty, horrors of love, horrors of misunderstanding in love, horrors of anger, horrors of passion.

If you don't already know, my consumption of E-books has changed and I mostly listen to them now due to this I am able to finish way more books and it also lands some extra character to the storytelling. Also as is the case with classics this also has introductions and notes explaining the story and book and the life of Bronte sisters. I am just happy that in this current run of my catching of the classics so far I have loved all the ones I have read let's see how far the streak goes or I might just stop it here or move back to Harry Dresden saga after all that poor Wizard for hire has more suffering in his life. But that's the talk for another book.

So yeah it's a classic and has already survived for more than 170 years so already know it's good and good enough to stand the test of time and if like me you missed it so far then remedy that read this masterpiece immediately and then just Keep on Reading .

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Review: Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I generally prefer to read the books by an author from their first book if I can help it but for Gillian Flynn I have literally done the exact opposite. I read 'Gone Girl' first then the 'Dark Places' and finally now this and this was also in the service of to be able to watch the TV series based on this book. Now let's come back to this book. So let's begin with the summary:

Our heroine Camille is a reporter in chicago and has to return to her hometown to cover a murder and abduction of another girl and it soons turn into a serial killer case and Camille has to deal with her toxic family along with all the people she knew way back and try to find the truth or does she want to?

This was a disturbing book and I have always loved the twisted imagination the author brings to her female characters and to the family dimensions. I for one wasn't able to figure out the actual murderer well sorta but the killer somehow never came into my focus I don't know why and now if I ever re-read this I would see the signs but again this is nicely written thriller where acquaintances doesn't mean much and in a town of 2000 odd people gossips reign supreme. And yeah Camille also liked to cut her and carve words on her body hence the title of the book. For She craves sharp objects to cut herself once more but her family is really toxic with worst family members.

Now I am prepared to watch the series with the smug feeling that I know the story and would compare the scenes with the book. This is my usual pattern now where if some movie or series is based on a book then I will read the book before watching the adaptation, such fun.

So yeah this is wonderful debut book by the author of Gone Girl and if you read that you already know how wonderfully twisted Gillian's mind works so then pick and read and then just Keep on Reading.

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having seen the movie a long way back and loving it, I was excited to read this book and finally got around to seeing the movie after founding myself in a run of reading list which contains classics and Top 100 books to read. So yeah I was finally got around to reading it and my oh my how it was. So thinking of movie if followed the book almost page to page and was a very faithful adaptation so yay to that.

The story is set in a mental institution like most of us already know through the movie or having read the book and is told through the viewpoint of Chief Bromden a gigantic half-Native American who is an inmate who is playing deaf and dumb to be passing his time and all inmates are under the thumb of the head nurse Ratched who is tyrannical figure in the asylum.

All is shaken up after the arrival of a new member McMurphy who may or may not be crazy but his upbeat behavior brings a spell of improvement in the life of the inmates. Since the book is told through Chief who himself is mental patient his narration is flaked out with unreliable details but this book is remarkable and funny and sad and unreliable and very reliable narrative set in the asylum and we learn about the lives of the members staying there and I so hate Nurse Ratched that I can sparsely speak or even type and that's why this review got delayed while I allowed the hate to brew and rise up and it still wasn't enough. The movie villain was hateable and oh boy did I hate her but reading about her ugh I can't even. Well let it be the end of it then.

So yeah watch the movie, read the book both are wonderful thankfully and remember to just Keep on Reading.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Review: Brave New World

Brave New World Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wowee what a terrifying future and to think that it still feels plausible and this book will complete 100 years in just few more years. This book like most of you already know imagines in a future society which has eliminated happiness, religion, education and people just produced for different tasks. In this "Utopia" comes a "Savage" a person from natural reserves they keep and questions and challenges their believes and society.

The start of the book is very dry and technical but I guess that was necessary to show the supposed progress and also to show the dry world. I loved it and I am happy that at least this current batch of classics is going great for me and I am liking all these books let's see how high the streak goes. So far it feels good. Another thing I noticed is that because it was a sci-fi book it doesn't feel dated. As helicopters might have been futuristic for 1932 but I can still a modified model of it being used in the future too. So awesome work and no wonder it's so highly regarded and I am better of by reading it.

So yes do pick this up too and see how far things can go in the future and then just Keep on Reading.

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Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have suddenly found myself going through the classics and also the list of 100 books to read before yada yada yada! So after Romeo and Juliet I found myself reading this and loved it. And it was funny to see Romeo and Juliet performed in this book having just reading it prior to this book. Since it's been more than 100 years that the book was published and due to the movies. Almost everybody knows about the plot. There's a picture and somehow it takes the brunt of times and actions but our hero remains as he was when the picture was painted.

It was fun reading the way Dorian falls deeper and deeper in ways to try to see the limits of what he can get away with. And what lengths does he fall to. It was definitely fun and like somebody already said that for a novel printed more than 100 years ago some parts surprisingly held up. And it was fun to read about all the different ideas and suggestions thrown around and as it was mentioned in the introduction now with our updated brains the homoerotic theme can easily be judged and found.

As a character study it is good and fun to read, though some parts are just a list of different trees, jewels and poisons etc. And it goes on where it would delve into related but boring stuff but mostly and as a whole this was fun and like always it's easy to see how it survived all these years. I am just mostly happy that I got to read this when I did and now I can mark it off the all time read list.

For all the readers trying to read this yes you can pick it and read it and do so as soon as possible and then just Keep on Reading.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Review: Empire of Blood

Empire of Blood Empire of Blood by Arjun Raj Gaind
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was another original graphic novel from the house of Graphic India and like I said before it is good to see the artists and companies trying to do something original for a change and with this movement we would finally see the medium of Graphic Novel increasing as a storytelling device rather than being viewed as just comics for adults.

Now coming to the book, this is drawn beautifully in monochrome like sephia but with red. Story of this may be from a storyline is some series like The Twilight Zone. This is topsy turvy world where England was able to beat everything in the world war and is now ruling most of the world with blood. it has been often said that the British Empire bled India dry in here that is done literally as the Empire uses the blood for some nefarious purpose.

The story moves quickly enough what with 4 issues in the original run and it was fine just a slight new polish on the What If model of storytelling, we have mostly seen the scenarios where Nazis win the war and here a losing England wins the war with a miracle potion called Aqua Vitae. What is the miracle potion nobody knows but the new World is terrible and racist than ever before. So naturally our hero is a Britisher and has to fall in love with an Indian girl so yeah it's like movie or a TV series but done good enough.

Nice graphic novel and like I said earlier it's nice to see something new tried. So do give the support to the writers and publishers and read the damn thing so that more effort can be put in the future titles, so read and read and just Keep on Reading.

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Review: Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”

Oh Westworld you nicked it from here and I remember it as your line now :P so the version of Romeo and Juliet I read was so decked full of information about Shakespeare and different versions of Romeo and Juliet. I loved the poems didn't like the play that much because there have been better movie adaptations and I must have seen more than 10 movies both in English and Hindi adapted from this classic. The story might be from 1600s but sadly in India you can still see if happening in so many places.

"Oh young love you shall ever burn with the fires brighter than the sun itself" (My quote)

And I see why it and more Shakespeare stuff has survived the time and I shall try to read and enjoy more of his classics but my re-reading or actually first actual reading of the play and like most of the classics which have been adapted countless times the original comes away lacking in some way especially which you consider the performances in all those movies and adaptations and there has to be said something about the fact as well that a play should be enjoyed in performance and not in reading but sadly reading is I shall be doing with other Shakespeare works because theatre production of Shakespeare is something which I don't see frequently. Though I remember seeing one adaptation of 'Othello' in theatre and it was great.

Well it's a love story nay it's a war story nay it's a tragedy and one for the ages for though the entire thing was stupid it was something which endured and that is something indeed. So yeah it's worth giving time to and cherished and while I go ahead and try to pursue other classics you should pick it and then just Keep on Reading.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Review: Dead Beat

Dead Beat Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In his seventh adventure, Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard comes up against several necromancers whom are all powerful than him and he has to take all the help to overcome this threat or else there would be multiple people will die and yeah Murphy is out of action this time enjoying holiday in Hawaii.

Poor Harry he wants to do good but no good deed goes unpunished so it happens to him and he finds himself facing one of his toughest challenge yet and so many times coming just short of losing his life for fighting for the cause he believes in. Harry Dresden's saga continue and it is as strong as ever and as wonderful a read even in the seventh go and this is clearly the reason why the series is so popular. I have read seven books continuously in this series and now would be taking a short break from the series coming back to it later.

Harry is supported this time by Butters a medical examiner who works in a morgue and Thomas his brother who is a white court vampire. Once more Harry was in one peril after another with no help and he is chased by a fallen angel too who wants to help him as she says but Harry is not ready to believe or succumb to her. Oh well it's also fine and then there were Billy and his gang and Harry has to keep them away to keep them safe.

So yeah then do pick this book or start the series just once you do just Keep on Reading.

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Review: A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport

A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British SportA Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport by Ramachandra GuhaMy rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was wow, this was awesome, this was little bit slow but that's for the par for a book on history. This book is wonderful and I didn't even know about it till I get to know about it, funny how things can be. This is a history of cricket in India and it gave so much unknown information that it was informative and eye-opening. I hate that we don't care about history, I hate it that Palwankar Baloo is still not a well known name and thankfully it's changing a bit and Baloo has some information available on net.

But this book's narrations goes before and after Baloo and tells us the beginnings and progress of game in India. Maybe because I am not a big reader of history or maybe I am not old enough and maybe because I am not from Mumbai but I had no idea about the most famous cricket tournament in India before independence, but I guess considering we don't focus on history as much as we should as Indians, it's not surprising.

Well at least it will be changing for me, for i know have read this book, read it slowly but surely and I already have lot of history books by Mr. Guha and other writers and hope to put my ignorance about history of India to a level where it's less ignorant but till then let's hope that more people get to know about this book and they also read after all almost everyone is a cricketer in India and that too All-Rounder.

So yes very big recommendations to pick this book if you love cricket, you would be surprised by the history of the sport in India and then just Keep on Reading .

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