Friday, May 06, 2005

Bookless in Baghdad - Shashi Tharoor

"Show me a writer without an ego , and Ill show you a good actor" - Shashi Tharoor
While reading this book , Tharoors writings on various topics connected with book's , you can definitely tell that the writer has an ego and a big one at that. However this does not take away from the fact that most of the essays are eminently readable, witty in part, preachy in others.
A lot of the space is dedicated to tharoor's own work , which in my opinion is a good thing. I have always been fascinated by the thought process that an author goes through and the reasons for writing things in the way he has. On the other hand its amusing when Tharoor begins an essay on Rushdie, quotes his words on India and then proceeds for the next 10 pages to dicsuss India and his motiviations for The Great Indian Novel. In fact the Great Indian Novel almost always finds its way into Tharoors essays. I think the author hasn't gotten over the fact that he had hit upon a brilliant idea and feels the need to explain it at every instance.
But you do nuggets of information (like why the Jalianwala Bagh massacre was renamed the bibigarh massacre). The snappy comebacks (like the one's for Shobha de when she disparaged Show Business).
Its also nice to note that while young Tharoor and I read mainly the same books and had the same tastes and its only later that you choice of books seem to have diverged.
But a person who is so fond of P.G. Wodehouse cant be all that bad.

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