Sunday, December 24, 2006

Next - Michael Crichton

This novel is reminiscient of some of crichtons best works (sphere) where he blended a lot of real science with good fiction. However as most of his later works there is a distinct tendency to make the reader aware of issues that face us. The novel is told with a multitud of characters who are loosely related to each other , and a lot of parallel stories unfold each touching on a different aspect of gene research. Should genes be patented? What forms of research are (un)ethical? Can the current laws cope with the science that exists today? Is the commercialization of universities harmful? these are only some of the questions which will get raised when you read the book. Crichton ofcourse has his own opinions and the best part is that he does write them down at the end and lists all his references. The fiction part of the book however suffers a little and is probably not crichtons best. But the book is still quite an engaging read.

Cat o nine tails - Jeffrey Archer

Black Friday-Hussain Zaidi

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Chosen - Mark Millar

A book(well a comic) about the supposed second coming of christ and how we would react to it with a twist. Jodie is a teenage who starts manifesting the same miracles and powers that christ has and starts believing himself to be Jesus Christ reborn. However the ending has something quite different in store for him. A sequel is said to be in the making which will also make for a good read. There are clues scattered throughout the book (it helps if you know latin or your star wars). But the best part of the book is the writer / artist's self interview at the end.
The book does raise some interesting questions and is very well written. Millar and Gross are both in top form here.

American virgin- steven t seagle

Freakonomics - Stephen D Levitt , Stephen Dubner

The devil you know -Mike Carey

My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

In case you didnt know it, there are two london's one above one below. And once you know london below you can never go back to london above. Another very nice gaiman novel , this time dealing with london the city, with events written around its places (some of which i can even identify) and with interesting characters like the marquis de carabas who deals in favors (puss in boots ,i knew it!). The villanous duo was particularly cool and i wouldve thought would have been perfect had this been a comic. Which is why i cant wait to buy carey's adaption of the novel.
The story is sort of been there , beautiful princess ,a quest , villains and a mystery and an unlikely hero . But what sets this book apart is the way London has been used.

The Alchemist -Paulo Coehlo

Supposed to be one of paulo coehlo's best works , which actually doesnt bode well for the rest of his books. A very simplistic book infused with the authors beliefs. The story isnt very interesting at all , though there still are some things that may be learnt from it. There is a sense of optimism that fills the pages which means the author believes everything he has written. Which sort of makes reading the book worthwile.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Patiala Quartet

Another one of the books picked up due to the three factors - indian story, female author, debut book. Such things must be encouraged. if only so that Shobha de's books are drowned out.
Though this book was kinda of mediocre, about 4 people in patiala , but i dont think the story went anywhere leaving with a promise unfulfilled sort of feel to all of it.

American Gods- Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman writes a story about probably what he knows best. Gods of various cultures engaged in a war with each other, a protoganist with a dead wife who watches over him. Lots of interesting tidbits of information (like the origin of easter) and the usual guess why Odin can also be called wednesday.
An engaging story though nowhere near Gaimans best work which in my opinion is found in the comics he writes. Its probably due to the fact that his work in comics has been ground breaking but in the novel world it is merely really good.
Still worth a read, though i saw the end coming

Red Carpet - Lavanya Sankaran

I bought this book because i read its first page and it had a character called ramu who was on the lookout for an arranged marriage and criticised all the prospective candidates so it reminded me of a colleague similarly nicknamed and thought it would be a good prank. Besides it was a debut novel so i selected it.
turns out it was a good choice to make. The stories most of them are pretty good and written reasonably clearly. Theres a mix of stories and we should be expecting more from this lady.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

About a Boy- Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby is fast becoming a writer whose book ill pick up simply because his name is there on the cover. And I have only read two now. About a Boy is the charming tale of a boy named Marcus who is too old for his years and a man named Will who has never grown up. And like the book says , If Will can show Marcus how to be a boy, perhaps Marcus can show Will how to grow up. Endearingly funny , well paced , a must read.

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

A story about betrayal and redemption, that could have been written by any of the bollywood scriptwriters. Full of clichés and coincidences and every trick in the book designed to appeal to your emotions, but breathtakingly written. Especially in the first half of the book where you can feel and identify with the protoganist and see the world through his eyes. However the latter half of the book seems rushed in comparison, as if the author wanted to reach the last scene which he had setup in the first part. But a touching scene nevertheless. This is a story about an afghan boy Amir and his relation with his father and  Hassan, a sort of servant who thinks the world of Amir. But Amir betrays hassan to win the love of his father, and the rest of the book is about how he earns redemption. Intermingled with some Afghan history , but really not using it for anything other than a faint backdrop, the author does capture the story very well. And the book has its coincidences and clichés but it is only coincidence for people who are not afghanis.

False Impression - Jeffrey Archer

It looks like the stint in prison hasn’t worked out for Jeffrey archer, false impression is boring predictable, coincidence ridden and full of two dimensional cardboard characters. It seems to be on the best seller lists though probably due to the authors past glory. The storyline is completely predictable, there is no real twist in the tale. The only humorous part in the whole book is the introduction. The author has served 5 years in the house of commons , 14 years in the house of lords and two in her majesty’s prisons. The rest of the book? Not worth it!