Asian Writers

June is dedicated to authors with ASIAN of books in this category will be posted all month....

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Life is Elsewhere

Author Milan Kundera
Rating - * * 1/2*
[This book is available for book swap]

This is my second attempt at finishing this book, the first one being three years before. But this time around, unlike the first one I have completed the book and yes I have to concede that many a times it was a test of my will.

Is the book that bad? is the next obvious question. And the answer is - it depends ( a typical consultant answer anywhere in the globe) I will like to cite an example in this case to elucidate on my point. The book - My Name is Red, by Orhan Phamuk, a nobel prize winner no less is a book I loathe to the core. And I have had strong protests on denouncing this book. But the fact remains that this book nor Life is Elsewhere is a typical fiction work that flows in a charmed, seamless manner that keeps you gripped.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rotten Weekend, Unexpected Win

Its been a horrible weekend on a personal front and on the book front as well.

I picked up "Life is Elsewhere", but it is such a tedious read, with pages and pages being devoted to the character build up of Jaromil (the main protagonist) and all leading to no where. I am dubious what reactions this book is going to provoke once I am done reading it (hopefully). Currently, I am walking the thin line of figuring out if the book is pure genius or absolute abject writing.

But I am not giving up this time around, allthough I have finished the letter L - Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kid -  already [ for those who find this cryptic, refer to my challenges] and bizzare as it may seem, I forgot this fact completely (bah) not once but twice (first time when I spend days trying to finish Losing My Virginity)!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Master and Margarita

Author - Mikhail Bulgakov

Rating - * * * *

It’s unlike anything I have ever read before - A heady mix of good and evil that leaves you disoriented and wishing for more. 

What is the book about

I will start with a confession – there are certain events mentioned or quoted which I had no idea about [and still don’t!] and in all probability the impact of such references was lost on me. So perhaps once I re-read it again [this is starred for a re-read] I will appreciate the book in a holistic manner.
There are three threads running in this book – Pontius Pilate [I didn’t know about him till I picked up the book and then did a Wikipedia on it] and his agonized battle with self after he sentences Jesus to death, Master and Margarita’s love story and on whom the book is surprisingly named after and the one that takes up maximum of the book space – the Devil along with his entourage as they break havoc in Moscow.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The White Tiger

* * *
Author - Arvind Adiga

For as long as I can remember, we had a driver and later on two drivers to ensure 24 hours availability. This is a perk one enjoys if your father happens to be in the upper management of a public sector unit in India – even if the car is an ambassador. Later on when I got my own car but didn’t gain enough courage to drive on the chaotic roads of Hyderabad, I had a driver to ensure that I reached my destination safely.
But, no memory of mine has any resemblance to the atrocities meted by the White Tiger’s master and his family members. In fact it was quite different. They were treated with a lot of respect, it was ensured that they were not called upon odd hours or made to do long hours of duty, and even though they no longer serve my dad in the capacity of drivers, they do stop by frequently just as an acquaintance.
As for the driver that I had, well, he borrowed five thousand from me and I never saw him again.