Thursday, December 30, 2010
Book: The God Of Small Things
Author: Arundhati Roy
"Beautifully Haunting, Hauntingly Beautiful"
The book is impressive in the number of stories it unfolds, the range of their indepth tales.
The book will be a difficult read to someone not raised in India. The advertisements, the products, the Mahabharata, the viciousness of caste-based politics, etc will not register in a foreigner’s mind so easily.
It will be a difficult read for paperback readers who need sequence and explicit clarity. This book revolves around real people of a fictional realm. And they haunt its pages randomly. Without care for sequential unfolding of their life’s drama.
Every character is elaborated upon, discovered and illustrated. The story is at times desiring reader’s effort and patience. Take in the story as it comes without fighting its unique layout and you would enjoy reading it. Not a must-read. But recommended. Not an “untouchable” book. But deeply touching.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Novel: The Associate
Author: John Grisham
"The Tedious Job"
The premise is set in the back cover itself. Blackmail to intimidate and coerce. What is an honest man to do in such a situation? The premise takes off well in the initial chapters. Then on the story is engaging intermittently but not the kind of thrill promised in the cover. The characters are believable, especially so because Grisham delves deeper than surface introductions. The characters have a life and we get to read about it. This pulls us deeper into the story and adds dramatic storytelling.
Yet for all this the thrill of the plot is disappointing as it progresses. The bad guys are forever in the shadows and the good guys are chasing shadows.
The end was disappointing to me as it leaves the protagonist’s future with a question mark. The suggestion of some possible organization more secretive and powerful than FBI & CIA & NSA is also unconvincing in its presentation. It’s a readable fast read. Pick it up if you love Grisham’s stories about lawyers. And if you are new to it, it’s still a fair novel for killing time as you go through the protagonist’s life from January to December.
In the end the tedious job of Kyle in New York is tedious to read about for us.