BOOK REVIEW: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

This book is for everyone. It is long, the clever sounding plot, full of characters, each one unique and have their own part to play in the story. Set in mid-nineteenth century, it is one of those books to remember for quite a time. The element of murder mystery which is highly anticipated through out the novel might sound regular to some, but it is the the presentation of the mystery that is extraordinary.

When one starts this book, it has a tendency to grab a reader’s attention from the first chapter. Walter Moody is used as a pawn to unfold the mystery that is set in New Zealand goldfields. Thought him a reader is introduced to twelve sophisticated men who have gathered to discuss a secret in which they are all indulged both directly and indirectly. These twelve men are rare characters and is hard to come across such characters in the modern day novels. You might one or two in books written in eighteenth or nineteenth centuries but so many at one place is a rare thing. The secret they share begins with a hermit who is found dead in his cabin, one of the the richest person in town has disappeared, and a local prostitute is found in the middle of a road completely intoxicated.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton”

Understanding Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest turned twenty this year and a year ago when  I reviewed it, I did mention that, I am quoting myself, Reading INFINITE JEST was a task waiting to be done for quite a long of time.” Indeed it’s a task. Reading any book above thousands pages, is a big task for me. Infinite Jest was first of its kind and one of its kind for me. After it, I had courage to read books like Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Dickens’ Bleak House, the list is a little bit longer than I expected.

Reading a massive novel means that a reader is willing to be attentive to a period of time in which he completes the task of reading that book. In this particular period, the reader’s attention span can be distracted due to daily activities and a thing called life. What tends a reader to read such massive works? (Another question can also be put here: what tends a writer to write such a massive work? But we are leaving the writing part for some time later.) Well, the one major factor I have found in every lengthy book is the start is important. The start of the text, is what will make a reader curious about it and such that the force of curiosity drives the reader to complete the book.

The start of Infinite Jest wasn’t extraordinary but it was enough for one to be engrossed to. Many might not agree, but that is how I felt since I have never read Wallace’s works before and neither had I read that kind of writing style. I seldom think about reading Infinite Jest one more time, however I know the outcome will be again, disappointing. It was the ending that did not work for me. Yes, the ending of any text is as essential as the beginning but it is not in my hands (or yours), to end a book in a way we want. The ending of the book does not at all depends on the few mere pages of what happens when to whom but it actually depends on the structure of the book.The structure of the book is essential to handle the complexity, if there are going to be a 1000 pages, there is going to be some complexity and not just words pen down in abstract manner. The structure of the book must cope with its characters regardless of the writing style of a writer. 

This is what Infinite Jest made me understand.


Which David Foster Wallace book have you read recently/last?

What do you think about massive books?

Check out this link: Five David Foster Wallace Essays You Should Read

BOOK REVIEW: Living on the Volcano by Michael Calvin

The job of a football manager is not as easy at it may sound. The modern day football clubs treat their manages as any other profession, instant hiring, instant firing. Michael Calvin who impressed lover of the sport as well as readers with his book The Nowhere Men which is about scouts and scouting. Well this one is about managers.

The book starts with Arsene Wenger’s forward and then each chapter is based on a different manager in which the does most of the speaking. The book is written in the style of an interview cum recording. Not many interviewerees are big name but surely their experience in the field speaks for itself. Other interviewerees are Mark Hughes who is currently at Stoke City, Garry Monk recently sacked by Swansea City, Roberto Martinez and Brendon Rodgers. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Living on the Volcano by Michael Calvin”

5 SFF Books You Have To Read This Year

The world of science fiction and fantasy is booming and I came across many titles on the internet in the specific genre(s) but only few grabbed my attention.

This Census-Taker by China Miéville

Blurb:  After witnessing a profoundly traumatic event, a boy is left alone in a remote house on a hilltop with his increasingly deranged parent. When a stranger knocks on his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation are over—but by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? Is he the boy’s friend? His enemy? Or something altogether other?

Arcadia by Ian Pears

Blurb: Henry Lytten – a spy turned academic and writer – sits at his desk in Oxford in 1962, dreaming of other worlds. He embarks on the story of Jay, an eleven-year-old boy who has grown up within the embrace of his family in a rural, peaceful world – a kind of Arcadia. But when a supernatural vision causes Jay to question the rules of his world, he is launched on a life-changing journey. Lytten also imagines a different society, highly regulated and dominated by technology, which is trying to master the science of time travel. Meanwhile – in the real world – one of Lytten’s former intelligence colleagues tracks him down for one last assignment. As he and his characters struggle with questions of free will, love, duty and the power of the imagination, Lytten discovers he is not sure how he wants his stories to end, nor even who is imaginary… 

Continue reading “5 SFF Books You Have To Read This Year”

BOOK REVIEW: The Marijuana Project by Brian Laslow

Yes the from title you get a hunch right? The book is about marijuana and no it is not illegal in my country to write about it, consuming might be. I am not here to discuss it, I am here to appreciate Brian Maslow’s The Marijuana Project. This book is altogether something different. Even containing the elements of thriller the because an extremely new breed and considers security(which we all crave for) in-depth.

The Marijuana Project is about Sam Burnett, a security expert who has been hired by a firm that produces medical Marijuana. Sam has one simple job, to establish a secure network and an environment for the employees as well as the product to survive the daily or event based breaches. Due his religious bringing, his conservative views about drug use and if that is not enough, his son’s best friend is killed in an accident and cause is the Marijuana.  Sam finds himself in a moral dilemma and struggles with his own consciousness.

The plot is exciting and is a perfect definition of contemporary, the current, the resembling such a hot topic that mingles human minds all over the planet. The novel is written in thriller type of manner, a sort of mystery. The characterisation of protagonist is well-defined but I did feel some were left in between the development. The in-depth knowledge of security the author has indulged is what earns this book brownie points and is a positive side for a reader to learn something new. It is indeed an impressive point and a great example of what you know best is what you should write about thing. Laslow certainly knows security in and out and that comes from his personal experience. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Marijuana Project by Brian Laslow”

BOOK REVIEW: False Ceilings by Amit Sharma

It is assumed, especially by critics that an author does his research before writing a collection of pages to call it a book itself. This assumption is rewarded in the form gratifying time, entertainment level up to its highest, imagination mingling with words and visualising characters and their peculiarity.  This doesn’t work for everyone in equal terms but that doesn’t mean the assumption has fallen. No, writing is a task, and every writer puts their own effort but due the round nature of earth nothing can be strictly equal.

False Ceiling by Amit Sharma is a story of generations inheriting a secret unknown. The story starts in the mountains of Dalhousie, Shakuntala, a pampered child of a wealthy builder who inherits the secret on her wedding night. She is informed to use it widely at the right time. The series of events occur at new place, in different decade, in different timeline, Shakuntala has her son born and then her grandchildren. The secret is accidentally passed down to her great-grandson after some hundred years who is completely perplexed by it. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: False Ceilings by Amit Sharma”