Once again, I am offering you a number of books I enjoyed reading last year in a broader sense of a genre: Fiction.
Stoner by John Williams
A fascinating, fast, elegant read. William Stoner and we all have something in common.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Milan Kundera certainly knows how to write. Set against the Russian invasion Czechoslovakia, it is the story of characters as real as you are. It starts with a philosophical discussion considering the lightness and heaviness of oneself in human form, the coincidences through which paths of two different human beings cross with each other and then moves on to discuss the recursive nature of life and form, and how we intend to give meaning to things that are meaningless yet only meaningful in our heads. Once we find meaning, “we find only an unbearable weightlessness.”
Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth by Hermann Hesse
Emil Sinclair is a young boy raised in a bourgeois home, amidst what is described as a Scheinwelt, a play on words that means “world of light” as well as “world of illusion”. Emil’s entire existence can be summarized as a struggle between two worlds: the show world of illusion and the real world.
Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin
Rebus is back. And he’s not getting old, age seem just a number for him and his creator, Ian Rankin. He’s 21 books old now. Rather Be The Devil is the new entitlement released on November, 3rd. Rebus is into his retirement for almost a couple of years now. But curiosity is a disease and when one’s neurone start sending the type of electrical signals, the giant awakens. What I like about this book the most is the characterisation in this novel is mature enough. Accurate.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world – and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor – and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
Most of the times when you see a book, you read its blurb at the back of the cover and then only few remains in your memory. Until you go to a deep sleep or you pick the book and start reading it. That’s what happened with me when I took William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury in my hands.The title of the novel is taken from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, act 5 scene 5. It’s a tragedy. Also, this book is a remarkable example of experimenting with the voice of narration and a unique narrative technique known as the Stream of Consciousness.
Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
One thing I have observed about science fiction is that when a Japanese writer writes it, expresses out very naturally in terms of words and plot. This is a perfect example. Tracking one man’s descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy.
Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
My year doesn’t get complete if I don’t read classics. Though I have deliberately failed this year to read them. Sons and Lovers remain the very few one of the genre that I have read this year and enjoyed it.
Oedipus the King by Sophocles
You have to read this, for many things. One is the story and second are the evergreen characters. Considered by many the greatest of the classic Greek tragedies, Oedipus Rex is Sophocles’ finest play and a work of extraordinary power and resonance. Aristotle considered it a masterpiece of dramatic construction and refers to it frequently in the Poetics. It’s a tragedy of King Oedipus in which he discovers he has inadvertently killed his father and married his mother, the play exhibits near-perfect harmony of character and action.
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