Book Reviews, Books, Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: All That Man is by David Szalay

Published: April 2016 by Vintage

Pages: 448, Kindle Edition

Cover Rating: 5/5

Listed for THE 2016 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

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Over 400 pages, in David Szalay’s latest book, All That Man is, you get to vivisect the man part of our species by dwelling into nine different stories that are equivalent to nine different specimens of the male gender. Each man is younger than the next one and are away from home in a country in Europe. In one interview to a magazine, David told that he wanted to entitle the book Europa.

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5 Stars, Book Reviews, Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Thrillers

BOOK REVIEW: 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. When I heard earlier this year that Ian Rankin has rejected to my request for an interview with for a third time in three years, I thought, ‘Oh Boy! Either I am a pretty bad interviewer or he’s upto something really good. Probably a new Rebus novel. I’ll take that gladly, sir.’

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. Mind gets to work and pulls bits and pieces out of the back of itself. It happens to humans, generally. Nonetheless, Rebus breathe and lives to the extent you can almost smell the cigarette he’s been smoking, but not this time, anyway.

So now you know the process, Rebus mind draws his conscious attention to a cold case from 1970s involving a murder of a female socialite in one of the Edinburgh’s luxurious hotels. An unturned stone for over forty years, and no one was found guilty. Lacking hobbies in his sixties, Rebus, starts up a personal investigation with series of meetings with some old frenemies like Big Ger Cafferty and an ex-cop. Things have already begin to turn nasty in Edinburgh when both DI Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox come across each other once again despite their lack of communication over time to look into those nastier things themselves. Local crime boss and entrepreneur is hurt. Money problems, shell companies, skeletons in the closet and a dangerous mobster hovering over the city of Edinburgh.

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Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Reviews

Crime and Punishment and Redemption

Redemption. We all seek redemption. Most of us are seeking it from our past self for an idealistic future self in various forms. Writing Crime and Punishment for Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a creative redemption from his past and some of his brother, originally titled The Drunkards. Dostoyevsky became fond of this project and rewrote a version of it from scratch, that we take in our hands today and proudly read.

From the start of the novel, the author accomplishes to decipher that the protagonist, Raskolnikov, is tortured by his own thoughts. A student, as many, poverty-stricken, plans an instantaneous murder of an old pawnbroker, thinking it will delay his poverty for few more weeks, completely ignorant of the aftermath and having minimal self-control. This act of morality follows an aftermath which turns out to be psychological for Raskolnikov and the author spots an absolute scenario of what happens after one stands on the brink of insanity using Raskolnikov as his puppet until the protagonist is bring in contact with his own buried conscience and another sufferer. On the engagement of the book and one’s mind, one will indulge in it actively enough as the plot moves forward.

There is suspense in the novel no doubt. Dostoyevsky, in some amount succeeds in the main theme which he tries to revolve around the story: redemption. Characters like Raskolnikov do have a place in a reader’s mind once they have acquired his attention, for longer period of time. But novels like itself, fails to provide strong reasoning for characters who prove to be a drag thoughtout it. I am not going to name a few, you have to read it and judge it for yourself. My assessment is this, when moving forward the path author wants it to and so does the reader, then why a writer like Dostoyevsky would use elements to create a labyrinth, a maze which has no possible point to prove through the novel and does proves to be unnecessary?
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5 Stars, Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera had had come across my sight a few times before I actually picked it. This time it wasn’t in front of my sight until a friend of mine and a fellow blogger, heartily recommended me to read it. When it comes to recommending books, there are two kinds of people, one who recommend books to their fellow beings according to their taste, and the one who would recommend anything to anyone. I am surely of the latter category, but I adore the recommendations as always.

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.”

Along with these philosophical discussion, the author forms characters and there lives, and their struggle to find ‘lightness’. There is no fix protagonist after reading it, I felt, and I guess one can choose their own protagonist. The story starts with Tomas who is a surgeon in Prague. He seeks lightness, but is torn between love and lust. He loves his wife Tereza, but his fond of his adulteries. However, for Tereza love and lust go hand-in-hand. She suffers from heaviness and is convinced that her husband has achieved the lightness. Only later she would realise what was what. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera”