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.

Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: All That Man is by David Szalay”

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Books, Crime & Mystery, Fiction, Reviews

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”

Books, Fiction, Reviews

THE LOWLAND BY JHUMPA LAHIRI: A BOOK REVIEW

After reading The Lowland in two days, not for the reason the book is easy to read. But for Jhumpa Lahiri is a natural-born storyteller. She indeed is. In this book, she introduces two brothers, close in age who are poles apart, Udayan, the revolutionary brother who gets caught up in the Mao-inspired Naxalite movement to wipe out poverty in India and his more reserved and dutiful brother, Subhash, who leaves home to pursue an academic and scientific life in Rhode Island. When Udayan inevitably gets swept into a revolutionary movement that turns out badly, Subhash returns home briefly, and picks up the pieces, including an attempt to heal the emotional scars of his brother’s young wife.

As the plot goes on, Lahiri covers about 70 years of life span in mere 340 pages. The craftsmanship is indeed good but when I was on the last few pages I truly felt that she is a storyteller, but this novel was just average product of her skill of writing. I am not saying it is not readable. The way she started the story, the details of the political conditions and living conditions in 60s of Calcutta(Kolkata, now) to provide a scenario to the reader such that he would feel the connection with story. With her writing, it’s all about making a reader feel connected with the story, the plot, and the characters are just a phase in-between. Soon they all fade away. This ideology is true with her previous books also which I have read in past two months span, The Namesake and Unaccustomed Earth. It took me three books to decipher and understand her artistic style of making a reader feel connected towards the story till the end. Many writers do not or they just partially do. At first they do try but as the plot continues to move forward, either they loose the confidence of adjoining the read or they just do not want to. But Lahiri is exceptional. Lahiri knows how to indulge a reader in her book.

Her third person narration is way to flatter and flirt with the readers. I got flattered. The plot of The Lowland is overall very generic and to some it might turn out to be addictive in some way. She is certainly my favorite story tellers of the contemporary world.

The book was nominated for the Man Booker Prize 2013, and Jhumpa Lahiri has won The Pulitzer Prize for her Interpreter of Maladies which is the only book of her left for me to read, till date.

I’ll go for 3.5 of 5.

Books

BOOKS ON THE SHELF

I’ve got four new books on my bookshelf right now. Which to start is getting hard for me right now.

Uncategorized

Booker Prize- an English Snobbery

Booker Prize- an English Snobbery

 

Irvine Welsh, a novelist who doesn’t like Man Booker Prize and isn’t afraid to say so. The Scotchman who has supplied the Scottish experience in novels like “Skagboys” and its prequel,”Trainsporting”, voxes his concerns with United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary prize. He issued that the prize’s singular focus is on England and its upper-crust literature.

 The Booker Prize is supposed to honor the first-rate fiction from the United Kingdom, Ireland or the Commonwealth nations. Past winners include Salman Rushdie, Peter Carey, and Aravind Adiga. Welsh also claimed that the prize is based on a conception that  the upper-class Englishness is the culture yardstick against which all the literature is measured.

Welsh has previously called for Scottish independence, though he seems more of an expression of pride than a realistic political proposal.

Welsh, who has never won the prize, isn’t the first one to criticize the prize’s focus; Julian Barnes one called the Booker “posh bingo”. Then Barnes himself won in 2011 for “The Sense of an Ending” and seems to have happily accepted the prize, proving once again that there is no remedy quite like victory.