Fast paced, gripping and wonderfully written, this novel makes a great read. This is not to negate the fact that it probably does not do justice to th...moreFast paced, gripping and wonderfully written, this novel makes a great read. This is not to negate the fact that it probably does not do justice to the Hindu mythology. The portrayal of Shiva as a love struck tribal trying to impress Princess Sati completely contradicts the well-known legend of Shiva-Sati according to which, it was Sati who had prayed for years, before Lord Shiva agreed to marry her. The author has also been heavily criticized for portrayal of Sati as a widow.
However, if one can manage to look beyond the aforementioned flaws (which by no means can be easy for ardent Shiva devotees and historians), one would realize that it is a wonderful story with a very positive message and that in itself is good enough. The author successfully convinces that greatness is not a quality one is born with but a trait which is consciously inculcated by making informed choices. It is a story of a man, as ordinary and fallible as all of us, who genuinely tried to question and understand what is 'right' and was not afraid to realize that 'right' and 'wrong' may actually be two sides of the same coin.
Shiva's argument that everyone who fights for 'good' is a 'Mahadev' and therefore every man can be a Mahadev ('Har Har ho sakta hai Mahadev' i.e. 'Har Har Mahadev') is not only extremely inspiring but also believable.
Amish’s writing is honest and powerful and the underlying philosophy is secular. One can clearly see that the author himself has tried to understand 'righteousness' without being prejudiced by any religious or philosophical outlook, which is an admirable feat. And this is what makes it a great work, despite the alleged mythological inaccuracies.
The book is not about Hinduism but about humanism. It is not about what is 'right' or 'good' but what should be right AND good...in any time and in any world. Therefore, I recommend it for everyone. If you genuinely want to become a good person, this is your book. Happy reading. (less)
Summary of my review: A must read for anyone who wants an insight into the rural China of the early 20th century.
The first book of her 'House of Eart...moreSummary of my review: A must read for anyone who wants an insight into the rural China of the early 20th century.
The first book of her 'House of Earth' trilogy, 'The Good Earth' was not only selected for the coveted Pulitzer Prize in 1932; it is known to have played an instrumental role in earning Buck her Nobel Prize for Literature. Most ardent readers know better than to judge an author or a work by the number of awards they receive but that this time the accolades were well deserved. The author's portrayal of lives of ordinary illiterate Chinese peasants is almost heartbreaking. Since her characters are as naive, innocent, repressed and god-fearing as one would expect most good-natured peasants to be; it is difficult to stay emotionally detached when they go through immense pain and suffering despite being essentially 'good'. It is a stirring story of an ordinary rural woman (O-Lan) conditioned to feel miserable for being a woman and her marriage. It is a wonderful story of hope and the eventual loss of it at the hands of relentless misfortune and harsh poverty. I recommend it for everyone who wants to understand poverty in itself, and the extent to which illiteracy can impair even a good man's reason; causing his eventual downfall. (less)
Summary of my review: The book is absolutely wonderful. It explains rationality in a very scientific manner and drives you to introspect a lot. It mak...moreSummary of my review: The book is absolutely wonderful. It explains rationality in a very scientific manner and drives you to introspect a lot. It makes us realize that we hold so many irrational beliefs and fears believing them to be rational, simply because they are socially accepted. The only downside is that the narration is not as gripping as the subject. ....
It is rare for me to rate a non-fiction so well. This is because while you may agree with some ideas of an author, it is almost impossible to subscribe to all of them. This is because one's understanding of human mind and psyche depends on various things and culture is one of such inalienable factors. Therefore, whereas the point of view of an American scientist/psychologist may impress you, it would definitely leave some questions unanswered as the author wouldn't have explored a lot of areas you as an Indian identify with.
However, Dr. Scott has managed to describe the 'evil', 'wrong' in a very objective manner. The book makes one realize that radical or extreme behaviors such as extreme parasitic love, isolation or hatred are 'evil' per se i.e. irrespective of the differences of societies, cultures & people. This objectivity is reflected in his writing and is a feat in itself; and thus makes 'People Of The Lie' one of the most celebrated works on psychology. (less)
Summary of my Review: A great book for those who enjoy portrayal of emotions, characters and natural beauty, more than the story. A must read for die...moreSummary of my Review: A great book for those who enjoy portrayal of emotions, characters and natural beauty, more than the story. A must read for die hard romantics and those who believe in soul mates. However, others may not find it as appealing.
Magical realism, nature (sea), emotions (love and pain), destiny and fatalism are few themes explored brilliantly by the author.
However, the book is a mixed bag. Although everything makes complete sense towards the end, certain questions are either left unanswered or addressed so oddly that the reader wonders if the author was in a hurry to finish the novel. Since it is otherwise absent throughout the narration, magical realism made me uncomfortable at the few instances where it was used.
However, none of this has stopped me from giving it 3.5 stars. This is because the story, though predictable on the whole, comes with quite a few surprises. It makes you believe in the power of love and kindness of God. More importantly, despite being predictable, the story proves the age old adage that if you are truly good, God wouldn't deny you your happy ending. (less)
One rarely likes a book that is capable of irritating the reader at numerous instances. But then it also exhilarates the soul with the way it explores...moreOne rarely likes a book that is capable of irritating the reader at numerous instances. But then it also exhilarates the soul with the way it explores love, loss, death, heartbreak, indifference and almost everything life is capable of throwing at you. Siddharth Dhanvant Sanghvi's writing is astonishingly powerful and makes it impossible for the reader to stay detached while Anuradha and Vardhaman's life takes bewildering twists and turns. Some of the minor characters are outrageous and therefore, exhibit atrociousness that may annoy the reader. Although reading The Last Song of The Dusk has been an unforgettable experience but I have to say that some parts of it were almost repulsive and this makes it difficult for me to recommend it without very strong reservations. (less)
Considered to be the best treatise on Dharma, Bhagvad Gita embodies the philosophy necessary for a righteous action (karma) and balanced life. The bea...moreConsidered to be the best treatise on Dharma, Bhagvad Gita embodies the philosophy necessary for a righteous action (karma) and balanced life. The beauty of Bhagvad Gita lies in its objectivity as it is a philosophical text and not a religious one. It does not advocate suppression or relinquishment of desires but fulfilment of them by acting in a balanced manner. It emphasizes on cleansing the mind and the heart of ill-thoughts and vices. Furthermore, like most philosophical texts, it is neither bulky nor difficult to comprehend. The unabridged translated version published by Geeta Press runs merely into 100 pages. The best treatise on 'karma' or 'action', I recommend it for everyone. Reading it would definitely enlighten your mind and soul. (less)
Summary of my review: Carlos Ruiz Zafon is brilliance personified but be prepared to be disappointed by the way the story ends. ...
I generally end up...moreSummary of my review: Carlos Ruiz Zafon is brilliance personified but be prepared to be disappointed by the way the story ends. ...
I generally end up hating the book if it ends badly - Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper is an example. However, one can't say that when it comes to Carlos Ruiz Zafon; simply because everything other than the ending is far too amazing. His characters are brilliant, the chemistry between them is even better. The book is enthused with so much emotion, wit and beauty that despite a disappointing end, it is a literary gem. Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a master story teller and continues to be one of the best authors I have ever read.
Read it for Zafon. Read it for yourself. Read it because it is a blessing to come across a mind so beautiful and ideas so refreshing. (less)
It is a book meant for women; mainly because every chapter begins with a recipe and this affects the pace of the novel. I also found the end weird and...moreIt is a book meant for women; mainly because every chapter begins with a recipe and this affects the pace of the novel. I also found the end weird and thus, the whole experience of reading it was quite disappointing. What started as a nice story with just the right amount of magical realism lost out on most counts.
However, the book has its positives. It provides rare insight into Mexican culture. The narration is decent. The protagonists are strong and the characters leave a deep impression. It is a book that could have been. However, for me, the negatives outweighed the positives by a large measure. (less)
Among the Sidney Sheldon novels I have read (and I must say I have read most of them), this one gets 4.5 stars although most people I know rate it at...moreAmong the Sidney Sheldon novels I have read (and I must say I have read most of them), this one gets 4.5 stars although most people I know rate it at 3.4.
I fell in love with the interesting storyline and the lead character, Mary Ashley. Like most of his female protagonists, Mary Ashley is also an ordinary woman of extraordinary strength. The book is a gripping account of a commoner's survival in murky politics. A page-turner, the novel has all elements of a decent thriller and makes an amazing read. However, as is the case with most of the Sidney Sheldon novels, you may find the plot predictable. (less)
The Midnight Palace is a laudable debut novel. Alhough 'The Shadow Of The Wind' & 'The Prince of Mist' score above The Midnight Palace in terms of...moreThe Midnight Palace is a laudable debut novel. Alhough 'The Shadow Of The Wind' & 'The Prince of Mist' score above The Midnight Palace in terms of depth but Zafon fans would not be disappointed by this mystery. I personally found the book quite engaging mostly because of Zafon's brilliant narration and great characters; though I have to admit that the plot was a bit convoluted.
If you are a fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's style of writing, you would find yourself appreciating the book despite its flaws. But other than that, there is nothing strikingly remarkable about this novel. (less)
Summary of my review: One of the best love stories ever written.
An Equal Music, undoubtedly, qualifies as one of the best love stories I have ever re...moreSummary of my review: One of the best love stories ever written.
An Equal Music, undoubtedly, qualifies as one of the best love stories I have ever read. What makes it extraordinary is the fact that there is no exaggeration at any level. It is an ordinary love story of ordinary people that has been beautifully told. Brilliant. (less)
Summary of my review: Many people I know adore the book. However I didn't find it all that great. Try reading it if you must, but there are many books...moreSummary of my review: Many people I know adore the book. However I didn't find it all that great. Try reading it if you must, but there are many books in the romantic genre which are better than this one. (less)