This was a strange book. The first part 'The Comic Destiny' was a parable of sorts but with such profound meaning that it was lost on me. But, it wasThis was a strange book. The first part 'The Comic Destiny' was a parable of sorts but with such profound meaning that it was lost on me. But, it was written with concise prose. It was very quick to read. Rest of the stories were 'stokus'. A Stoke, as author informs you, is amalgam of short story and haiku. I liked stories: The Belonging, Wild Bulls, The Legendary Sedgwick, The Clock. There were some metaphorical 'stokus' too. Some interesting quotes: it is always the harmless questions that cause the most trouble....more
Silver, a little girl, by a quirk of fate goes to live with very old and blind Mr Pew to be trained as apprentice in keeping a lighthouse. Though sheSilver, a little girl, by a quirk of fate goes to live with very old and blind Mr Pew to be trained as apprentice in keeping a lighthouse. Though she eventually doesn't become a lighthousekeeper, what she receives instead is love and ancient stories from Mr Pew.
Along with story of Silver's present story, novel explores the story of Babel Dark and Pew's history which unbelievably has a Darwin connection as well.
I found the story of Dark much interesting along with metaphoric comparisons with Dr Jekyll and Hyde. Writing is very lucid and measured and words somehow manage to convey much more....more
I had looked at this book in library and ignored it. However, owing to some trusted reviews, I picked this book up on my next visit.
It took me severalI had looked at this book in library and ignored it. However, owing to some trusted reviews, I picked this book up on my next visit.
It took me several months to finish the book because I found it rambling and uninteresting. Pico Iyer explores the themes of our chosen fathers/mentors and explore work of Greene through his travels, life experiences and readings. Put it as this, it looks interesting concept, however, it is hugely irritating when you find yourself lost in a cheerless, drab personal memoir. It could be because that despite its contradictions and metier, Green's work is depressing. I had to pause this book and read many other cheerful books (most of those I finished either in a day or in a single sitting) to keep going so I could finish this book.
In my opinion, content of this book would have been more effective and messages would have stuck, if it were one of those long-form essays where goals are clear and interspersed stories keep you cheered. I still have no idea what the takeaway of this book was. ...more
This is an account of an Indian Gujju kid growing up in English suburb. Story revolves around his ambition to start a band called 'Coconut Unlimited'This is an account of an Indian Gujju kid growing up in English suburb. Story revolves around his ambition to start a band called 'Coconut Unlimited' and trials and tribulations around it.
I could finish this book only by sheer willpower not so much because the book hooked me....more
It is a compilation of nine stories related to girls and women in developing countries. The book is a fundraising effort for Plan, an organization thaIt is a compilation of nine stories related to girls and women in developing countries. The book is a fundraising effort for Plan, an organization that covers this. Stories are filled with sadness since they are based on reality of rape, genital mutilation, sexual abuse, prostitution and general sexism and poverty. There is a story by Marie Phillips called 'Change' that paints a pretty grim picture and somehow deprecating of Plan's efforts in Uganda. Plan's Uganda head has also responded to it that in a country rife with such corruption and without any government support, it makes sense that they do not keep giving everything (which is stolen by corrupt people and consumed quick dinner demand is more than supply) rather create communities that can sustain.
For me, Irvine Walsh's story was best - storytelling that combined hope and pathos is right measure. Xiaolu Guo's 'Ballad of a Cambodian Man' was a good story though I don't know how it was related to the theme....more
This book has quite a literary introduction by Geoff Dyer. However, though book has some intriguing pictures of touristy places, somewhat mocking theThis book has quite a literary introduction by Geoff Dyer. However, though book has some intriguing pictures of touristy places, somewhat mocking the tourists. There are several unconventional compositions with almost every frame featuring a tourist trying to pose or click. I missed that magical, pleasing quality that I seek in photography books....more
This book of his quotes convinced me his autobiography is worth reading. Some interesting quotes I found were:
"Consider the public. Treat it with tactThis book of his quotes convinced me his autobiography is worth reading. Some interesting quotes I found were:
"Consider the public. Treat it with tact and courtesy. It will accept much from you if you are clever enough to win it to your side. Never fear it nor despise it. Coax it, charm it, interest it, stimulate it, shock it now and then if you must, make it laugh, make it cry and make it think, but above all...never, never, never bore the living hell out of it."
"The most important ingredients of a play are life, death, food, sex and money - but not necessarily in that order."
"The only way to enjoy life is to work. Work is much more fun than fun."
"I have a slight reforming urge, but I have rather cunningly kept it down."
" Writing is more important than acting, for one very goo reason: it lasts. Stage acting only lives in people's memories as long as they live. Writing is creative; acting is interpretive. Only occasionally does very good acting become creative."
"All acting worth the name is ham. We rehearse for weeks to hide it, but it's there all the time."
"I can take any amount of criticism, as long as it is unqualified praise."
"I've got to go out and be social, I've got to be bright And extremely polite And refrain from becoming too loose or too tight And I mustn't impose conversational blight On the dolt on my left And the fool on my right. I must really be very attractive tonight As I have to go out and be social."...more
I started mid-reading review, which is out of tradition for me. I add books on Goodreads mostly AFTER I finish reading them. But, was compelled to shaI started mid-reading review, which is out of tradition for me. I add books on Goodreads mostly AFTER I finish reading them. But, was compelled to share some of Wodehouse's amusing sentences.
"It appears that there is harmless innocent American of the name of Wilbur Trout whose only fault is that he marries rather too often, which is the sort of thing that might happen to anyone."
"Thomas Hardy would have seen in the whole affair one more of life's little ironies and on having it drawn to its attention would have got twenty thousand words of a novel out of it."
"Like a serpent, although perhaps not altogether like a serpent, for serpents do draw the line somewhere, her brother Galahad had introduced another impostor into the castle."
"Once, when they were children, Galahad had fallen into deep pond in the kitchen garden, and just as he was about to sink for the third time one of the gardeners had come along and pulled him out. She was brooding now on thoughtless folly of that misguided gardener. Half the trouble in the world, she was thinking, was caused by people not letting well alone."
"One of the lesson life teaches us is never to look for instant bonhomie from someone we have rammed in the small of the back and bumped down two flight of stairs. That sort of thing does something to a man."
"Except in the matter of marrying blondes he was not an adventurous man, and contemplation of the shape of things to come, as sketched out by Vanessa, had had the worst effect on his nervous system."
"Not too many brains, either, which was an added attraction, for she mistrusted clever men."
"Wilbur's room was the one in which, according to legend, an Emsworth of the fifteenth century had dismembered his wife with a battle axe, as husbands in those days were so apt to do when strain of married life became too much for them."
"As Lady Constance seated herself at the desk and took pen in hand, the Duke's emotions were mixed. A proud man, he resented having his love letters written for him, but on the other hand he could not but feel that in the present crisis a ghost writer would come in uncommonly handy, for he had to admit that, left to his devices, he would not even know how to start the thing, let alone fill the four sheets which could be looked on as the irreducible minimum. He was a great writer of letters to the Times, the Government could not move a step without hearing from him, but this one called for gifts of which he knew himself to be deficient. It was, accordingly, with approval that he watched his collaborator's pen racing over the paper, and when she had finished, he took the manuscript from her with pleasurable anticipation of a treat in store. It was a pity, therefore, that perusal of it should have brought out all the destructive critic in him. He scanned the document with dismay, and delivered his verdict with asperity. He might have been one of those Scotch reviewers Byron disliked so much. "This', he said, his eyes popping as they had rarely popped before, 'is the most god-awful slush I ever read!" If Lady Constance was piqued, she didn't show it. She may have raised an eyebrow, but scarcely so that it could be noticed. Like all authors, she knew her output was above criticism."...more
I had already watched movie about The Red Dog. I picked up the book due to beautiful, minimalistic illustrations inside. The book was a quick read. ThI had already watched movie about The Red Dog. I picked up the book due to beautiful, minimalistic illustrations inside. The book was a quick read. The places in Western Australia mentioned in the book were familiar to me due to my work: Dampier salt field, Hammerseley Iron, Karratha, Paraburdoo airport, Mt Tom Price. But, I felt I had better hold on these locations now. The selfless bond between different people of Pilbara and the red dog was sweet. The incident when they lose pay as well as spend travel/vet cost to get Red dog treated because he was shot is touching. A recommended quick read, esp for animal lovers.