Not for me. Not my cup of tea. The page count coupled with the awful prose is too much of an ask. The pages are filled with...moreThe Horror....The Horror...
Not for me. Not my cup of tea. The page count coupled with the awful prose is too much of an ask. The pages are filled with prose so bland that reading them is heck of a drag. I have no issues if Amish Tripathi wants to construct his story across a larger canvas, and tell it on a grander scale. But if he keeps up writing as he does, it is going to be a chore.
I don't want to contend with bad romance, or Shiva watching his kids pull some bruce lee shit. Shiva is one of the boring characterizations ever done. And don't even start me on his gullibility. Guy has bananas for a brain. I am incapable of watching him utter one more, 'Hell Yeah!!' Don't care how this ends.
I guess I have to read some Dunsany to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.(less)
Before hopping onto this book like any self-respecting Goodreads member I went through some reviews across internet. When I found most of them startin...moreBefore hopping onto this book like any self-respecting Goodreads member I went through some reviews across internet. When I found most of them starting with sentences like “I don’t know what to say about this book”, I wondered if they were collectively numbed into unoriginality. After reading this book myself, I gotta admit that there is actually nothing else to say. This one is ridiculously weird. The setting of the post-apocalyptic world reminded me of “The Canticle for Leibowitz”, but the comparisons end there. The poetic feel of the prose, the innumerable mythical references, the weird ideas which Delany never seems to be in lack of and the psychedelic narration which sometimes makes little to no sense all combine and somehow turn this into an enjoyable read. Not to mention the ending which I felt to be thematically consistent with the whole book (no matter how irritating it might be). An to think that this is one of the more accessible stuff by Delany, piques my curiosity.
It isn’t often you get a chance to read a book which isn’t in a hurry to achieve something by its end. This is a different book about ‘different’ people. Just prepare yourself for some craziness before you read it.(less)
The new installment in the Dark Tower Series, "The Wind Through Keyhole" is not only a fitting addition to the already awesome fantasy series but it a...moreThe new installment in the Dark Tower Series, "The Wind Through Keyhole" is not only a fitting addition to the already awesome fantasy series but it also features many themes that Stephen King is celebrated for.
Generally, Stephen King always ensures that his novels have a great beginning. It is the phase during which he introduces his characters and reader is disillusioned into comfort. Whether it is Pet Sematary, shining,it,stand or insomnia, I always found his beginnings to be most enchanting period. But his dark tower novels have adopted a different style as they are all part of same book and this is where his new novel suffers as well. By the time the reader is introduced to the the best story of the lot - The Wind Through Keyhole - the reader might have already formed an opinion and the lack of any ass-kicking featuring Roland Deschain doesn't help either. Since the stories mostly feature King's recurring themes, the appeal lies in the reader's willingness to revisit them. And I, being a King fan didn't face any issues having to do that.
The first two stories serve as a pleasant introduction without actually setting things on fire and even in the third one, king takes time to shift gears. Once the customary drunk husband, battered family, adventure at young age stuff gets rolled down the magic of the story starts finding its voice. By the time, the North Central Positronics device is introduced it had me shouting 'Hell Yeah!!'. King somehow also found a nice way to cap off the book with a touching letter from Roland's mother.
Although, it never stands up to the anticipation it generated, Wind through Keyhole still manages to be a worthy entry in the fan favorite series.(less)
Well, this is a strange book. If I had to describe it by a sound, a deflated balloon would be more than apt. Considering the sophisticated and high-st...moreWell, this is a strange book. If I had to describe it by a sound, a deflated balloon would be more than apt. Considering the sophisticated and high-stakes fantasy fiction that is being shelled out these days, one can’t be wronged for finding this underwhelming.
In the introduction, Amish Tripathi says that he intends to explore the possibility of a real person similar to Shiva and solely concentrates on writing a realistic grounded character without actually placing him in a believable environment. Thus, he ended with a half-baked idea which serves as a poor political commentary which explores anachronistic stuff like superstitions and barter system. Which is actually ridiculous because the author makes the characters talk like internet forum users.
The plot was actually decent when it was not dominated by bad writing which constantly tires us with heavy exposition. When Shiva or Sati does something intelligent, instead of letting the reader realize it for him/herself the author makes everyone else around them rant about it endlessly. I appreciate the idea of declaring the destiny of the protagonist while simultaneously making us doubt whether he will be able to accomplish it. But this idea was executed in an ill-chosen manner. Also, the constant sheepish grins and poor jokes made me want to punch Shiva (Oh, I know it’s sacrilegious).
I understand that the author was trying to set up this as a standard fantasy affair where an obscure villager with a mysterious background realizes that he has a destiny to fulfill as soon as he decide to part ways with his normal ways. But the luxury that those fantasies enjoy i.e. vulnerability which comes as a part of the protagonist due to his humble background is missing here. The author couldn’t simply portray Shiva as a susceptible innocent person whose eyes can serve as an entry into a larger mythology. He was rather thrust immediately into the book as an extremely talented warrior with guilt on his conscience. In other words, rather than breaking new ground this turned out to be a standard affair. I wished so hardly that Sati be killed in the middle so that we could read something a little less predictable for a while. Thankfully, the page count (or rather I would say word count) was generous.
The librarian to whom I returned the book assured me that the second one is better. I’m gonna keep an eye for the latter one. After all it was written by an Indian and it has numerous filmy eye-rolling moments (yeah! I can be sentimental).(less)
It’s been more than a year since I read the last book in this series. I often wondered if it’s as good as I thought it was. But after reading this boo...moreIt’s been more than a year since I read the last book in this series. I often wondered if it’s as good as I thought it was. But after reading this book I gladly realized that liking this series was no fluke. Michael Scott continues to write overtly simple, highly dramatic, cliché ridden story that simply never fails to entertain. This is such a guilty pleasure that I constantly reminded myself how childish I am which is why I think this series is mighty fun. That is not to say that this managed to emulate the earlier ones. But it still reminded me why I loved an obscure young fantasy series an year ago.
Now I will happily wait for the final book. Not that I’m curious about the ending but I expect the experience to be memorable.(less)
It seems neil gaiman is not only good at writing books but also suggesting great ones.
This is a must read book for every fantasy lover. The Gothic se...moreIt seems neil gaiman is not only good at writing books but also suggesting great ones.
This is a must read book for every fantasy lover. The Gothic setting and historical references are pretty impressive. Though it is the annotations which are the biggest attraction of the book and they were written particularly well. The length of the book never bothered me until she started introducing uninteresting characters late in the third volume. I generally don’t care whether all the characters have s stake in the plot or not as long as they are written reasonably well. But here, some of them serve neither purpose. Of all, I liked childermass and the gentleman with thistle down hair the most and was excited to find that one of them will be heavily featured in the next book.
For those of you wondering whether to start this book or not - one of the protagonists is a bibliophile and he might be a little bit possessive about it. (less)
Having spent much time on LOTR, I was always apprehensive about starting this one. But as it turned out, this isn't so dense as I feared it to be but...moreHaving spent much time on LOTR, I was always apprehensive about starting this one. But as it turned out, this isn't so dense as I feared it to be but an awesome fun ride. Visiting middle-earth itself would have been enough, but Tolkien brings up his talent to tell a magical tale in a magical manner.(less)
A clash of Kings, the second novel in the “A song of Ice and Fire” series goes a long way in establishing this series as one of the most overrated eve...moreA clash of Kings, the second novel in the “A song of Ice and Fire” series goes a long way in establishing this series as one of the most overrated ever. I expected this one to outdo the first novel when I heard others defending the first one that it was only a setup for the remaining books. I sincerely doubted those claims and was glad to be proven right although I had to waste a week. All that this book accomplishes is move the chess pieces across the board for a later showdown.
That’s not to say this is a total failure. Martin continues to showcase his ability to write compelling dialogue. Jaime Lannister outguns everyone else in a brief scene which probably is the best part of the book. Tyrion shines in his new role and there are sufficient glimpses of brilliance. Theon Greyjoy comes out as an intriguing character and keeps us guessing whether he can be deemed sympathetic or not. Jon Snow also has a decent time in the book which is quite surprising as nothing significant ever happens in his arc. The newly introduced characters (Stannis & Melisandre) were deftly handled although Martin sometimes holds the cards too close to his chest.
I understand that Arya, Sansa and Bran’s journey is concerned with fleshing out the realistic setting of the story and its grim tones. In Martin’s opinion this is simply dubbed as “Rape, murder! It's just a shot away”. I get that he intends to let these characters grow but he sadly constrains them too much and only lets them stare at unfairness around them. I would have preferred to watch them DO something. And it doesn’t even serve to talk about Daenerys. Absolutely nothing happens in her story worth mentioning apart from some pitiful prophesying.
Martin’s problems mainly stem from the page count. Some chapters were so irritating that he made me wish I could serve Stephen King’s piss to him so that he can learn a thing or two about setting up a payback in a lengthy manner. One of the main strengths of Game of Thrones is that it has a clear sense of direction and always worked towards an inevitable breaking point no matter what the POV is. And the chapters made long strides along the journey providing reasonable justification for the reader to persist with the lengthy format. But in this book it was difficult for me to get interested in the middle and hence final resolution felt dull. Some chapters (especially Bran and Daenerys) were outright horrendous and it just pains to speak that they do not serve any purpose in the end. Perhaps fans might forgive such mishaps but you cannot expect everyone to be patient.
"Clash of Kings" is simply a string of chapters which dawdle at length only to throw a lame surprise on their last pages and the worst part is that the surprise is not even built upon in the successive chapters. A writer of superior ability might make the dawdling tolerable but Martin’s bland attempt at writing doesn't always impress.
And unsurprisingly Martin kicks into higher gear in the final few hundred pages which probably is his way of putting all eggs in a single basket. If his writing didn’t fail him in earlier pages, I might have enjoyed them immensely but now I would rather contend myself with mediocrity. There is nothing wrong with building your story on a grand scale through a series of novels but each book should advance something in the scheme of plot structure. I guess this is what happens when an average writer decides to do a Tolkien.
Damn this guy for getting me addicted though.(less)
Ever since I started reading “Game of Thrones” there was only one thing I could think of - Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead”. Both are so similar in...moreEver since I started reading “Game of Thrones” there was only one thing I could think of - Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead”. Both are so similar in tone and structure that it made me wonder if Kirkman sought inspiration from Martin. Both of them deal with ensemble cast, both constantly write from different points of view, both use pretentious violence and sex, both kill seemingly important characters for shock value and finally both tried something different in their respective genres. While Kirkman took zombie field and concentrated on characters journey instead of zombie escapades and crude humor, Martin made use of fantasy elements and spun a political intrigue. Both used familiar elements for non-familiar purposes. Both are tailor made for soap opera format which is why their adaptations were an obvious choice. While Kirkman has the privilege of working with stunning artists to make the reading experience whole-some, Martin fails to sustain the intensity with poor writings at times and lengthy pages, although his character etching is near-perfect. Also, I have to admit that Kirkman is a little better at throwing consistently a shocking twist at the end of each chapter (each comic in his case). It’s just sad that both are hugely overrated. Then again, both also constantly managed to make me wonder ‘what happens next?’ and made me fall in love with some characters. Despite being a not-so-great lengthy setup, I am obsessed enough to be willing to read all the way till the end. Damn you, Martin(less)
Exquisitely articulated and the early passages reminded me of the best pizza I ever ate. But the story is hell of a drag and no matter how much I want...moreExquisitely articulated and the early passages reminded me of the best pizza I ever ate. But the story is hell of a drag and no matter how much I wanted to love this, I couldn't help breathing a sigh of relief at its end.
On a second visit, I think this is much better when read in bits and pieces(less)
If you can set aside your problems regarding its evident lack of originality you would definitely enjoy reading this. I particularly enjoyed the openi...moreIf you can set aside your problems regarding its evident lack of originality you would definitely enjoy reading this. I particularly enjoyed the opening chapters where the characters live in innocent peaceful villages and get on with their lives without bothering about the lurking dangers. And Robert Jordan indulged me right away with some smart writing without actually rushing into plot changes. It also helps that the pacing of the book suits me where the author takes considerably amount of pages to reach point B from point A. I particularly enjoyed the way in which the village boys were described when they fall in awe of the big cities. It is Jordan’s penchant for paying attention to smaller details like these that made me like this book although I consider him weak at writing paybacks at the end. Of all the three main leads, Perrin blew me straight away from the beginning to the end and I hope he enjoys immense limelight later in the series. As someone who likes to read fantasies, I neither had problems completing this book nor wanting to continue to next books but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read LOTR.(less)