It takes me many a re-reads to comprehend Gabo's unusually long sentences, but the fabric of thoughts that he weaves is so exquisite that it is so worIt takes me many a re-reads to comprehend Gabo's unusually long sentences, but the fabric of thoughts that he weaves is so exquisite that it is so worth it. I have always pictured him writing these sentences in a jiffy, from start to end, capturing an unique and utterly amazing stream of thought accessible only to him, and concludes by putting his pen down, with a smirk that he shares with his rose flowers, suggesting that he is done with it; whereas now it is left to the readers to take their own time, and let them labour sweetly to ingest them.
For example the brilliant closing lines from the brilliant Autumn of the Patriarch ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Aut... ) ".... an old man with no destiny with our never knowing who he was, or what he was like, or even if he was only a figment of the imagination, a comic tyrant who never knew where the reverse side was and where the right of this life which we loved with an insatiable passion that you never dared even to imagine out of the fear of knowing what we knew only too well that it was arduous and ephemeral but there wasn't any other, general, because we knew who we were while he was left never knowing it forever with the soft whistle of his rupture of a dead old man cut off at the roots by the slash of death, flying through the dark sound of the last frozen leaves of his autumn toward the homeland of shadows of the truth of oblivion, clinging to his fear of the rotting cloth of death's hooded cassock and alien to the clamor of the frantic crowds who took to the streets singing hymns of joy at the jubilant news of his death and alien forevermore to the music of liberation and the rockets of jubilation and the bells of glory that announced to the world the good news that the uncountable time of eternity had come to an end."...more
I have special corner for Latin American fiction. This is partially due to similarity poltical history and (non?)-surprisingly similar literary treameI have special corner for Latin American fiction. This is partially due to similarity poltical history and (non?)-surprisingly similar literary treament used by the story tellers of Kerala (who are non-parsimonious in their usage of fantastical elements in otherwise plot-driven stories).
Thus, reading 'The House of Spirits' was indeed a rivetting experience for me, and I was quite swept over by the earnestness, passion and urgency that oozes out from Allende's prose whilst telling the story, and was mesmired with the flamboyance of her sudden and short-lived overtures to the magical spaces.
At its heart the book is a family anthology that streches over three generation, but often poltical fabric and events snatching the center stage (analgous to the what transpires in reality). Some of the events, I could build direct isomorphism to events that transpired in India during emergency period.
In short, it is a style I like, and a type of story I readily identify with, and ticked all the relevant boxes. ...more
My first reading of this book was around four years back. Since then, a lot of details and the feelings the book invoked has got lost. So I probably wMy first reading of this book was around four years back. Since then, a lot of details and the feelings the book invoked has got lost. So I probably will write a detailed review once I re-read this book.
For a long time, apart from science fiction, writings which blurred real and imaginary spaces did not captivate me much. However, partly due to the liberal usage of pop lingo and references, I could enter this book rather easily. And I got lost in the metaphysical world Murakami has created.
To be honest, I cannot say that I understood or even processed quite a few details (and passages) in the book, nevertheless I let the reading continue with the flow (which was torrential, at the same time splendid). Murakami along with Marquez are two authors whose tales often take me out for a thrill ride, through rough, difficult and virgin terrains. Though I sometimes miss savouring the magnitude (and finer details) of their creations, it is great and raw fun! ...more
I read this book more than 10 years back just before my final year high-school examinations. By the end of the book, I was so deeply affected (and depI read this book more than 10 years back just before my final year high-school examinations. By the end of the book, I was so deeply affected (and depressed), that I couldn't care two hoots about my upcoming examinations. It is bleak, depressing and leaves very little room for hope. But the sad part is it was/is/will be a true story.
Personally, "A Fine Balance" is a very important book. A book, which made the then-teenager-me rethink about his priorities. Coming from a developing world, were poverty is non-parsimonious, there is a tendency to create a mask of invisibility (and sometimes even vilify) the poor. Books like "A Fine Balance" gave me my initial portal, however small, to see through these mask of conveniences, and stroked a layer of empathy in me. ...more
It is not a story that have stayed in my mind ( I am writing this 6 months after I read it). Also, I felt the book was a bit emotionally manipulative,It is not a story that have stayed in my mind ( I am writing this 6 months after I read it). Also, I felt the book was a bit emotionally manipulative, though there were a few good moments to cherish. My initial reaction was to give it two stars, but giving it my benefit of doubt and moding it up to three. ...more
The Secret Scripture refers to a diary kept by a 100 year old woman, Roseanna. She is a resident of a mental asylum for the past 50 years or so. InterThe Secret Scripture refers to a diary kept by a 100 year old woman, Roseanna. She is a resident of a mental asylum for the past 50 years or so. Intermingled with it is the notes by chief doctor at the hospital, Dr. Greene.
Roseanna's memories of her early life, despite weathered by passing time, remains vivid and poignant. Hers was an ordinary life that got lost in the whirlwind of political turmoils and petty prejudices. The sheer raw beauty of prose through which her memories are made up of is nothing short of astonishing!
Whereas Dr. Greene's narrative is juxtaposed with journalistic and pragmatic reportage about various logistic details he has to resolve, and an inward and self-centric track, generous in self-pity as he is grieving the recent loss of his wife. The author braids these three narratives and pulls off a real heart wrenching tale.
I was a bit ambivalent about the end for the first couple of days after I finished the book. But then I have come to accept it and in fact like it. And that is the real magic of fiction, isn't it ? ...more
I got the first edition of this book more than 10 years back. I have read (and re-read) the series in book in parts over the years, and every time I wI got the first edition of this book more than 10 years back. I have read (and re-read) the series in book in parts over the years, and every time I was impressed by the scholarly mastery and precision of the author. This arguably, is `the' most important text in computer science.
AOCP, along with Computer Algorithms by Corman, Leiserson and Rivest are the first books I turn to whenever I have an upcoming challenge or interview. Pinnacle of Precision! ...more