A treat to rational atheists looking for a reason behind the meaningless religious mumbo-jumbo. The description of Meluha is very particular and enjo...moreA treat to rational atheists looking for a reason behind the meaningless religious mumbo-jumbo. The description of Meluha is very particular and enjoyable. The characters will outlive the book, I'm sure. A typical potrait of Shiva, snake wound around his blue neck, with his white bull Nandi and his wife Parvati will hold more meaning and mystery to you after reading this book. There is a logical explanation of almost every aspect of the so-called Lord Shiva, his Trishul included. The perspective employed is new, if only more realistic and enjoyable. It's an unbiased look at the life of ganja-smoking Shiva. Oops..Lord Shiva. (less)
Amazing. I was a bit apprehensive at first, considering that it's about a captive protagonist, which narrows down the reading window to something of...more Amazing. I was a bit apprehensive at first, considering that it's about a captive protagonist, which narrows down the reading window to something of a ten-by-ten feet room. He's not the Master of Horror for nothing now, is he? A chilling page-turner, Annie Wilkes will enrage you to measures you never thought you were capable of. Atrocious deeds and insurmountable torture, it's best to read this book alone, cause 250 pages into the book, your mask of sanity will slip and you just might get into Paul Sheldon's shoes, cornered and irate, and start killing innocents around you.(less)
This is my first Stephen King book, and I have made a mental note to read every one of his books. I am also a little disappointed that I had put away...more This is my first Stephen King book, and I have made a mental note to read every one of his books. I am also a little disappointed that I had put away the Master of Horror this long. It's a collection of four novellas and each one relating to a season metaphorically.
Hope Springs Eternal. I have watched Shawshank Redemption ( who hasn't? ), that maybe reduced the thrill of the apotheosis, but I did see the vast difference between the book and the movie. The book has the informal narrative style and the movie did it's best to bring it back. The tale itself is a page-turner, with the deep, original characters. I have to mention that through out the book, I felt like Morgan Freeman reading it out to me, the best thing about my entire reading experience.
Summer of Corruption. This is about a malignant teenager, who is interested in the war crimes of Hitler and Holocaust in a spooky sense. He extorts the war stories from a aged Kraut in disguise of a normal,senile old man. How these stories change his life and the Kraut's is what follows. In a time-span of four years, this tale and the literary horror will dominate your dreams for a life-time. It's worth mentioning that this is the only third person narrative in the collection.
Fall from Innocence. This story was also made into a movie, Stand by me.That maybe increased my reading pleasure, giving the characters a more real feel. But movie or not, this tale will leave you reminiscing your childhood days. It is about four friends, 12 year olds, going a long way on foot to see a dead body of a boy their age. The journey unfolds with the boys experiencing new things, facing ups and downs in their friendship, and realising new things about themselves.
The Breathing Method. A club with no name, no receptionist, no membership, and maybe not a club at all, a place which cannot be categorised, is the centre of this tale. It's a vast mansion and there is one person always in it- Stevens. Old men meet and swap stories. Explaining the title would be a spoiler though. This tale is the most gruesome and my favourite.(less)
Yet again Stephen King proves his extraordinary, almost eerie, talent of bringing book characters to life; such elaborate and intricate detail, yet s...more Yet again Stephen King proves his extraordinary, almost eerie, talent of bringing book characters to life; such elaborate and intricate detail, yet so easy to delve into The Cold Mountains of 1932.
Strangely comical incidents that are completely out of place and situation, they made me laugh so hard my Mom was wondering when they started making jokes book this big. To quote one such: when Melly Moores says to John, "Pull down your pants! I've heard about nigger-cocks my whole life but never seen one!". I mean, how out of context and funny is that? Paul Edgecomb, while standing in the Warden's house, must have stifled a laughter fit, I'd like to think. I swear, I have never laughed so hard; not while reading a novel at least. It's true that they say: "The secret to humour is surprise."
Every detail is so lively and deep; even the Old Sparky. I feel King is the kind of author who could get away successful writing about anything at all. The shiver in Paul's back when he is peeing after the Melinda incident is still vivid. We have all felt that shiver, but who has come as close as this to describe it in words. (pg 418; Night Journey,chapter 9)
Since I had already seen the movie, there really was not much suspense left in the read, but the characters are so adorable and realistic that I'm sure I would read this again and again. Had I read the book first, I'm sure I would have cried in the end.
And the last lines of the book is so much filled with emotion: “We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long.”. I will remember John Coffey- like the drink only not spelled the same- until the end of my Green Mile.(less)
It was always a mystery to me, how someone could writethe Jurassic Park, which I felt was more of a movie material than a novel, with all it's actio...more It was always a mystery to me, how someone could writethe Jurassic Park, which I felt was more of a movie material than a novel, with all it's action sequences, gripping chase scenes and the nail-biting suspense. My opinions seem to lose meaning after this read. No wonder his books are best-sellers. It's not the narrative style, which is really good but nothing exceptional there. It's not the characters, they remind you of those holly-wood action flicks' characters, a bit clichéd yet enjoyable . It's the plot that stands out; the sheer enormousness of it is enough to make even a good author falter. But Crichton saunters through this intricate science fiction plot, knowing fully well that his readers include laymen and hence the intertwining of technical narrative with the actual story. It's like watching a sci-fi movie, only you get to acquaint yourself with the science involved in a more comfortable manner, with an adept author who is magnanimous in expounding the terms as we encounter them in the plot. The style was a bit similar to Dan Brown, but the matter is more interesting than mere history and symbols and Jesus. (less)
Amish does it again. He has immensely improved from his first book, not that the first was any less than genius, but the characters are steadfast now...moreAmish does it again. He has immensely improved from his first book, not that the first was any less than genius, but the characters are steadfast now and the story takes a faster pace. Part two begins where its predecessor left, making Immortals of Meluha a pre-requisite for this book. The first book centred around Shiva and his adventures. This one, as the title suggests, has the Naga clan as the focus. Brace yourself, there is a rough ride ahead, with twists and turns every other page. Don't blink, you just might miss the action. Things are getting faster than ever and the climax will take your breath away.
Amish proves his writing skills in describing the characters elegantly and magnanimously. He doesn't rush anywhere, nor does he throw in crap to fill up pages. The intricate action scenes are realistically described, hats off to that. Fight scenes and chase sequences are something to be seen to feel the thrill, eh? Amish will prove you wrong with his thriller and chase scenes, that are vivid in detail and laconic too.
The entire series seems to be planned well ahead of the first book's release. The characters are consistent and authentic, nowhere did I find any contrived fill-the-space dialogues.
The intriguing thing is how Amish has handled the inter-character relations with such proficiency. He doesn't re-iterate their past-emotions every time the characters interact. He lets you work out the emotions after the first few interactions.
What started out to be a different look at Lord Shiva, has now become a look at Shiva's entire life, the mythological interactions with other so-called Gods like Parashuram, and a philosophical take at the true character of god-like people.
It'll change your perspective of Gods and I wonder if Amish will write a series about every Hindu God. If he does, I, sure as hell, am gonna read it.(less)
I am a great fan of feel-good movies, but I was unaware as to the existence of such a genre in books - until now, that is. I am not a Christian mysel...more I am a great fan of feel-good movies, but I was unaware as to the existence of such a genre in books - until now, that is. I am not a Christian myself, hence unaware of the Christmas festivities and the mood that prevails during, but I was able to get a good feel of the how-it-goes while reading this. Who would have guessed the lawyer, who wrote trial thrillers and jury best-sellers was adept at making readers laugh and smile and generally celebrate with such a simple theme.
Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas and go on a cruise vacation, and a comedy of errors follows, leaving you livid at times at the peeping Tom of a neighbourhood. Just when you are about to dismiss the read as a comical one, the last few pages deliver a neat message, though inconsequential, leaves you with a wide smile and a happy heart.
The ending was not just hurriedly put together, as he usually seems to do these days in his courtroom-dramas, it is perfectly planned and executed with a skilled and enjoyable writing style. The characters are lovely, the narrative is funny, the mood - always Christmassy. And for that, a big hand please - for staying on track and maintaining the Christmas mood throughout. (less)
Some books are good. Some are scary. Some are terrifying. Only a few are haunting.
The Shining is a haunting book, maybe haunted. Nah, just kidding....more Some books are good. Some are scary. Some are terrifying. Only a few are haunting.
The Shining is a haunting book, maybe haunted. Nah, just kidding. But I doubt if I was as brave while reading as much now, after reading it. It's terrifying, it's scary and it's genius in the plot. It's a must-read for horror fans. Just do the reading with the doors open and well before dusk. I was some hundred pages in, and I realised it was 3 in the morning. The night felt ominous to me, unusual that was. I buried the book under some clothes, left the lights on and tried to sleep. First time in almost five years, I feared the dark. I did, I'm not exaggerating.
Jack Torrance resembles Paul Sheldon in the way he entertains himself with his mind games, those funny random thoughts that was a trademark of Paul Sheldon too. Both Paul and Jack, their characteristics are very close to Stephen King himself.
The drinking problem highlighted in the book is also a personal touch about SK. And the drinking problem has a very integral part in the plot. If you think about it for a while, it is a bit evident that the out-of-control drinking is the subtle message SK delivers, with the amount of blood, gore and a sprinkling of monsters and spirits.
There are some terrifying moments in the book, not by virtue of the goriness. It is the situational irony that frightens you like when Wendy tears off her finger-nail accidentally ( pg. 391 ) . Times like this are many and spread throughout the book, and do remember to breathe then.
The book doesn't have any cheap thrills and frills, not the ones you probably would see in the movie make of it. I haven't watched it fully yet, but I am kinda judging already from what little I saw. It's not the pages you have read, the revealed plot uptil then that scares you. It's the unknown, the yet-to-come and the seemingly inevitable. The small details, the ones that define the character, the way the character is and it could become - that scares you. Oh, that scares you shit-less.
The Shining will give you the creeps, the jitters and the nightmares too. The narrative smooth and interesting, as always it is with Stephen King, the characters deep and alive. Well, not all characters, not if you count the ones that are dead. You know, literally dead. (less)
Having read quite a few of Stephen King novels, I deem myself fit enough to see at least what it is that appeals to readers in his novels. The X Fact...more Having read quite a few of Stephen King novels, I deem myself fit enough to see at least what it is that appeals to readers in his novels. The X Factor of his narrative style. It's true that he is a salami writer; he's said that himself. It is also true that he never has a plot outline or character sketch in mind at the start of a work. 'The Road Virus Heads North' is one of the short stories in the collection 'Everything's Eventual'. You know how those portraits sometimes appear to look at us irrespective of the angle we look at it. He had one of such a portrait and that's where the idea for the entire story came from.
I read this about two weeks back but couldn't bring myself to write about it. I wanted more time for it to settle in. Maybe I thought the effects would wear off, the magic gone, but they did not and the magic indeed exists.
Characterisation is the King
Everyday events, things and phenomena seen with a dramatic and extremely imaginative eye, is what all his tales are. IT is a pretty long novel, about a 1000 pages. Initially one might feel there is no need for such length for cheap thrills and frills and horrorific incidents. IT is not a horror novel, though it does have some supernatural elements in it. It's about a lot of things but mainly it is about children, childhood and all that innocence. The plot involves children as the main characters and everything is said like how a eleven-year-old would look at it. Seven main characters, all children and one might assume the characters are gonna be repetitive; after all they are just children, how distinct can they be, right? Well, I can tell you this, the characters in the book are certainly more distinct than you and me. I miss them and you will too, after the 1000 pages.
The narrative jumps between various main characters and also, at times, some side characters and the effect is profound. The town is brought out realistically, the characters and their back-stories. The magic of the characters is how their relationship reminds strongly the reader of his/her own childhood.
It has got enough comical elements to make one Roll On the Floor Laughing. It has got more than enough childlike innocence to make you reminisce for those wonder days. It has got enough scares and thrills to keep you at the edge all through the pages.
The feel-good elements are all there. King is known for his graphic killing of characters enough to make readers puke but he can also bring them out on an emotional side to tear you up.
That is the trademark of Stephen King. Interludes in the characters' minds. A free narrative style that allows the reader to not move with the character, but be the character itself. I'm not sure if he did this from his very initial works or if he does uses this technique, but it sure is the best way to bring the reader close to the character. Point to be noted is that it is a past tense narrative; usually this wedges a gap between the character and the reader. King uses the past tense with the Mental interludes to bring out a closeness to the character like no other.
A real character is one which is believable and you allow yourself to be led by that character through the plot. King's characters are one step more. They don't lead you; it's more like they are standing by you. Sometimes it's scary the way I could predict what the character would do. You get that close to a book character, it means the author has put more than sweat and life into them.
He appeals to your inner sense, the intuitions. The whole story has an ominous feel to it. As you read into the first 400 pages, you start feeling something's not right. "Of course, it's not. It's a horror story, for chrissakes" but that's not what I mean. It's evident King writes his deepest secrets in his characters but the scary thing is when you start discovering a lot about yourself when you read the book. The reading experience does not end with the skilful recreation of the events and horrors in Derry, Maine. It leaves you with a yarn of introspective thoughts that might otherwise be untouched deep in your mind.
Come on now, seriously. Every book has some of them but that doesn't mean you don't read it.
King never has a fixed outlining of the plot. The idea starts as a seed and he writes from that. He's said he doesn't know the ending himself until the very end. Well, sometimes it's good, but sometimes not. The author's hesitation in the last two hundred pages is evident. The sure-footed narrative is gone and it takes a little bit of bumps here and there.
The length itself is a downside when it comes to patience of people, these days.Internet and short-attention spans is the trend now, and some readers may just not have it going after 500 pages. But I tell you this, you quit in the middle of this book, then you are never gonna like it. And yes, you are missing a lot. (less)
A riveting, realistic tale of a robbery, nowhere faltering in essentially details. Michael Crichton gives you the real deal - the whole works, the pl...more A riveting, realistic tale of a robbery, nowhere faltering in essentially details. Michael Crichton gives you the real deal - the whole works, the planning and the robbery.
It happens in the 1850s Victorian England and Crichton does an awesome job of recreating the society, the location and the people. To dismiss this as a tale of mere thrills, robbery and some villains would be a very narrow view of it. You'll learn more about England's workings, the society back then, the prejudices involved about certain practices, the press and their role during crimes, the relatively new police force and its working than from a history book. Well, maybe not more - but surely this is the more interesting way to learn.
It has thrills as good as the movie series Ocean's without the frequent Deus Ex Machina that current crime movies seem to employ rather excessively. No skipping, no skimming - the real deal all the way till the end. (less)
One of my friends said she read this when she was about fifteen. I wish I had. I read this at the age of nineteen and I could still relate to it. And...more One of my friends said she read this when she was about fifteen. I wish I had. I read this at the age of nineteen and I could still relate to it. And I guess I'll keep reading this again and again, and no doubt I'll always be able to relate to it. This is one of those books that you either like or you don't. There is no middle ground. There won't be any "Meh. It was okay". You either love the sarcastic, terribly funny and cute bastard, or you hate that whiny, depressing sonuvabitch. Either way I think it's okay.
This book was supposedly banned in schools and colleges right after it came out. Big controversy. I can understand that. I mean, you don't have to ban fifty shades of grey. It's about sex, after all. But when a book comes out with a character so rebellious and realistic, you know your children are gonna want to be like him when they read it. But it's okay to be him. I think everyone should read this once and decide for themselves. The character is very powerful and life-like. After reading this I caught myself thinking at times, "What would Holden do?" and then I would chuckle. Holden will help you know yourself more than your psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are a bunch of phonies anyway. All they do is make you sit on a comfortable coach and then ask very uncomfortable questions, while they sit back and pretend to listen and care about you. (less)
This book is a treat for Stephen King fans who, I would presume, must have read most of his famous books. He takes examples from them and explains how...moreThis book is a treat for Stephen King fans who, I would presume, must have read most of his famous books. He takes examples from them and explains how he came upon a certain plot twist or the reason for a certain character trait. It's a pretty straight forward book that tells you the reality of writing. It is not an inspiring read or even close to an encouraging one. But it is more - it is an honest take on writers and their trade. Anyone who is confused about their stand on writing, this is definitely for you. There are some harsh truths that will shake your confidence but fear not, King demystifies the whole process of writing and helps you see yourself as a writer in an entirely new light. (less)
This could easily be the best Indian young adult book in the recent years. Not that this genre is terribly competitive, except for Chetan Bhagat who...more This could easily be the best Indian young adult book in the recent years. Not that this genre is terribly competitive, except for Chetan Bhagat who regularly churns out some variation of "geeky kid-beautiful girl- unprotected sex" crap. And then there is a group wannabe writers mostly from the IITs and the IIMs, who think their life story is so interesting that grammatical errors and terrible language skills ( shitloads of spelling mistakes in a published book; kill me now, please). Times like these, hope is bleak. Hope for original and honest works. Hope for real writers. ( Shame on you, Saumil Shrivasava. Shame on you for publishing something like this and openly bragging about it.
Enough about that crappy guy. Keep off the grass is original in every sense. The plot, the characters and the backdrop of things. The writing style is particularly good. It's creative too. An Indian author writing from the POV of an American born Indian and capturing the inter-culture issues that he faces, now that's quite a feat. Like Stephen King says, If you don't have time to read, you don't have time to write. Karan Bajaj reads. And he must have read a lot. He brings in references of various characters he must have liked himself. And the title is really clever. And natural as you will see as the plot unravels.
I just hope that his creativity never flounders. I hope he writes in some other genres; with that writing skill, he should definitely experiment a lot before jumping into a platform of his own. This is a great read. He's an IIM guy but don't hold that against him. He isn't one of those guys. This is a real and talented writer. (less)