A thriller that isn't one. The author makes me wonder about the psychology of misogyny in women. There are three female narratives, each one more unreA thriller that isn't one. The author makes me wonder about the psychology of misogyny in women. There are three female narratives, each one more unreliable than the other, and every page makes u wonder who is more pathetic among the three. One star especially for the painstaking character development, but this was a story which dragged out to an inch of its life....more
When you read some spectacular nonsense, you might be inclined to think any fool could have written it. Only when you try it yourself will you realiseWhen you read some spectacular nonsense, you might be inclined to think any fool could have written it. Only when you try it yourself will you realise how thoroughly wrong you are. It takes a special kind of crazy talent to be able to pen gobbledygook and actually get away with it. Simply brilliant....more
A trenchant first chapter, a supine, dragging second leading to an explosive finish. Some novels explain and over-explain the ending, perhaps out of fA trenchant first chapter, a supine, dragging second leading to an explosive finish. Some novels explain and over-explain the ending, perhaps out of fear that a reader might be left wondering, not allowing him with anything to speculate, weigh or brood over. This one does not. Sometimes, it is better to leave the readers with something to wonder....more
Oscar Wilde once said, ‘Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.’ There is an ineffable allure that tragedies hold to thOscar Wilde once said, ‘Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.’ There is an ineffable allure that tragedies hold to the broken human consciousness. Like a pool of mud for a kid, a secret you don’t want to hear. The kind of visceral charm which most of us instinctively resist, but which inveigle the best of us sooner or later into its chasms of seductive ruthlessness.
The God of Small Things is an exquisite thing, maybe even more exquisite than the tragedy it portrays. The prose may seem surreal because it is written in a language we have forgotten, the language of innocence, the language of curiosity, the language spoken by a voice which is yet to uncloak the hypocrisy of the world around. One cannot read it without feeling the winds and the rains, the despair and the apathy, the sense of an ending which holds no hope. More than anything, the vicious nonchalance, the clinical cynicism with which each sentence is crafted hits you right in the face, like a slap that you deserve.
Ms. Roy creates exclusive similes and metaphors which makes sense only in the intricate fragile world she constructed, which makes sense only to Estha and Rahel, only to the people who can atleast pretend to understand Estha and Rahel. There are sentences that are so chilling that it will remain with you even long after you put down the book. Chilling because you know they are true, because you have always known them to be true even though you had conveniently avoided them and now you cannot reject them as untrue because they come in the voice of a child. Leaving behind an old-conviction-shaped Hole in the Universe.
Ms. Roy says there is a cost of loving. Fittingly, I agree, because I loved every page of this obdurate, merciless, rancorous, resplendent tale. She could have rambled on for another thousand pages and I would have listened to it all. As she so rightly puts it, ‘The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. That is their mystery and their magic.’ ...more
385 pages of suspense buildup spoiled by the most ineffective, unconvincing denouement crammed up in the last 5 pages..yes, there is another instalmen385 pages of suspense buildup spoiled by the most ineffective, unconvincing denouement crammed up in the last 5 pages..yes, there is another instalment to wrap up the story arc, but a writer should not take the reader for granted..it is difficult to carry out, but it's been done before; Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire is a similar sort of novel, build-up for a grand finale, but unlike here, it was executed with perfection..Katniss, depicted as strong, fierce and independent for 99% of the book, suddenly takes a tumble screaming self-pity a li'l too easily..maybe the aftereffects of Hunger Games which far exceedes this one.....more
A Thousand Splendid Suns was a book that has been in my shelf for a really long time. This is my first Hosseini novel, in spite of having the more accA Thousand Splendid Suns was a book that has been in my shelf for a really long time. This is my first Hosseini novel, in spite of having the more acclaimed Kite-Runner in my collection. Being more of a thriller fiction and fantasy guy, I kept putting off reading this one for another rainy day. The reviews didn't help much either, I got depressed once just reading a few. Then I took it up yesterday. I finished it today.
The novel is a stark depiction of the brutal realities of life amidst the war-ravaged Afghanisthan. It portrays the story of people who are caught in the cross-fire, the collateral damage. For those outside, they are just some numbers depicting the casualties in newspapers and TV shows. It paints a picture so mind-numbing, the details so graphic that anyone reading it would just thank their stars they are not in it.
The novel follows the life-story of Mariam, who was born an illegitimate child, who aplogises for just being born. Her childhood, dreams and aspirations are shared to the reader, just as the mindless manner wanton fate just dashes them to smithereens. Married off at the age of 15 to a man thrice her age, the only human connection that she feels for the rest of her life is at the age of thirty, with an adolescent girl in her neighborhood. Hosseini traces their story, their relentless battle against the world around them, which consistently dishes out the worst it can manage to them.
Faithful to the reviews, the book is incredibly depressing, so much of it that at one point I wondered if this was all a joke. Hosseini is a ruthless writer, sometimes I just hated him for causing the characters such execrable odds at every turn. Death and desolation hounds every page of the book.
There is a story line, contrived for the raging war around it. There are are fifteen year old girls getting married to sixty year old men. There are women whose ineluctable helplessness, forsaken to the whims and fancies of everything and everyone around them. There are kids with stumps of wood for limbs. War, rockets and stray bullets. The ultimate sacrifice and the manner in which Hossieni wrote those few pages could just break any heart.
Hossieni's style has neither charm nor warmth. It is, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than ordinary. But the story he weaves is so heartbreaking that you just continue to read, if only just to know whether the characters would ever get a break. But they do not. The only ray of true hope amidst the inexorable misery is confined to the last ten pages. The characters are one-dimensional, with no scope of development, or no effort taken in that direction as well. But there were moments i just wanted to squeeze the living daylights out of the tailor-made villain, who compares his wives to cars and locks up a baby without food or water for two days. There are a few unusual similes and metaphors used and some sentences of utter brilliance.
This book is to be read by all those people who wallows in self-pity about how life had been hard for them and also to those who say universe is a magical genie, granting wishes (sorry, Rhonda Byrne). Not for the weak-hearted, not for the optimistic. For you, Kabul definitely does not hide a thousand splendid suns behind her walls....more