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Showing posts from September, 2014

The Night Watch - Sarah Waters

It seemed quite improbable that I would be able to finish any book this week, but I held my ground and wrapped up The Night Watch last evening. I've been thinking about the book ever since and have realised that the more I brood on it, the clearer it gets to me. 
This was my first novel of Sarah Waters' and I can see why she is such a popular author. The Night Watch is set in the period between 1941 and 1947, effectively straddling the WW II. As I read through the pages, I was astounded at how the author went about from one incident to another, which were all set in a vast range of circumstances - both ordinary and extreme - and noted them almost factually, but still did not undermine the shock factor and imagery. Perhaps, it was the richness of details - which Waters has gone to extreme lengths to describe meticulously - which cushioned the jarring notes the incidents could otherwise have rung. A wealth of research work has gone into the making of this novel and the intimacy…

Reading List - September

I am one of those readers who likes to have a balanced diet, unless it is something like Harry Potter, which will have my whole, undivided attention at all times of the day (bad news for my academic endeavours in the past and my professional engagements now). Since I am not very picky about what I read, I have, on an average at least three books in my WIP list. This month, these three are on my bedside:


1.The Night Watch by Sarah Waters: This was the result of my random browsing through the booklist of the British Council Library, and I was caught by the synopsis… “This is the story of four Londoners – three women and a young man with a past – drawn with absolute truth and intimacy… Their lives and their secrets connect in sometimes startling way.  Wars lead to strange alliances…”. The book is partitioned in three sections and I have just finished the first one. So far it has captivated me well enough.
2. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield: It has been nearly a yea…

Asterix and the Black Gold - The Crazy Gauls !

I was at the mall yesterday. One thing led to another and I found myself browsing for books at the only bookstore in the mall. Since I hadn't planned out on what to buy, I was mostly flitting between the aisles, thumbing the spines and standing on tip-toes to look at the ones beyond the reach of my vision. I ended up at the graphic novels section (I always feel like saying 'comics' instead of 'graphic novels'; the latter is politically correct, but 'comics' has a happy ring to it), and my eyes stopped over a shelf full of Asterix. I went home, among other things, with Asterix and the Black Gold
The thing that caught my attention was the cover illustration of Obelix in a desert, carrying a camel on his back. 


The plot is fairly simple - the Gaulish village has run out of rock oil (or petroleum to you and me) which is apparently an important ingredient for the potions that druid Getafix brews. Consequently, there is nothing that can save the little village…

Partisans - Alistair MacLean

So this is my first post on this blog and I want to do the honours by starting off with one of my favourite authors - Alistair MacLean. I don't know if you are going to judge me for this, but his books are quick-fix solution for most of my mood swings. Though not all of his books are superbly brilliant and coherent, I continue to enjoy his characters more than the plot. My first tryst with MacLean was Partisans when I must have been thirteen or fourteen and the affection lingers even now. 
Partisans is set in the middle of WW II and follows the journey of the suave protagonist Major Peter Peterson and his friends/enemies through treacherous lands and seas. The principle group comprises of five men and two women, all of whom give away far less than necessary. They are all moving towards the common goal of reaching Yugoslavia in one piece - chiefly with the help of Major Peterson - but their ulterior motives make for several life-and-death situations on the way. 
This is a very cloa…