Friday, 17 February 2017

Movie Adaptation: Room (2015)

It was during the times of oscar when I heard about the book. Inspired by true events it was bone chilling to even think that a crime like this could take place somewhere in the world. Woman being kept captive and birthing child in just a room. After a lot of delay I finally purchased a kindle copy of the book. 

The Book 

A child of five is the narrator in the book. He is used to a room. He does not realise the existence of the world outside. The slow introduction to the world begins when his mother shows him a fallen leaf from the tree and an air plane in the sky. The slowly progresses when both the mother and son manage to escape the captivity. What follows is the visits to the clinic and grandmother's. The story loses interest and pace after the great escape. I started disliking the book halfway through. 
The childish narration did not reveal much about what happened while in the captivity. I was completely disappointed by the book. It did not live up to my expectations at all. 

The Movie 

The movie is a package of good acting and great direction. The movie is an adaptation. Most of the parts are same as the book but few things are changed which only make the movie better.
While the book is from a claustrophobic perspective of the child, the movie covers all the dimensions. The family support and what goes on inside the mind of the victim is well describes. This is the version I like best of the story since I missed it completely in the book. 
The actors are just brilliant. Especially the child. The transformation is incredible. 

Overall 

This is one of the few occasions where I enjoyed the book more than I enjoyed the book. Regrettably so, since i waited to read the book before I watched the movie.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Human Acts by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith

Han Kang stirred the literature world last year with her book 'Vegetarian' which went on to win the Booker prize for fiction. Deborah Smith had translated the book from Korean. While the book is still one of the most sold books, Deborah Smith has gone ahead to translate another book by the same author. 'Human Acts', this time, brings to us the reeking stench of civil war between its pages. 
Someone has said: the country where children are happy is heaven on earth. Korea once upon a time was definitely not one. 

Cover page 

The cover page is one of the most stunning ones I have seen this year. The rib cage onto which the bird is sitting is definitely an eye catch. Ocher gives an illusion of happy whereas the rib cage runs a shiver down the soul. 
'Crown publishing' is slowly climbing up to be one of my most loved publishing houses. See: The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

Characters 

There are multiple characters in the book but there is a constant 'you'. 'You' is a fifteen-year-old boy who wants to participate in the civil war against the government but he is too young for the army. The story begins with the narration from 'You' and slowly moves on to his friend whose body is buried beneath a pile of several others. There is an editor, a prisoner of war, a factory girl and the boy's mother. 
All these characters have their own impacts from war. A boy just wants to be useful whereas his mother is unable to let go of the memories of her son. The prisoner shares his own experience of the war and all that he has lost because of it. 
The characters are impactful. They are hard hitting with her their compose. No erupting volcano but just their compose. 

Content 

It is a book about the 'Gwangju Uprising'. The country at the time was a haven for political unrest where children and young men were out in a battle against their own government. Children as young as 12 years of age were being shot and the bodies were thrown on top of another to form a pile and burnt. 
The massacre turned out to be not only brutish but inhuman. 
'No, none of us fired our guns. 
None of us killed anybody. 
Even when he soldiers stormed up the stairs and emerged toward us out of the darkness, none of our group fired their guns. It was impossible for them to pull the trigger knowing that a person would die if they did so. They were children. We had handed guns to children. Guns they were not capable of firing.' 
A platoon of children incapable of firing was razed to the ground within seconds. 
Han kang having lived in the country has seen the impact and the book translated by Deborah smith portrays a psychological picture which is going to be glued on to the blind spot forever. 
The book begins with a boy trying to look on to a procession. It looks like a regular rainy day but it is hardly so. 'The Boy' is out looking for his friend and his sister when. Having searched at all the places he takes up work at the mortuary. He prepares the bodies for those who come to identify their relatives. The gory descriptions leave you a scar. The boy while working wonders 'for how long does a soul linger near their body after death'. 
'The boy's friend' is death already, stuck beneath a pile of other death bodies. He wants to go looking for his friend. 'When they threw a straw sack over the body of the man at the very top, the tower of bodies was transformed into the corpse of some enormous, fantastical beast, it's dozens of legs splayed put beneath it.' The soul remembers his friends and the days gone by. And then he talks about mere bodies now. As bone chilling as this, this part is probably hit me the hardest. 
There are other chapters which are grotesque too. An editor is slapped by a soldier to reveal the information that she has no idea about. She is trying to forget the slaps in her head whereas on the outside it a regular day for her. A prisoner is recollecting his memories from the war. And a mother is remembering her youngest child, wondering if the early death of her husband was a tragedy or a blessing for him. 
The stories span several decades after the uprising portraying its impact on each individual.
The book in its entirety holds a good claim for the Booker too. It is not a war novel. It is a psychological ghoul which will follow you everywhere. This is a book that will change lives! 

Language 

Surprisingly, unlike other Booker winners, Han Kang writes simple prose. Her language is utterly simple. Her craft lies in sentences where psychology and acute aloofness are intermingled. 

Good points 

I had not read any book on the uprising. It was a different topic to have read about. The cover page is hauntingly beautiful. The characters are exceptional. The content is stunning. The writing style is unlike anything else.  

Bad points 

The book is flawless. 

Overall 

'Human Acts' is by far the most beautiful book I have read this year. 

Whom do I recommend this to 

This book is for those who like good informative literature. Those who like diversity are going to like this book too. 

Quotable quotes 

What happens to the soul? How long does it linger by the side of its former home? 
When a living person looks like a dead person, mightn't the person's soul also be there by its body's side, looking down at its own face? 
"Don't you know how shocked I was when people said they'd seen you here? Good grief, all these corpses; aren't you scared?" 
"The soldiers are the scary ones," you said with a half-smile. "What's frightening about the dead?" 
How long do souls linger by the side of their bodies? 
Do they really flutter away like some kind of bird? Is that what trembles the edges of the candle flame? 
If I could escape the sight of our bodies, that festering flesh now fused into a single mass, like the rotting carcass of many legged monster. If I could sleep, truly sleep, not the flickering haze of wakefulness. 
I was startled to discover an absence inside myself: the absence of fear. I remember feeling that it was alright to die; I felt the blood of a hundred thousand hearts surging together into one enormous artery, fresh and clean… 
We will make you realise how ridiculous it was, the lot of you waving the national flag and singing the national anthem. We will prove to you that you are nothing but filthy stinking bodies. That you are no better than the carcasses of starving animals. 
If life was the summer that had just gone by, if life was a body sullied with sweat and bloody pus, clotted seconds that refused to pass, of life was a mouthful of sour bean sprouts hat only served to intensify the hunger pangs, then perhaps death would be like a clean brushstroke, erasing all such hinges in a single sweep. 
We needed the national anthem for the same reason we needed the minute's silence. To make the corpses we were singing over into something more than a butchered lumps of meat. 
We mustn't let ourselves become victims. 
But I don't have a map for whatever world lies beyond death. 
How could I tell whether your father's loosening grip on life was something I ought to pity, or to envy?

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Strung with love

Nothing screams love as poetry does. Writing poems expressing love in all its forms is the most human thing to do. From poems that talk about the sensuous high love gives you , to the heart ripping agony that heartache brings – Poetry is almost a synonym of love.

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I for one absolutely love poetry , as  it is the finest way to channel emotions. One  can truly pour out their heart in these lines that are written right from their soul. Here are some snippets  by different Poets which have my heart.
You and I against a rule , set for us by time.
A marker drawn to show our end , etched into its line.
The briefest moment shared with you – the longest on my mind.
                                                                                                     - Love and misadventure
Grow old with me 
the best is yet to be
when our time has come
we will be as one
God bless our love
God bless our love

Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
whaen the day is done
Gof bless our love
God bless our love
                                                             - Poems that make grown women cry
“Why do you write ?” he asked.
So I can take my love for you and give it to the world , I reply.
Because you wont take it from me.
                                                                           -Lullabies
Body of a woman , white hills , white thighs ,
you look like a world , lying in surrender .
My rough peasant’s body digs in you
and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.
I was alone like a tunnel . The birds fled from me , and night swamped me with its crushing invasion .
To survive myseld I forged into you like a weapon ,
like an arrow in my bow , a stone in my sling.
                                                              - Twenty love poems and a song of despair.

You were you ,
and I was I  ;
we were two
before our time .
I was yours
before I knew ,
and you have always been mine.
                                                           -Memories
He placed his hands on my mind
before reaching for my waist
my hips or my lips
he didnt call me beautiful first
he called me exquisite.
                                     -Milk and honey

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
                                                           - The Prophet
I am hoping for a sign in the sky or a word from the stars. I am praying for a tear in the fabric of time so you and I can slip quietly away and not a single soul would think to miss us.
                                                           - The universe of us.
When I am with you, we stay up all night,
When you're not here, I can't get to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.
                           - Essential Rumi

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Curse of Mohenjodaro by Maha Khan Phillips

'There is no God,'he told his shocked family. 'There is no Allah, no Shiva, no Buddha. There are only humans. Humans and more evolved humans. Those of us who are evolved.. Well, we have all the power.' Often he made little sense. And so did the book. There was a constant struggle throughout the story. Historical fiction, thriller and some science fiction, the book intended to be a good mixture of everything but failed epically. It's worse because a book named 'The Curse of Mohenjodaro' does not deserve to be pushed away like this. I was expecting more. Sadly it did not deliver. 

Cover page 

Mohenjodaro is an ancient civilisation which has been mapped. It is not understood much and the lines are often confusing. There is a lot to be found out and a lot to be learnt. 
The cover page depicts just that. The maroon background of the layout portrays the hazy picture. The golden font compliments the background and shaky lettering gives out the mystery. It is an intelligent design. 

Characters 

The story is about two sisters. Nadia is a paranormal writer who is quite famous in the field. She is an independent person, mostly due to the circumstances imposed on her rather than by choice. But if there is someone she cares about more, then it is her sister Layla. 
Layla is studying archeology. She is just the opposite of Nadia. She loves company and life has given her more chances. Layla is chasing her dream to be an archaeologist unlike Nadia who is doing what she is best at. 
There is not much said about the characters in the story. Maybe because it is plot driven. But I would have liked to know them personally rather than the outside view that was given in the book. 

Content 

There are two parallel stories in the book. One taking place in the current time and another in 3800 BC. Nadia in 'today' is having some dreams or visions. These visions are trying to reach out to her but she is not able to decipher it until one day her sister goes missing in Mohenjodaro after what could be a radioactive emission. Nadia while tracing her sister down draws the significance of the visions in which she was seeing a woman from an ancient period. 
In 3800 BC, in Meluha, Jaya is chosen as the 'Goddess Blessed'. It is meant to be an position of prime importance but she slowly discovers the ugly truth. She is being used for shellfish motives and the power to read the future is slowly destroying her. 
The stories run parallel with each era taking turns to depict the monstrosity that selfish motives befall on the mankind. 
Unfortunately, the intention of the book was not clear right from the beginning. The supposed historical fiction slowly turned into a thriller ended into a science fiction and philosophy. It was a bit confusing throughout. The story flowed with ease but there was no direction there either. Parts could have been cut short and it wouldn't have made any difference to the story. Only after page 233 is the intention clear. 
Ultimately the book leaves more questions than it gives answers. Such as why was the story in past based in 3800 BC when the Mohenjodaro period is dated at least ten centuries after that, what was the intention? How did bloodstone show visions to some but not others? And several more. 

Language 

The narration did not help the content at all. It was quite dry. There was nothing to look forward to and nothing that created any suspense. 

Good points 

The cover page is a work of art. It definitely piques one's interest in the book. 

Bad points 

Everything else. The characters lacked depth. The content was unconvincing. The narration was dry. 

Overall 

The book is nothing that I expected it to be. I shut the book thinking 'what was the point'! 

Whom do I recommend this to 

I frankly cannot categorize this book. I would recommend everyone to stay away from it. 

I received the book from the publishers for review. The opinions are my own, completely uninfluenced.

January book buying

With the new year come aspirations to hoard more books, but I have made a conscious decision to reduce buying books I don't really want. Hence, I have decided to stick to my list of books and try to buy only those (even as I am writing this, all I can think of is about the titles that I’ve never heard but will be on my shelves soon, from my visit to the bookstore!)

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But January was a good month where I did stick to my wish list. I picked Jihadi Jane, Lifting the veil and Milk and honey from my wishlist! I really look forward to reading at least one of these really soon.

Apart from this, I got a religious book that elaborates on the 99 names of Allah. I received The twentieth wife and Heartless in my Jan box from The Biblio Box. I really enjoy fiction set amidst the royalties, and the ones set in India especially!

I happened to receive a review copy of Here be dragons from the author himself and a very dear friend who I met via the wonderful world of books gifted me Why I write.

With a mix of review copies, gifts and books that I actually wanted to buy, my book hoarding has started on a good note! Hope you have some fun book buying plans for 2017 as well!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Pavilion of Former Wives by Jonathan Baumbach

A man nursing his recent failed marriage after a series of failed relationships earlier comes across an ad in the newspaper. He does not believe in things like these. But he decides to give it a fair shot. He visits a pavilion so he can visit himself in his former relationships. 
The book is a collection of more such whimsical stories that take you to a parallel world and fill you will awe. This one is a must read. 

Cover page 

The cover page is as whimsical as the stories inside. The flow-y font compliments the graphic on the page. It is definitely simple but inventive cover. Deserves a place on your bookshelf. 

Characters 

The characters keep changing from story to story. But what remains constant is the narrator. He takes us through his different relationships throughout his life. There is self-mockery in the narration which makes you like the narrator more and more. Also, different women in his life are interesting to read about too. 

Content 

The book is a collection of short stories where the narrator talks about his relationships with different women. Some stories are better than the others. 'The pavilion of former wives', the first story, is a whimsical one where a man just out of his recent relationship reflects on his life with all the women. It's a story with maybe an incomplete end, which makes you keep pondering over it. 'Seattle' is a story of old age.
'Travels with wizard' begins with 'After turning sixty amid a debilitating winter that had hung on a long beyond expectation, after his latest live-in girlfriend has elected to move on, after renewed feelings of hopelessness had moved in to replace her, the biographer Leo Dimoff, sensing the need for a radical change in his life, decided to get a dog.' And then begins a relationship. The dog, the dog owner and a dog carer. It is again a whimsical story.  
'Lost car' talks about the arrogance of the man in a witty narration. 'The night writer' is another story written exceptionally well. 
The entire collection has something for everyone. While I enjoyed most of the stories, I did not enjoy a few much. But as it happens in all the collectives, I do not hold this against the book. 

Language 

The author is an exceptional writer. His dreamy/lucid narration takes you to a wonderland. There is also a lot of self-mockery in the narration which helps you connect with the author well. The writing is simple and witty. Just amazing! 

Good points 

The cover page is beautiful. The content combined with lucid narration make it one of the most exceptional books I have read lately. The narrator makes the story come alive. 

Bad points

The loose ends may annoy a few readers if they like closures. 

Overall 

It is a brilliant collection of short stories. A definite must-read. 

Whom do I recommend this to 

This book is for those who like great things in small packages. Those who enjoy short fiction and vivid narration are going to love this too. 

Quotable quotes 

But let's get back to the story, he tells himself, it's the story that matters, he is only it's executor, or caretaker perhaps, or parent, the one who keeps it clothed and fed until it is sufficiently formed to deal with the world without him around to mediate its existence. 
Sanity, as I see it, is knowing when to throw away false hope. In my weaker moments, I conceded that the world is haunted.
It usually happened on the road, when he was sleeping in strange beds, and came about more often than not when he hadn't had sex in a while, not even with himself. So what he did, was doing perhaps, was masturbate sentences. Was that what it was? Jerk them around to best advantage. To often, when he work after hours of sleep-ridden revision, exhausted from prolonged creative effort, only the worst versions of the sentences awoke with him. 
Most men (and I don't exclude myself) like to have a beautiful woman on their arm not so much for the women per se but for the macho statement it offers to the casual observer. 
And if his first confession wasn't offensive enough, he added," for long periods I don't think of you at all, but when I do, it's always with regret at having lost you." 
Women have a history of misunderstanding him. Which may also mean that he has a history of sending out messages to women that are susceptible to misreading. Or, quoit being fully conscious of his motives, some part of him wants to send the wrong messages.
I received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own, completely uninfluenced.  

Monday, 30 January 2017

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Mysteries have always been a favorite, and somehow this genre teamed with a female protagonist seems like a hit for me. From enjoying the Tracy Crosswhite series, to adoring Ms.Marple, I sure have a thing for female detectives  and Veronica is definitely a new favorite!
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Cover

The book has a deep wine colored background with a metallic impression of a scene from the book.The cover, as per my understanding interprets a night in the grounds of a house they trespass, has the silhouette of a lady-Veronica in a gown, with a net that is often a gear of the Lepidopterists.  It is an interesting blend of ideas where a hint of what is in store is shown, and a character sketch of the Protagonist is added. The lettering is bold and the overall picture is a tad overdone to my liking. Having said that it still does justice to the story, but in my liking – it could be toned down a lot more to convey the message just the same.
33973404

Characters

The book is the second one in the Veronica Speedwell series, and hence has her in the lead along with her natural historian colleague named Stoker. These two are commissioned by a certain Lady Sundridge, who wants them to investigate the murder of Artemisia, who was the mistress of art patron Miles Ramsforth and who is to be hanged soon as he is accused of the murder. Apart from this, there are the wife of the convict, the different members of the Bohemian art colony where Artemisia and the convict met and the members of the family where Veronica and Stoker reside at.  Stoker’s family, and the royal family themselves seem embroiled in this case. Not to forget, there are also members of the Scotland Yard that play a role in the book .

Content

Veronica is no detective, but a Lepidopterist with secrets of her own. She is invited to an elite Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment where she meets Lady Sundridge who wants her to take up the investigation of a murder. She is quite convinced that the convict in the murder - Miles Ramsforth , an art patron is not guilty. Veronica takes up the case , and she and Stoker embark on the adventure of finding the real killer of Artemisia.
Set amidst the elite and the royals, the book takes on into the complex lives of the royals, the heady world of art and the treacherous world of lust, love, success and betrayal.

Language

One of the most striking thing about the book is the language. Set in the Victorian era, but read by a modern day Author, the writing is intriguing with simple, crisp writing with witty lines  teamed with a generous sprinkling of fancy words. The combination of the two is such that it doesn't make the book an exercise to read, but makes you want to learn those new words as they are so well balanced with an easy flowing  narration.

Good Points

The narration is interesting, and the vivid description used gives the reader a clear and enticing picture of the bygone era that the book is set it. The characters are well portrayed and have interesting qualities and a certain sense of mystery that will have one wanting to read more books in the series – not just for the new adventure, but to unravel more about these lead characters. Veronica is a true heroine in the sense that she stands out in those conservative times with much pride! She wears her freedom on her sleeve, and happily embraces the tag of a hippie that she is lavished with.
It is interesting to see how two non detectives are actually the lead  of a series like this. They are curious, and very intelligent making them don the hats of  investigators with much ease. However , it is also this very feature that makes the book unique – as it stands out from the other books, most of which have a Cop or a Detective chasing the bad guys.

Bad Points

The characters are interesting in the sense that they have a certain mystery about them and as you read on, you sure are to like them, but there is a certain cliche-ness to their enigmatic personalities, which I cannot explain without giving away the plot.
The book is more than just a murder mystery, as it encapsulates the time period, and the complexities of the elite. Somewhere this possibly made it a little more predictable, as I was quite certain about who the real killer was, but I still read one partly to confirm my doubt, and partly to know how the deal was done.

Overall

I quite enjoyed the book on the whole. It is quite an engaging read with a mix of silly banter, to some serious snooping around and crime solving. With all their enigmatic and not so mysterious qualities, the characters still hit home and I would like to read more of  Veronica’s and Stoker’s adventures.

Who would I recommend this to ?

Book lovers who enjoy vividly told stories with a mix of suspense and elaborate drama, this one might interest you some!

Quotable quotes

Men, I had often observed were never happier than when they believed that they were imparting wisdom.
My choices have placed me beyond the pale of propriety. I have traveled alone. I am unmarried, I live without a chaperone, and I work for a living. These are not the actions of a lady.
We are made to be decorative and worthy of display, with occasional forays into procreation and good works, but nothing more.
The body is a willful creature of passions that must be satisfied. But the heart- the heart must only be given to one. That is the sacred bit.
and it is the over-familiarity with the gender that blinds you. You have never had cause to make a study of men because you are one, whereas I have devoted years to the subject.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Alternate Opinion: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

It was during the different kinds of work done during the Great War where the author had decided that he was going to write a story about a fisherman and a boat. He was quite fascinated with the idea but never got around to writing the story until towards the end of his writing career. This short novella won him the Pulitzer Prize and a year later Nobel prize for his career in literature. Hemingway found a lot of admiration for this short fiction which is still read decades after it was published first. 

This is a story of an old fisherman who has run out of luck. He has gone 83 days without catching a fish. The boy who used to accompany the old man was also ordered by his family to work for other fishermen. The man is all alone patiently waiting for his next capture. It is true that in old age you are always lonely. It is inevitable. But he refuses to lose hope and prepares for the next capture. The next day he sets sail again to capture a marlin and the way he does it! It is a marvelous narration. The heart goes to the fisherman for his determination. The next task is to bring the fish in and this too while he is lost in the sea. His Marlin gets eaten by the sharks on the way while he fights for the last piece of its meat. 
The highlight of the story is the portrayal of the emotions. The undulations are deep. There are also psychological shadows seen during the story. The never staggering determination wins the story. 
The need to talk to someone, to be one's own guide and well-wisher, the constant need to share a relationship with someone are all that makes the story worth Reading. It is also a depiction of changing faith in the face of adversity. A parallel of drawn with Jesus quite often. There is also an iron heart of a fisherman who respects his kill and does not let it go easily. A mutilated marlin is ugly to look at but it is still his kill. 
This is definitely one of the best books I have read, ever. It reminds you of the simplicity of Kafka and the narration of Gabriel Garcia Marques. I resolved to at least read one classic a month and this is definitely a great start! Read the detailed review of the book by Pooja here

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm

Samsa woke up from sleep one day and found himself to be turned into an eight-legged bug. The novella by Fraz Kafka began a sensation. Then began multiple retellings of the same story. But I haven't read anyone like 'Home Coleoptera' inspired by 'The Metamorphosis'. 
'These circuses that sweep through the landscape is a beautiful collection of short stories that show us the extraordinary in life. All comprising of beautiful endings this one is a good book in he said genre. 

Cover page 

The cover page comprises of illustrations taken out of different stories in the book. The illustrations compliment the stories inside. The simple composition is subtle relevant graphic. The white cover just says what the book is. A simple writing with the complications of a circus. 
I liked the cover. It is a book I am glad to have received a physical copy of. 

Characters 

The stories consist of very distinct characters. They are interesting to read about. 
Mr Ghosh had won most of his prized possessions in contests. 'When it came to contests, he had the willpower of a bull.' Early on in life, he realised that all he had to do, once he had filled the form and cut along the dotted line, was send he entry and then simply will the prizes his way.' He believes he can achieve anything if he wills it. It does not exclude his wife either. 
There is a woman who is obsessed with shopping. So much so that she gets stuck in a shopping mall only to find her way out of the mall after months together! 
Diana is in love with a musician who is dead. No, she is not a fan, she is really in love with the dead musician. 
There are other brilliant characters in the book. One can read the book just for the stories of these characters but there is so much more to the book! 

Content 

The collection consists of some whimsical and some realistic stories. Some dark with funny bits and some complicated ones, this book is a cocktail of great stories. Extraordinary heady cocktail. These stories are out of ordinary just with their subject.
The author writes about a man who can win any contest with his will power. He tried to turn his wife into a bug just so that he can teach her a lesson. 'Homo Coleoptera' is inspired from 'The Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka but a lot different from it. 
In 'Cotton', a woman on her birthday decides to bake herself a cake and in the process realized that she is made up of cotton. 
In 'Sandalwood', a housewife is asked by husband to leave their family because he just realized that he is gay and he would like to spend the rest of his life with the gay partner. The children do no want to give up the comfort of their large house and decide to live with their dad. The psychology of the woman is explored in the story with again a great ending. 
'Drinks at seven' and 'These circuses that sweep through the landscape' are also well-written stories with surprising ends. There are several others worth reading.

Language 

The author is an amazing storyteller. The style of writing is extraordinary. The concept is interesting and it is carried out well in the narration. The story flows smooth like honey. The pace is viscous. 

Good points 

The cover page is subtle yet memorable. The characters are one of their own kind. The stories inside are beautiful. They are meant to read and reread and relish from time to time. He narration takes the cake away. The author has a way with words. 

Bad points 

Some stories were better than a couple of others. But as is always the case in a collection, I do not hold it against the author. 

Overall 

It is the first and a wonderful collection of short stories that I have read this year. A great beginning for the genre. 

Whom do I recommend this to 

This book is for those who like short whimsical tales. Those who like out of ordinary endings are going to like this one too. 

Quotable quotes 

One evening, after dinner, he decided he would do it. He would use the full night of his willpower to shrink his wife. She would be his in every way. 
I'm in love with Dean Martin, I repeat. I am not a crazy fan, do you hear? I do not live in a room plastered with his posters. I love him. Now can we drop the subject of men forever? 
The things you hear about nowadays, all this new-fangled technology is beyond me, I tell you. In another twenty years we'll be flying around our houses, not walking. Human ingenuity is a remarkable thing, really. 
I laughed. Laughter came easily to me that morning. Looking back, I think in some weird way it felt like foreplay.
I received this book from the publicity team in exchange for an honest review. Opinions here are my own, completely uninfluenced.  

Monday, 23 January 2017

Movie Adaptation: Cinderella (2015)

Cinderella has been the most known and beloved fairy tale of all times. It is the magic of the godmother and the kind heart of the Cinderella that fills the book with fantasy. The evil step mother is also a part of the tale. An important part. When there is no evil, goodness is not exposed. The movie version of Cinderella is for the first time letting the evil side explain their side of story.

The book 

Cinderella is a beautiful girl who lives with her stepmother and three step sisters. She is as beautiful as she is kind. Forbidden by her stepmother, Cinderella is upset to not go to the ball held in the honor of the prince. That's when the fairy godmother enters and lives are changed with magic. It is simple and sweet story of a girl finding love and her happily ever after. 

The movie 

Disney's Cinderella is a lot different from the book. The Cinderella story has been given a lot of depth. Here Cinderella is a girl who loves her mother but loses her to a terminal disease. She is asked by her mother to always have courage and be kind. Those were the last words. 
When few years later Cinderella finds out that her father is in love, she promises him to be kind to the new family too. 
The story picks up the pace from here. The step mother is not evil in the beginning, just a little insecure. More so because of the relationship that Cinderella and her father share. It can be noticed at the nigh she throws a party and overhears Cinderella and her father talking about her. 
Cate Blanchett is ever so graceful in the evil stepmother's character. The step sisters here are child like but they too have got dimensions. The magical elements in the story is what carries you to the dreamland. The carriage and beautiful clothes are elaborate, better than the imagination. The beautiful transition of 
I loved the entire movie but of all the depth of Cinderella as the character is inspiring. The Cinderella here does not intend to go to the ball to charm the prince. She wants to go there to meet her friend. And till the end she remains kind. Like she promised her mother. 
This is a movie definitely worth watching. It is one of the best Fairy tales converted into a very charming movie. 

Overall 

The fairy tale is the classic and the movie is a unforgettable work of art. Both are worth reading and watching time and again.