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Showing posts from November, 2017

Book Review: Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow by Tilly Bagshawe

The book is about the con artists, and how inadvertently their fates are intermingled when they cross one another’s path before pulling up any heist. However the book is not written by Sidney Sheldon, rather continued by Tilly Bagshawe. The book is a sequel to If Tomorrow Comes of Sidney Sheldon’s. In that novel his most popular and enduring heroine was Tracy Whitney, and she is back here in a most ravishing way ever possible: from pulling impossible heists to raising a son to saving her love of youth.

How great and daring heists have been pulled together by Tracy and her love Jeff Stevens was revealed in the previous book. So, before picking up this book, it is mandatory to read the first part. Just before getting married to Jeff Stevens in Rio de Janeiro, Tracy Whitney posing as Countess Valentina Di Sorrenti in a flight robs of a crooked businessman by selling him a public beach. After marriage both Tracy and Jeff try to live a simple life, Jeff takes up a job in an antiquities mu…

Book Review: The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

Before death a man ought to think more about his past life. The same is evident in ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ of Hemingway. One recurring theme of Hemingway’s work is death, he mostly talks about it and then in the end one or two characters pass away without much fuss and commotion.

In The Snows of Kilimanjaro there are total five flashbacks. Harry and his rich wife Helen are stuck in the wilderness of Africa, near the Kilimanjaro Mountain. Harry has developed gangrene: he got the wound while taking a photo of a herd of waterbucks.
He is frustrated with his life’s overall performance as a writer. He misbehaves with Helen and keeps drinking whisky-soda. He is of the opinion that he wasted his life by marrying a rich woman and taken a life of sloth and luxury rather than working hard
He is so careless that he didn’t apply iodine on his wound as a result his leg is rotting day by day, which also indicates that how his soul is rotting day by day, as he was always indulged in self-inflic…

book Review: A Line in the Sand by Gerald Seymour

A Line in the Sand by Gerald Seymour is a page-turner, nail-biting espionage thriller. The novel in general highlights the after effects of being a spy on a foreign soil, most remarkably it is the past that comes back either to haunt or to snatch away the ballast and identity.

A decade ago, now Frank Perry, then Gevin Hughes, was a salesman for a chemical engineering firm based in England. On account of his business, he furtively uncovered the chemical weapons industry of Iran since, in real, he was a spy for the British government.
Because of his undercover work Iran had suffered an irreparable loss in the chemical weapons industry, subsequently reducing their killing powers.
Under the new identity of Frank Perry, he is gone into hiding at a seacoast village named Suffolk in England. He lives with his wife Merlyn, who too has dark past, and one son.
Iran wants to seek the revenge, so they send their deadliest assassin on the job. He is decoded as Anvil. He sets his footprints around…

Book Review: Kohinoor by William Dalrymple & Anita Anand

Kohinoor by William Dalrymple is a non-fiction book based on the much highlighted and controversial diamond: Kohinoor.
As known worldwide, William Dalrymple is popular for his research and non-fiction genres. This time, once again digging the Indian history, he takes up a glittering, yet controversial, diamond to tell its stories that have been passed on from one era to another, and co-authoring him is Anita Anand. They have joined hands to help readers explore this diamond’s history.
The book takes the readers to a different world of past, starting from the Indian prehistory of the scintillating diamond Kohinoor to how the spiritual stories are associated with its origin. Where it is related to the Puranic Kathas and Hindu began to equate the diamond with the legend of Krishna. Author will take you through the different believes and stories mentioned in the Garuda Purana, Bhagavad Purana, Kautilya's Arthasastra.... to understand Kohinoor's origin and significance to the huma…

Book Review: Cricket for the Crocodile by Ruskin Bond

Cricket for the Crocodile by Ruskin Bond is a humorous tale. Beside a park where city boys and village boys gather to play cricket matches in acute rivalry, is a river in which dwells Nakoo, the lazy crocodile. Whenever boys come around the river bank to find a lost ball or for just splashing in water, Nakoo feels insecure, nervous and thus angrily swims across to the other side of the bank. On one hand, he doesn’t like human beings disturbing his dwelling place, while on the other hand he wishes to devour their limbs that seem promisingly juicy flesh; moreover, Nakoo is fed up of eating fish and birds.
Nakoo loves basking in the sun. He often comes out in the park and his best place to rest is the cricket pitch since he also loves the smooth touch of soil on his underneath belly. He lazes around there for days. His presence on the pitch rankle the boys. To add to their misery, they find it tough to have him go, they throw pebbles and stones at him, but he seems immovable.
One day a …

Book Review: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell is segmented into six equally important sections. Also, the storyline has been narrated by five different, yet intriguing, protagonists over a period that spans over six decades. Such long timeline is one of the remarkable things about this book i.e. from an era of 1980s to an apocalyptic future in 2043. Although, there is a different protagonist and a different point of view for each section, except for the first and the last, there is one main character who undoubtedly connects them all from time to time: it is Holly Sykes.

In 1984, Holly Sykes is a runaway teenager in suburban London and she used to hear voices in her head as a child, which she referred as “the radio people”. Holly’s narration is in the first person, this section tells about her family, her clumsy but immensely talented younger brother Jacko who disappears mysteriously, and the shadowy Miss Constantin who comforts her during her nightly visits as a spirit. When Holly is on the run…

Book Review: Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan

Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan is drama-packed tale of five daughters named alphabetically. Since all the lead characters of the novel are women: streaks of feminism is high in this novel. Especially from the main character Debjani, often has been referred as Dabbu, is someone who has penchant for larger-than-life male hero for her life. But it does not mean that a guy should be an IIT and IIM. Her taste is different. In this pursuit, she confidently refuses guy after guy until she meets Dylan Singh: half-Christian, half-Rajput. He is an investigative crime journalist, who deftly covers the Sikhs riots of 1984 in Delhi, and is later framed and then sent to jail, which is heartbreaking for quite some time until he comes out.

This story brings alive the nostalgias of 1980s and is somewhat redolent of Indian Pride and Prejudice since it has all elements: peppery romance, family allegiance, sense of humour, sibling rivalry, gossiping and of course bitching.
The story is stage…

Book Review: The Buddha of the Brothel by Kris Advaya

In her viewpoint he is the Buddha of the Brothel. But would she trust him, a man who will fight for her freedom at the risk of his own freedom?

Kris never has had a smooth or easy-going past. He hails from Slovenia: a war-torn country, despondent by military abuse and an untimely death of a close friend. This is too much to endure for a way cooler personality, like Kris. Thus to leave behind a hurting past and a celibacy of seven years, he flies down to India, in Pune, to study Ayurveda, especially massage. He gets a dedicated orthodox teacher Arun, a mediocre personality on account of that their student-teacher understanding advances on clumsily.
One fine day Kris goes to ABC (Appa Balwant Chowk), a popular market for books, to buy books recommended by his teacher. The market is not far from the red light area of Pune. He, unintentionally, walks into the peripheries of the brothel and spots a beautiful but dusky girl of around twenty-years old. He falls in love with her at first sig…

Book Review: Ghost Trouble by Ruskin Bond

Ghost Trouble by Ruskin Bond is a humorous tale of a Pret (typical Indian ghost) who has strong penchant for making people’s lives difficult. The narrator is a small boy who lives with his grandparents. In the compound, beside a road, is a peepal tree on which resides the Pret. He is living there happy. The Pret often disturbs the Tonga riders, passers-by, and throw stones or fruit seeds at the bicyclists to misbalance them. They all look up at the tree to find only a small boy hidden in the branches; they often threaten him with terrible consequences. However, the boy knows that the prankster is none other than the Pret, as he is invisible to human beings so he is always at advantage.

In most of his stories and novels, Ruskin Bond subtly appeals for preserving nature and often cites the consequences when the trees in the city or nearby jungle areas are being cut down for commercialization and personal motifs. On trees like peepal not only birds dwell but sprits too. Clearly in this …

Book Review: He Said It with Arsenic by Ruskin Bond

Well, before putting this story into the category of detective story, the author Ruskin Bond very slyly has built the background for it by introducing the topic of born killers. He professes as just there are born singers, actors, and sports persons; similarly there are some people who are smooth at killing. William Jones was such a magnificent killer as he always killed his victims quite smoothly. Not violently like criminals or dons.

He was a male nurse in the hospital of Agra; and he always stood by terminal cases. As no one expects terminal patients to recover like hopeful cases, thus their death could never be highlighted. When Jones fell in love with Mrs. Browning - the wife of a stationmaster, their letter exchanging activity became a notable thing for the people working in the postal department. By the way Jones was based in Agra and Mrs. Browning in Meerut. Mrs. Browning’s husband fell sick and died silently. After that she shifted to Agra and took a home beside Mr. Jones. T…

Book Review: When You Can’t Climb the Trees Anymore by Ruskin Bond

When You Can’t Climb the Trees Anymore is a simple yet engrossing short story by Ruskin Bond. The story underlines a very basic and urgent theme of human lives: searching the memories of old days by going back to the places of youth and childhood and finding those people who once were part of your life every day. It instigates the nostalgia that has been settled within with passage of time. A lot has happened in Mr. Bond’s life. He went to England in hope of becoming a better writer and how he lost all his friends from Dehra is still a misty thing for him to recollect as separation of friends happened so gradually that one cannot remember the dates, especially when someone has more than couple of friends.
Bond comes down to the city of Dehra from Mussoorie. He knows that many of his friends have either moved to other cities in the pursuit of career and some have died prematurely. Well, he remembers Miss Pettibone: a very old lady whom he used to visit often. He hikes toward her home …

Book Review: The Haunted Bicycle by Ruskin Bond

The narrator doesn’t have a name but for sure it is Rusty, since this story is a part of the book ‘Rusty Comes Home’. A year ago Rusty had bought a bicycle to commute to Shahganj from the village for collecting mail and newspaper and to drink cups of tea. The road to Shahganj passes through a lonely jungle, hardly to be seen a soul after dusk. One evening when Rusty is returning to the village in which he lives he finds a boy standing alone in the forest. When asked the reason for being at this scary place in the darkness, he said he is waiting for his elder sister. The face and features of the boy were not visible as it was dark. The boy sits on the crossbar and after some time when the lantern light falls on the figure, Rusty takes that girl as his sister. She sets herself on the carrier seat even before Rusty could ask her any details.

While paddling the bicycle Rusty feels that the weight on the cycle is increasing and they were not responding to his questions properly. Rusty sug…

Book Review: The World of Nagaraj by R.K. Narayan

The World of Nagaraj is a plot less novella by R.K. Narayan. The protagonist of the novel is a man called Nagaraj: the novel has been built around his everyday chores. He whiles away day with nothing substantial to do in life, with no concrete aim. He longs to write a masterpiece on the sage Narad. As he is so much in fake preparation of the book that wherever he goes, he begins narrating the tales of the book to be written by him. For this reason people don’t take him seriously, including his elder brother Gopu, and his own wife Sita.

He is a rich man, lives in Kabir Street of Malgudi. Since he has inherited lot of farming land, thus he is free from the clutches of financial worries. This privilege keeps him from working anywhere. He has many school friends and to whom he often visits and consults on how to do business. One such friend is Coomer whom he helped by lending two thousand rupees. With that help, Coomer started Sari business and went on to open up Malgudi’s biggest Sari c…

Book Review: Coup D’état by Ben Coes

Coup D’état by Ben Coes is a political thriller. Dewey Andreas was a special commando soldier in the Delta force of USA. After killing Alexandra Fortuna, a renowned Jihadi terrorist, he prefers to go away hiding. He settles down in a remote ranch in Australia but soon the men of Aswan Fortuna seek him out and begin an attack on him. Aswan Fortuna badly longs to avenge the death of his son: Alexandra Fortuna.

Omar El Khayab is the newly elected president of Pakistan, clandestinely appointed by Aswan Fortuna. Aswan has billions of money but only for Jihadi groups. He loves to destabilize a country and then influence it for his profits. The book underlines how big men with power and money spread terror for personal motifs.
The root of the conflict commences from Yagulung, a remote village in Leh, not so far from the LoC. It comes under the Northern Command of the Indian Army. One day two Pakistani soldiers casually enter the village on a patrol walk, in the village they rape a woman and…

Book Review: A Face in the Dark by Ruskin Bond

A Face in the Dark by Ruskin Bond is a very popular short story that has been passed on from one generation to another. It falls in the purview of mystery and suspense genre. Through this story the author asserts that even people powerful and non-believers of evil spirits go blank or have their heart attack when confronted by strange and horrible situations.

Mr. Oliver, an Anglo Indian, is a teacher in a reputed public boarding school for several years in Shimla. He is a strong personality and easily shoos away the gossips of ghosts and devils. His cottage isn’t far from the school gate. He is a bachelor! A strong personality that staunchly dwells on individualism! Shimla bazaar is a chirpy market full of high standard restaurants and cinema halls. People generally don’t take shortcut routes to reach home in the darkness, especially when heavy winds susurrate through the pine trees which make sad and strange noises.
Contrary to all beliefs, Mr. Oliver always takes the shortcut route …

Book Review: The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

The Library of Fates is a fantasy novel written by Aditi Khorana. Well, it is a novel for growing-up children, thus the protagonist is a teenage girl and of course the villains are adults.

Children versus adult villains conjure up a spicy plot and climax for the novel. The novel is placed in an ancient setting around the time of Alexandra, hence instead of using Alexandra as a real villain the writer preferred to pick up the Hindi name of Alexandra: Sikander.
Amrita is a sixteen-year-old princess of Shalingar kingdom. Her father, Chandradev, so far has been a good ruler as well as a valuable influence on her. Amrita, beautiful and ravishing, has an opulent life. For her life epitomized getting her desires fulfilled, that is so obvious as she was born in a ruler family. She sees Arjun, another teenager of her age, and hopes to get married to him when the right time comes.
Despite a luxe life, she is always curious to know about her mother who died while giving birth to her, also fat…