Timescape

51YpMghw-cL._BO2,204,203,200__AA300_SH20_OU02_By Gregory Benford truly keeps up to the genre it is classified as ‘science fiction’. There is science, a lot of it and fiction of course, else time travel would be..ohh..wait..we can really transmit to the past and present right?

The writing almost makes it feel real, the explanation makes it so plausible.

An interesting read for the science, the thought process and the writing. The characterization is well done. I could totally feel what my hubby does, when Penny gives Gordon suggestions as he is distraught and unable to find a solution to the noise they are encountering in their experiment. Ofcourse Penny wasn’t being mean or silly, but that is just how she perceived things. Anyway, my point being the characters are real, their emotions, problems are all real.

My inspiration to read came from here. Thanks Mohsin 🙂

The grapes of wrath

downloadThere are different types of people. One that cause others to suffer, one that see the other’s suffering, recognize it but do nothing about it, one that recognize the suffering and hence fear the anger of the sufferers and hate them, and of course the last, the sufferers who move on no matter what they are made to endure.

Steinbeck in his Nobel winning book, captures these human varieties as simply, as you and I observe and understand them. The writing is so simple and so elegant that the pain and suffering reaches you right within and writhes you with pain. Before you know it, you can feel the hunger, desperation and disappointment of the Joad family and every family that went through the ordeal during the great depression. Every alternate chapter is written in third person and it feels more like a poem being recited. The words are very well chosen and leave you with no choice but to ponder and wonder what you would have done, if you were ever put in such a situation.

In this story the Joad family are farmers who were trapped in the dust bowl and were driven by hunger and hope to California in search of a job. At every step they meet more such people and hear stories about the dreams and hopes being shattered, but nevertheless they keep moving on hoping that the stories were false.  On their way they help a couple, lose their elders and their hopes reduce from those of a nice small home to money to buy a little food for everyone in the family today. Towards the end of the story, you see how every character changes from what he seemd to be before. The selfishness of Al, who wants to have a wife, the madness of uncle Jack who cannot get over his past sins, the realisation of the preacher Casy who feels he has done wrong by spending his life preaching. The strongest character is that of Ma, who never lets her courage die, no matter what. She strives on to keep the family together in times so tough without ever getting tired. She still hopes, hopes for hope and leads all of her family that is left on and on. The last paragraph is especially touching as it describes so many emotions in one moment. 

This book has left me in so much pain and anger for those whose greed caused the great depression.

1Q84 – The trilogy

1q84-197x300This is a book by famous Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Its a story about the lives of two people Tengo and Aomame set in a world that is 1984 with some non-trivial changes. It is a different world, a world with two moons, probably a parallel universe. I won’t divulge more as the mystery is what will keep you reading.

The plot is interesting and the writing keeps it interesting. The writer does not spell things out for you, instead he tells you a fact and leaves the interpretation to your imagination for quite some time. The characterization is detailed and as such gets you absorbed in their lives. The description of Fuka Eri and the way she conducts herself is so well written that you almost start seeing her. As compared to Fuka Eri, Aomame and Tengo’s personalities are a little less explored and as such just remain names throughout.

The first book is really gripping and keeps you wanting for more. The second, goes astray but foes keep some secrets and tells you to read on to the third part. The third part though, is very disappointing. It becomes more of a love story and how two estranged lovers will meet. Also the plot about Aomame getting pregnant through a conduit is rather outrageous. It nullifies all the effect the first and second parts created. The end is ofcourse as you would expect, but a disappointment for me.

Overall, the concept was really nice, and the first part is a gem. Moving on, distractions and change in focus make it rather uninteresting.

 

The gingerbread man

2940045198387_p0_v1_s260x420This is thriller by Maggie Shayne.  Its a story about a detective, who gets extremely involved while solving a case of a kidnapping. This is no ordinary kidnapping, but that of a psychopath pedophile, He abducts, molests and then kills the kid and buries all of them at the same place. Infact the grave is dug up well in advance while he is making plans of the abduction. The detective when on leave, then comes across a girl, whose sister was also abducted and killed by the same killer. Only difference, she claims the killer is already behind bars. Is there a new killer or is the killer still roaming freely in this very town?

Circumstances then reveal that all is not well in this small countryside town and they might infact have a killer on the loose. The girl teams up with the detective to aprehend this killer once and for all.

The characterizations are pretty strong. The trauma after such an incident and the survivor’s guilt are very well expressed. The plot moves on at a very fast pace and keeps you glued to the book, right until the end.  The end almost feels like an anti-climax to an otherwise well built up story. It gives you the feeling that the writer wanted to get it over all of a sudden. But otherwise it makes for a good read.

Thank you, Jeeves

thank-you-jeeves-p-g-wodehouse My first P.G Wodehouse read. I need hardly tell you how awesome it is – rather I am not sure I can adequately explain how awesome it is.

All I can say is, witty, sarcastic humor I read till now could only make me smile, this book got me laughing uncontrollably.

Do give it a read, it will take you to a different world, where everything always ends right 🙂

The name of the wind

name-of-the-windd1 By Patrick Rothfuss is an amazing read given that it was the first creation of the author 🙂

Its a story about a young and curious Kvothe and his journey towards becoming a famous arcanist. Kvothe is an incredibly fast learner and maybe called a child prodigy. He is a Ruh, which is a sect that travels like nomads and entertains people with acts, plays song and dance and magic shows etc. The story is based in the author made world where there are different regions (something that Tolkien started with the LOTR series)

Kvothe loses his loved ones and in his struggle to survive and hunt down the killers gets him to experience all sorts of hardships and people.  Life is his teacher and he learns to survive, earn, feed himself and protect himself. This is the first part of the series of three. In this part he tells us about his childhood and his journey to the University.

The writing is simple, but creative enough to get you to visualize the whole scene. Emotions of the various characters are very well described which gets you to feel the pain, excitement and the anguish that the characters is going through. Overall the writing is good. Some parts are a bit stretched, like the extra emphasis on Dianne. Maybe she plays an important role in part two of the novel. In this part however, I felt there was too much emphasis on her character.

As far as the plot and character building goes, its great. Towards the end it was a little stretched, but a good read anyway.

The secret garden

images by Frances Hodgson Burnett was published in 1911. Its a book for children, but the teaching is useful if ever you lose your optimism.

The story is about two 10 year olds, who are neglected by their parents and as such develop negative feelings, are spoilt and hated by everyone around them. All they ever did when they were younger, was sit around and order servants. Since they had no physical activity they were also very unhealthy.

When Mary’s people all die of an epidemic and she is left alone, her uncle becomes her guardian and summons her to his grand house over the moor. Her uncle has recently suffered a great loss in the form of his wife and has not been able to emerge out of it. Hence he usually stays away from home. As such his son, develops a psychological inferiority which makes him believe he is sick and is going to die soon. The story starts after Mary and Colin meet. They find a friend in each other and they help each other grow up to be healthy beings.

The plot is for kids, and the build up and writing is eloquent. The narration keeps you glued to the book.

Its a very sweet book which will bring a smile to your face for sure 🙂