Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: Amphigorey by Edward Gorey

Title: Amphigorey
Author: Edward Gorey
Publisher: Turnaround publisher service
Pages: 189
Price: Rs 1241
ISBN: 9780399504338
Genre: Art / fiction/ satire
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Borrowed



Buy Amphigorey from flipkart.com

Summary (from good reads)
The title of this deliciously creepy collection of Gorey's work stems from the word amphigory, meaning a nonsense verse or composition. As always, Gorey's painstakingly cross-hatched pen and ink drawings are perfectly suited to his oddball verse and prose. The first book of 15.

Review
Amphigorey is the first among the series of book of three.I happened to read this book in strange circumstances  just like the bizarre collection of stories that set a classic example for social satire..There are fifteen short stories in this book and each one a unique in its own way..Gorey's illustration is something that one would find it quite different from any of the books one usually reads..I read the stories at random and though unique some of them where not my cup of tea .....

What would you do with ghastly, grim, sullen and somber circumstances and events?? Tone it down so much that they start tosound amusingly witty..I think anyone but  Gorey could do this kind of work with these stories..

There are kids such that in that of  "The Grashlycrumb Tinies" who die at unusual circumstance that is amusing ..But then can you believe that? well that is Gorey for you.. Gorey has created an era that is strangely funny , creatures are strange and quite fantastic at that as in "The Doubtful guest", it is a story of an animal visiting a family much to the irritation and dismay of the family, worse part it doesn't talk while dropping their precious belonging to the pond stealing towel and so on, the family is never able to get rid of it even after 17 years, while the animal doesn't show any sign of leaving in near future either..The Unstrung harp is another interesting hypnagogic conversations in an authors head, his creativity that roots in and branches out as tales..The mental pressure when an author is unable to pen down his thoughts his frustrations and creating a masterpiece and trashing them all are depicted in an unusual way ...
"The hapless child" was one story that in spite of its melancholy aura, could be for a normal read. Its about Charlotte Sophia whose father, Colonel dies on duty, mother too dies of ill- health, she is sent to a boarding school where the teachers are cruel, her fellow mates bizarre to the extend that they tear off her doll's limb, to escape all this she runs away  only to come face to face with thugs who are even worse but then some good news comes her way towards the end.."The curious Sofa"  was my least favourite among all..

Overall the book is for an off-beat read which would treat you with a very different reading experience..The language is old school hence may not be that reader friendly, still it is worth a try..

The illustrations






Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: The Captain's daughter by Alexander Pushkin

Title: The Captain's daughter
Author: Alexander Pushkin
Pages: 154
Genre: Historic fiction/ classic
Price: Rs 514
Source: Online
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Buy The Captain's daughter by Alexander Pushkin from flipkart.com


Reading a classic is always a treat to mind and heart and the Russian classics are my favourite ..I have always been in awe of the beauty of its prose..

The captain's daughter is a historical novel set during Pughachev's rebellion in 18th century..At the early age of 17 the protagonist Pyotr Andreyich Grinyov is sent to military service in Orenburg by his father..Having lost way he is caught in an unknown atmosphere in a fix until rescued by a puzzling stranger..

At Orenburg, he is assigned to serve at the Fort Belogorsky under Captain Ivan Mironov, there he befriends Shvabrin a fellow officer..Love soon takes up the scene as Pyotr falls head over heels in love with Masha, The Captain's daughter.But the twist is when Shvabrin also has an eye on Masha who has turned his proposal down..The love triangle goes through several ups and down until the fortress is attacked by Yemelyan Pughachev who imposes himself as the murdered  Emperor Peter III...As Captain Mironov refuses for allegiance he is hanged while his wife is murdered..When it is the turn of Pyotr his life is spared as it is revealed that Pughachev to be the mystifying rescuer from the past..Though they develop a fond relationship Pyotr declines to serve Pughachev, by sheer sincerity he is let to go back to Orenburg.

The fort is left under Shvabrin who predictably takes advantage of the situation to force Masha to marry him..Pyotr ushers to stop the marriage only to be captured by Pughachev's troops..Pyotr explains the situation frees Masha and sets off to Captain's estate, en route they are blocked by army...Pyotr decides to stay back with the army while Masha continues her journey to her fathers's estate..The War continues fiercely resulting in Pughachev's death..Once again Pyotr is captured for having friendly relation with Pughachev and labelled as a traitor..During interrogation Shvabrin testifies against Pyotr and Pyotr doesn't defend himself for defending himself would bring Masha to court..Pyotr receives death penalty and once again luck favors him as his life is spared but remains a prisoner...More drama follows..Would masha ever come to know about Pyotr's plight or will they go on to live estranged till end ..Do read the wonderfully crafted Pushkin's work to know more..

Innocent Pyotr's character matched up with his honesty and sincerity above all his passion for life and love wins the reader's heart right  from the very beginning..His life is always tested with cruelty of war..Through the novella Pushkin makes an exhaustive depiction and personal researched analysis of the outbalance of Russian lives..The novella portrays the lives of different societal hierarchy their clashes and struggle for justice

The novella is classic in every term be it political criticism, romantic nobility, observation common life..All in all it was a captive read also in terms of language and style of writing...Though the end was bit dramatic I don't deny myself to be partial in liking it thoroughly...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Review: Done with men by Suchi Singh Kalra

Title: Done with Men
Author: Suchi Singh Kalra
Publisher: Indireads
Pages: 159
Price: Rs 175
Genre: Chic-lit?romance
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Buy Done with men from amazon.com


Summary (from Blurb)
Travel journo, Kairavi Krishna (Kay) has had it with men. After a series of disasters (losers, philanderers, leeches, mama's boys and possessive psychos), she is all too tempted to walk out on the prospect of ever finding love. Accompanied by her best friend and flat-mate Baani, she sets off for Goa, hoping to get away from her miserable love life and vowing to stay clear of the male species. 

Goa however, has a host of surprises in store for her. Ricky, her pesky ex-boyfriend, is busy painting the town red with his hot new girlfriend. Now what is poor Kay to do other than overdose on vodka, smoke pot, get an outrageous tattoo and fall off the hotel balcony? She wakes up in the hospital to the tender ministrations of Dr.Vivian D'Mello--young, suave and handsome as hell. Will Kay stick to her guns or will she fall for his ridiculously sexy charms? And what's up with the mixed signals he's giving out?


Review
I wanted to revamp my blogging with an easy breezy and light read hence entered Kairavi Krishna or Kay who has messed up her life with a dedicated consistency..All thanks to her love life, yet her job as a travel journo and her super caring and lovable BFF Baani sort of keep things going and of course there is a thought bubble that pops up at all times giving Kay a different perspective 24X7..Oh yea how can we miss Kay's way with sheer stupidity that sort of lands her into troubles and that's the way the story unfolds., Kay's great fall from the balco after an alleged lesbian encounter , disastrous tattoo which reads "DONE WITH MEN"..Predictably Kay is not at all done with men as she meets the attractive, handsome ortho Dr Vivian D'Mello in her funny lingerie with broken bones, bruised face and unconscious  On the contrary the doctor is too good to be ignored and carries a aura around him but did I miss telling you that Kay is still coming in terms with her life and the spoiled New year bash at the sun burn festival Goa that she and Baani had intelligently tied up , work and pleasure..

Things are really slipping away as she faces her as her ex (philanderer) is all cuddled up with a new girl and now she can't stop herself falling for the charismatic Dr Vivian, but wait is she wrong when she sees the same vibes reverberating from him at every encounter? But the who is  the attractive girl who seem to share a great bond with Dr Vivian..Guess what ??Baani seems to be breaking up with her love while she was all set to marry her long time boyfriend and to top it up her boss seem to be love struck with a girl with whom she had a close miss of a lesbian encounter..How can Kay handle it all at one shot when things are falling apart? Will her thought bubble come to her rescue? well read on.

You should definitely read if you are looking for an easy, breezy and fun read with no deep thoughts..Kalra's  writing is smooth and easy.The slang is handled well..She has captured the true spirit a girl in 20s..We see the protagonist and her BFF at polar ends, Kay is all messed up while Baani is clear with every step she takes, yet the bond and the friendship they share is amazing..The chemistry between Kay and Dr.Vivian though not new, the story on the whole makes it for a good read.. Kay's all new experience of love and her self discovery of love and romance will flint a smile both at her stupidity and the warmth she is yet to acknowledge..

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review:The Road to Serfdom by F.A Hayek

Title: The Road to Serfdom
Author: F.A Hayek
Publisher: 9780415255431
Pages: 272
Price: Routledge
Genre: Non-fiction
Source: Library
Rating: 4 out of 5




Buy The-road to serfdom from flipkart.com
Buy The road to serfdom from amazon.com

Summary:
Addressing economics, fascism, history, socialism and the Holocaust, Hayek unwraps the trappings of socialist ideology. The Road to Serfdom remains one of the all-time classics of twentieth-century intellectual thought.

Review:
Hayek the professor in him has tried to put together his intellectual thoughts on the roots of the problem that European world suffered in WWII and how from the mistake of pasts through war they are given a chance to start over all over again in a better way...Yet they (U.S and Europe) are not willing to learn from their past mistake and built a better future..I skipped the introduction my Milton Friedman and I may not have any excuse to that..

This book is sort of a warning on how socialism can lead to autocracy..Published in 1940's the book is most sought for its theories and ideologies..His main focus is on how economic intervention to better a situation can finally lead to further intervention and finally resulting in autocracy for they replace the existing market and hence the whole bearings rest upon a few individuals, hence onto their freedom and thoughts and not the democracy..He attempts to elaborate on how the act to do good can calculatingly do bad..For example in a socialist society an individual assumes that he has the choice to make but then his choices depends on the current scenario of the market which in itself has limited scope.Planning that goes over in the market actually takes away the freedom with which they can work on with..The book is divided into 15 chapters..each chapter explains different angles of the same problem of the market and governing authorities...

He starts with the current state of affairs though it dates back very close to 70 years ..he explains through narcissism , how the whole world has feared  Hitler and how all the country put their effort, resource and energy to overcome the tyranny..Every country  trying  in its own way to explain the current situation that existed then and  there by trying come into terms which eventually failed unless all put their effort in a unified thoughts for a solid solution but there after and the big chaos of war, the schemes that supposedly put for development issues , brought the whole situation under single solid domain of autocracy..Even when people were warned by the evil of socialism people fail to notice the change and their lose of freedom..People are bombarded with the false hope of totalitarianism that they fail to see...They fail to realize that they are losing their basic rights to freedom..

According to Hayek Socialism that is figured as a way to total freedom by diluting the disparity among the difference in income across hierarchy prevailing in society is not what it seems to be..For this he quotes France as an example that fell as a pray and eventually most European countries saw the upcoming danger of the free world in the name of Socialism and its dangers...In other words Socialism sprouted to Fascism in a from the palette..Mussolini who started off as a socialist went on to be fascist..There are always competition among fascists and socialism as according to Hayek they are all fighting for the same position..

Hayek has tried to clear the doubts and the confusion that socialism evokes..As socialism is seen as an epitome of security and equality,..But as socialism works its way to abolish privatization and an individual holding the supreme but distribution of the benefit and profit among the group can bring about planning system that will in turn have control over everything which is the confusion that the socialist attitude can bring about but in turn they all try to control people to serve their own purpose...

The confusion is when common good and general welfare is a variable constant and such that there would be a set of people who might get together  with same thoughts and they form into a group of free thinking people while they supposedly think that they are the ones who can think for common good and their thoughts as a representation of the common wave while many a times this may not be the case..

The impairment  arises when these set of people start to make rules and all are bound to live within the limits of these law tagged in the label of freedom of choice when actually one is forced to choose among the choices...He quotes Nazi government for this who at the outset projected themselves to be a representation of mass and took a stand on many things in the name e of bringing out change for betterment to the very people who were later opppressed..

According to Hayek any planned economy is nothing about autocracy, a tyranny in a more sophisticated order that steals away the freedom of people...Even when it comes to the choice of job the freedom to choose are limited to the positions available in the market that the government provides, controlling them the way they want ., all in the name of socialism and common good with better planning and fiscal security...

In a planned economy competition is created in the market creating  a disparity among people who can afford distinguishing from the people who can't afford...This  leaves with just  one choice to the poor of becoming rich there by entitling themselves a chance to afford..The leaders are the one who decide the incomes and their outcome, leaving behind the very good motto of common good far behind ... they also fail  in the most important fact of freedom of people by controlling them indirectly...

Even security is relatively controlled to minimum standard of living where a particular income can guarantee only a certain kind lifestyle while a slight fluctuation in the market would in turn reflect in the same...A person makes a choice of his way of life based on the income, hence highly paid jobs becomes  lucrative while lowly paid makes a job unattractive..

The problem occurs when socialism take the state of oppression with many to follow and being oppressed by a leader or a group of leaders.. The group that follows  has no independent judgments or thoughts to oppose the oppressor..The situation goes to the extend that even people start to think the way their leader wants them to creating a  complete harmony in a convincing way..

According to Hayek, be it fascism or narcissism they all took their roots from socialism out of Marxist theory.. He quote how Sombart switched their stand from Marxist theory to the socialist ground while Plenge points out the problems of individual freedom in socialism..

While people are still surprised on how narcissism came into being in Germany, but  as per Hayek it was quite predictable as German opposition to British liberalism was the reason for the German state of affair..
However, the complication started when the current generation oppose market hence indirectly pave way for the individuals or the governing authority to take over that leads  to further suppression..Further planning shifts the hands on labor in a different way at the outset while the core remains all the same...

As we cannot achieve international peace for serving one country's economic end sacrificing their fellow countrymen and not coming into terms for common good .. Hence we will never let anything bring a positive solution for the common good..

My favourite quote is "The coming of socialism was to be the leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom"..(page 25)
Hayek's language may not be easily understood but once your onto it things become clear to the extend that you start nodding to his way of expressions..

According to me socialist way of society gives us with a way to pursue a path away from labor work  or non-economically  productive way life, living a life of ones passion on arts, science and education itself while in times of scarcity the very same members might be the cause of disability and much of chaos..Many a times lack of incentives itself might contribute for unwanted competition that itself make the situation quite unstable with low standard of living and poor health...While I might be naive at pointing out the only advantage of capitalism as the least governmental interference while the very same advantage could act as a dagger with the situation being unchecked leading to a much of impairment of the people at the working class..Hayek theories has been much sought for for its own good and deeper thoughts while to me his thoughts were like the philosophy that people come up with their own version of  interpretation..

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Review: Garlic and Sapphires:The secret life of a critic in disguise by Ruth Reichl

Title: Garlic and Sapphires:The secret life of a critic in disguise
Author: Ruth Reichl
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 352
Price: Rs 1106
ISBN: 9780143036616
Genre:Non-fiction/Memoir
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Borrowed



Buy Garlic and Sapphires the secret life of a critic from flipkart.com
Buy Garlic and sapphires:the secret life of a critic in disguise from amazon.com

Summary:
Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

Review:
Books on food plus memoir are always fun to read..I chose this book particularly because it said that Ruth Reichel author of the book made dinning at the Asian inspired cuisine cool, so I just wanted to know more about this powerful author bit more..

"With great power comes great responsibilities" that is a famous quote from Spider man -I.This is a similar situation that Reichel  faced as being a food critic for the New York Times..The book is her reminiscence of her six years tenure at the Times. Starts with her interview and how she landed on the hot seat..Being in the hot chair of a popular office means she is bound to me known, hence she feared she would fail in her duty with a honest opinion as she would be bestowed with lavish treats and luxurious care when compared to a normal customer, so she decides to get help from Claudia , her mother's friend who retired acting coach and then on starts a fun, entertaining story of Reichel in her new avatar...Claudia, Reichel with the help of professional makeup artists start to work on with different characters from her dress to wig to make up to make the disguise more authentic for Reichel..She superbly gets into the act of different people with unique accent, voice and modulations....She acquired everything needed for the character to come alive and they were very different from Reichel itself..

Through all we see different aspects of Reichel's life, her son's excitement on every getup, her husband's opinion and family's support  highlighting the point how friends and family's support go on a long to run in making of a success story...Her disguise includes Molly, Betty, Brenda,Miriam, Chloe..These characters ranges from teacher, to blonde, to hippie, to divorced old lady..At times she gets into the sexiest clothes that lands on with over-weighed attention to the extend of being asked on for date in a different restaurant that she has to review anyways, while for other character she gets into over-sized Armani suits with three skirts to add puffiness, fake wrinkles to brows and very different wigs for each person she becomes, I really was wonderfully how she might have looked in the hippie costume..She goes to the extend of getting credit cards on the fake names..Of course she gets to restaurants in her own self and feels the change in the treatment..Describing all about the disguises she has not left out with her review on restaurants and food..Her whole experience be it novelist or nonfiction they are total fun and entertaining.. There are few fun recipes too..

Her reviews has gone to extend of shattering the reputation of one of the supposedly best restaurants that abuses common people  while pampering the celebrities,while few lesser knows have had their limelight through her...

Her description about food makes you feel as though you are sitting right beside her and make you wish to  grab a quick bite from her plate..She just enjoys her food that makes her description amazing..Her description about food restaurant are very elaborate just like her costumes..She  focuses on the ethnic food joints that are inexpensive with good eating experience...

The book also make you  see food in a whole different perspective if you are among those who are too busy while you eat..She makes you to savor the moment of delicacy enjoying to deeper extend...She has described about her coworkers though the names have been changed you never know the extend of truth as her afterword says that many instances have been exaggerated and few being skimmed so the fact remains bit in between I guess...I felt Reichel is too good as a writer even as she describes her doorman's reaction at her various costumes to her personal conversation with her husband who keeps her down to earth are  revealing and enlightening at the very same time very engaging..

There is never a dull moment in the book even when you feel certain incidents for instance hell list of people waiting to call seem bit over the top..I would say just grab a copy and plunge into total fun...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harry Potter series


Title:Harry Potter Series
Author:J.K Rowling
Genre: Popular fiction
Source: Personal
Rating: 4.5/5 for first three books
4 for fourth 3.5 for 5th, 6th and 7th.


I started off as a hard core lover of harry potter series, my relationship with Rowling series began with the first book of course way back in my school days, I got to read the first book in my 7th grade...Though I was out of the fantasy tale somehow the magic caught up with me and  I was completely addicted to it..Harry and his entire enchanted world was something that I always wanted to live in..Don't you all as kids wished a dash of magic everywhere around us be it in the name getting rid of usual homework  or a  quick
spell so mom would forget to feed you with a glass of milk (i hated milk), time travel machine to get you to endless holidays and the list is endless.. Harry potter had it all.. Its just not about the magic but there is a deep message of friendship and trust and celebration  of  the whole spirit of childhood with the right mix of intellect and brilliance through Hermione, funtime with Ron, mischeivous brilliance of Fred and George, above all Harry Potter who kept all together through thick and thin..

Bottomline of  the novel is a battle of good vs evil that progresses through years in Hogwarts school of  witchcraft and wizadry...It all starts when Harry on his eleventh birthday discovers that he is a wizard though the letter of of acceptance from the school personally delivered by Gigantic Hagrid with a pack of birthday cake. Brought up in the household of Aunt Petunia with no love and care , he is pleasantly surprised with the revelation, and deeply happy for the change. At Hogwarts he is introduced to the world of magic filled with witches and wizardry he is  pleased with the world that becomes his life  and learns more about his parents , he also discovers that he is a natural at Quidditch that he has inherited from his father and above all he learns about Lord Voldemort whose mere name everybody is scared  and it is he who has left a scar on his forehead killing  his parents, who died trying to save him..Harry finds friendship through Ron and Hermione who stick with him till the end..He slowly finds love, friendship (which is the important theme of the story), the book 'HP and the Sorcerer's Stone' starts with the trio saving the philosopher's stone from professor Quirell's who in turn is trying to help Lord Voldemort's back to life..The mere touch of Harry burn Quirell..

Second book 'HP and the Chambers of Secret'  they save Ron's sister Ginny (who reads a chapter from a diary that opens a gate for a monster from 'The chamber of secrets' in Hogwarts )..Harry also happens to destroy one of Voldemort's soul (horcrux) and killing the monster in the chamber.

Following is the next book 'HP and the prisoner of Azkaban' ...In the third year of Hogwarts, Harry and his friends come across Remus Lupin one of the wonderful defense against dark arts teacher, apparently Lupin also happens to be one Harry's parents closest friends, this is the year where we are introduced to Rowling's dreadful creatures called the Dementors who guard the prison where the wizardry criminals are held captive , these Dementors can suck the happiness and any trace of peace from human upon close contact..Harry  finds about about his godfather Sirius Black who has been alleged for betraying his parents, the trio with the help of time travelling machine help Black escape from Azkaban , fight against Dementors yet again proving that Harry is indeed destined for greatness..

After the third book, I found my interest in Harry dwindling ..Though the first four books were released in my school days, I got to read Goblet of fire only in my college days..

In the fourth book 'HP and the Goblet of fire' and the fourth year of Hogwarts,  Hogwarts is hosting a Tri-wazard contest which is like an inter school competition  is open only to the senior students .In this, we get to see many witches, professors from other magic schools as well, of course what fun without Harry into the contest but then he is not eligible to enter still someone make sure that he enters and gets to the final stage of the competition.. The tournament cup is a portkey( transportation object for wizard that transports them to predetermined upon touch)  he and Cedric Diggory (fellow contestant) are transported to cemetery and come face to face with Voldemort..Voldemort takes Harry's blood and restores his life, in close seconds Cedric dies but Harry survives..All this happens through one of Voldemort's supporter who impersonates as Professor Moody ..

Fifth book 'HP and the Order of Phoenix' witnesses a lot of activities as the Ministry of Magic intervenes on the school's activities, Prof Dolores Umbridge takes on the charge as the defense against dark arts teacher and becomes the high inquisitor of the school, outraged by the syllabus Harry with his friends start 'Dumbledore's army', Harry learns about Order of Phoenix a secret society that is set up by witch working hard to keep the world of magic away from Voldemort..Harry is taught Occlumency , a magical defense of mind from external mind reading and control from Prof Snape and he is having trouble concentrating.. Harry again with his friends fight against Voldemort's supports in the Ministry of Magic who are trying to get their hands of the glass sphere of prophecy..There is a strong fight against the teenagers and the dark witches in the dual the order of phoenix join them and during the fight Sirius Black is killed ..The prophecy state that Harry has a superior power that Voldemort doesn't possess and that either Harry destroy Voldemort or be killed by him..This year he also learns why Harry has to return to Privet Drive to his Aunt Petunia for every miserable summer holidays..

Fifth Book 'HP and the Half-blood Prince' Harry gets his hands on a book signed by an enigmatic half blood prince filled with many annotations, potions and many entries.. This is this book we see many social activities ..Harry's attraction for  Cho fades and he starts dating Ginny while Ron and Hermione's love also blossoms.. Harry learns from Dumbledore  that Voldemort's soul is split into many Horcruxe which has been hidden in many places..Together they start  the search of them travelling through Voldemort's past life..Harry has to find and destroy them to completely kill Voldemort...Professor Snape finally attains the post of being the defense against dark arts teacher , at the end of the book we see Snape killing Professor Dumbledore, the reason is revealed only upon the the death of professor Snape...

In the final and the seventh book, 'HP and the Deathly Hallows',  the battle in open, Voldemort regains power and takes over The Ministry of Magic, Harry and his friends drop out of Hogwarts in the quest  for Horcruxe .. Harry unravel the complicated personality of Professor Snape and the past of Prof Dumbledore.. Harry masters occlumency.. Harry learns through Snape's  memory that Harry happens to be one of the horcruxes hence lets himself be striked by Voldemort making Voldemort belive that he has finally killed Harry.. As all the horcruxes are destroyed in the final battle, tit finally comes down to Harry vs Voldemort and to the prophecy that "Neither can live while the other survives". The battle is deadly and we see lot of blood shed and deaths, Elder wand recognizes Harry as its true masters and refuses to kill Harry rebounding ..The same killing curse kills Voldemort who tried to kill Harry years ago bringing an end to the finale of the Harry Potter series..


As always with  famous series, Harry Potter too has been adapted to movie,  I  have  problem with a movie adapted from book as they lack details..Though I enjoyed the first two to some extend from the third onards I could not enjoy..

The book is the torch bearer of loyalty, bravery, courage under pressure, above all the zeal to believe in oneself. It underlines the point that in the fight between the good vs evil ,at the end its all about the good and not the evil..We witness many death, few are heart wrenching starting the list starts with Sirius Black, Albus Dumbledore, Dobby, Hedwig, Moody, Lupin, Tonk, one of the twin brothers Fred Weasely..

Being said that to me the most complicated characters was that of Severus Snape. His detestation to harry right from the beginning of the series is only mutual ,this worsens through the consecutive series... Though he is bitter and cold to everything around him, he is brilliant in what he does, working as a teacher for potion, his eyes are always onto the post of defense against dark arts still he is a real master at potions too. His true character and  true loyalty is known only after this death through his memories..

And my favourite character is that of Hermione she is smart, annoyingly brilliant with know it all air, quick witted and a true friend when in need..

I liked the Rowling's fictional spells, and few words such as pensive (a storage gadget for memories), parsel tongue (language to communicate with snakes), Floo powder(powder that wizard use for travelling) there are many more that were quite interesting ..The magic world itself  is under the control of Ministry of magic with various departments under it, there are magical enforcement squad, a specially trained witches to keep the criminals on check, event courts and Prison of Azkaban to keep the crime under check..They live under strict rule that the world of wizard should  remain unseen to humans( muggles) at all cost..At the household of a witch, there are house elves (small creature that works as servant at wizard house with at most loyalty undergoing deep neglect) who help out with everyday activity..The world with Hogsmede(magical village) Quidditch  matches made the series a thing of wonder often adding feathers to my thoughts and imagination..We watch the shy kids' amazing transformation into matured, daredevil kind of people in league of legends fighting  against evil, with their own fear and doubt yet overcoming them all..

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review: One flew over cuckoo's nest by Ken Kesey

Title:One flew over the cuckoo's nest
Author: Ken Kesey
Publisher: Penguin modern classics
Page: 320
Price: Rs 350
Genre:Fiction
Source: Online
Rating: 4 out of 5


Buy One flew over cuckoo's nest from flipkart.com
Buy One flew over the cuckoo's nest from amazon.com

Summary:
Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy. But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy – the swaggering, fun-loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates. His struggle is seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a seemingly mute half-Indian patient who understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned. Ken Kesey's extraordinary first novel is an exuberant, ribald and devastatingly honest portrayal of the boundaries between sanity and madness.

Review:
Set in a mental asylum , One flew over cuckoo's nest somehow transcends a  message that it is fun to be crazy.. The story moves through the eyes of Chief Bromden a schizophrenic pretending to be deaf and dumb so that he goes unnoticed by others.The somber mood swifts off as Randle McMurphy is admitted as the new inmate Mc Murphy chooses a life in hospital to that of the hard labor at the farm , he has many good and not so good things to his credit, he is a breeze of fun, breaking rules is his favourite pass time, he is also allegedly accused of raping a juvenile..McMurphy befriends other inmates just like that , he even  get intimate with many, he lights up the whole environment by means of gambling and many other activities, in short he becomes a ball of energy ..Though one may not agree with his actions, nonetheless all are entertaining..
Of course things doesn't go on in this jolly spirit especially when the whole hospital is supposedly under the strict regime of Ratched the chief nurse who runs the hospital with iron fist..I happily and instantly disliked her..Many a times Mc Murphy pushes his way playing around with Ratched.. But the problem is Mc Murphy can get into serious trouble as Ratched can get him lobotomized which is her extreme end of action towards patients..The problem is no matter Mc Murphy tries his way, the fact would be that he is a patient and Ratched being the nurse  gives her the upper hand over any situation and force him or any patient  for that matter  to go through any kind of medication in the name of therapy..Ratched does manages to keep McMurphy on check for few days...When Ratched almost thinks that everything is under her control things go hayward ..
Mc Murphy ways are bit off track, for example he carries cards that has sexual positions in place of kings, queen and jacks, he even smuggles  wine and finally get prostitutes into the hospital premises...He helps Billy (another inmate) with prostitutes company...This doesn;t go unnoticed by Ratched but what follows was something none could imagine, Ratched  itimitade Billy and he commits suicide, accuses Mc Murphy for his actions..Then on there is a situation of conflicts between Ratched and Mc Murphy finally one day Mc Murphy is taken to lobotomy ward and gets back to the ward in a vegetative state..Bromden unable to bear to watch him in this state kills him and relives him off the agony..Brombden escapes the hospital hikes a ride and set a new path towards his freedom...
Though McMurphy tries to breathe an air of happiness into the lives of inmates at the hospital , on a closer watch the book is a mix of gender bias and racial discrimination ..This might because of the era the tale was set in..Even when you don't agree with Ratched, there are instance when McMurphy works hard to prove  that Ratched is just a woman..
On a positive note, the novel explores the fine line between insanity and sanity and how people can be easily pushed to a state of so called of insanity by the surrounding and how seclusion can only aggravate the situation than help.
Kessey highlights on the liberation of mind invariably of the situations. Kessey has succeeds  in creating an image of hospital , ward, nurse and inmates just like one is watching a movie... I read somewhere that Kessey underwent an electroshock just to get the feel so that he could write about it better, now call that going extra mile on what you do...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...