someday ill be in company of all....

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

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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.

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

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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...
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