Saturday, June 21, 2008

Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

Quite an epic of a book, it narrates the tale of Saleem Sinai, from the events in India's cultural history before the time of his birth, till the time he is an adult. Rushdie's writing style does not follow the conventions of literary language as such. He captures the customs and flavors of the Indian subcontinent with amazing accuracy.

For most of the younger generation this novel would help educate them about Indian history, politics and culture, apart from the events happening in the protagonist's life. It provides us an insight into the affluent households of the Indian subcontinent, as well as the most poverty stricken slums.

Rushdie marks important political events of the Indian subcontinent - India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, relating them to important events happening in Saleem's life. The way politics and general events happening in the countries and to their public have been captured is most amazing and enlightening.

In all, an engrossing and entertaining read.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Book Ratings - How does one judge them

Just some random thoughts. Pick up any book at a bookstall, and you find a lot of people from both the media and other eminent writers have given the book very good ratings. How far do these ratings influence one to pay for the book? Are these ratings biased in any way, or do they reflect the true stature of the book?
My guess is that the book might have gone through a lot of reviews and approvals, before its sent for publishing. So the ratings might hold some worth. Again, if every book is rated fantastic, what do readers pick from the store, apart from thier interest in a genre?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Life of Pi

The life of Pi by Yann Markel is a book about the life in sea of a shipwrecked young man called Pi Patel. He has a man eater as his only company, and one which he has to learn to tame in order to survive the ordeals at sea.

The initial chapters of the book provide a bit of dry reading, as the author establishes the character of the protagonist. He provides an insight of the mind of the youngster, who has grown to understand the behavior and mannerisms of certain species of animals, thanks to the zoo which their family owns.

The later part of the book is what gets really exiting, as Pi learns the ways of survival the hard way. In all, an excellent and engrossing read.