Archive for the 'Mini Book Reviews' Category

More Mini Reviews

The Goat, The Sofa And Mr Swami – R Chandrasekhar
If you have not read this book, you have missed a masterpiece. This is one of the best satires that I’ve ever read. The story follows Swami – the secretary of the Indian Prime-Minister (a horny octogenarian) and his efforts to keep his job by keeping the coalition afloat in the face of the impeding visit of the Pakistan’s Premier.
This book is a must read. It has a lot of shades of “Yes Minister” or the Indian version “Ji Mantriji” and is equally hilarious.
Rating: 4.5/5

——

Sh*t My Dad Says – Justin Halpern
Now this is one book whose title speaks volumes about the content. It is exactly what the title says – the author moves back with his father and his 74 year old father provides him with life lessons in a unique manner. Sample this: “That woman was sexy… Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won’t screw you. Don’t do it for them.” and there are many more similar gems strewn around the book.
A book which originated from a twitter account @shitmydadsays. A very enjoyable read.
Rating: 3.5/5

——

Turbulence – Samit Basu

I have been a fan of Samit Basu’s writing ever since reading the Gameworld Trilogy and Terror on the Titanic, and hence I had very high expectations of this book. I was hoping for that same combination of dark humour with generous doses of fantasy. While fantasy was present in abundance, I missed the dark humour in the book, but then that is just fan speak. That did not take away anything from this excellent book. This was one such book which I wanted to pick up as soon as I had read the blurb.

This is an excerpt from the review I wrote for India Book Store’s book review site.
Read the complete book review.
Rating: 4/5

Mini Reviews

Keep off the Grass – Karan Bajaj
I like Karan Bajaj’s writing. You feel disconnected with the world while reading whatever he has written, and I find that an awesome quality. But here the story hardly offers anything new, it is quite similar to the campus fictions we have been reading for a long time. The book is about the protagonist’s journey through IIM-Bangalore, and his struggles.
Can be read if there is no better book on the book-shelf.
Rating: 2.5/5

——

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro – Jai Arjun Singh
I finished this book in one sitting; I completely enjoyed reading Jai Arjun Singh’s notes on the story behind this movie, how it was made, and how an ensemble cast of acclaimed actors (not at that time) came together for JBDY. As soon as I finished the book I wanted to see the movie once again. Youtube came to my rescue and as I searched for the “Mahabharat scene” guess what was the top result?
If you enjoy reading about the movies you love, pick this book up.
Rating: 3.5/5

——

Only Time Will Tell – Jeffrey Archer

There are some writers and some books where in spite of knowing that this book will leave me hanging mid-way you just need to read them.

I never felt like putting down the book – thanks to two things, one – exceptional writing by Jeffrey Archer and two – the story. This is a definite pick if you do not mind waiting for the next four books to come out in the subsequent years.

This is an excerpt from the review I wrote for India Book Store’s book review site.
Read the complete book review.
Rating: 4/5

Mini Reviews

It is fun writing the mini-reviews – to-the-point and concise. Continuing the trend after the part-I and part-II.

I’ll Mature When I’m Dead – Dave Barry
This book seemed interesting when I read @_skp‘s recommendation on twitter. Promptly added to my wish-list, and bought it recently. I’ve nearly completed the book, and I am absolutely loving it. One of the most hilarious books I’ve ever read. The book’s title is catchy, and so is whole book.
Highly recommended!
Rating: 4.5/5

The Rozabal Line – Ashwin Sanghi
When you read a book you hope that by 100 pages or so the book would have moved ahead, but no not here. This book takes a long time to establish its characters and the plot, but everything comes together quite satisfyingly in the end. This book took some time to build up the momentum as there are multiple narratives going on in parallel.
Wish this book had an index/map/timeline which would point out what is happening to which character, in which place, and in what time.
An interesting read.
Rating: 3.5/5

The Cobra – Frederick Forsyth
This book is no different from a typical Frederick Forsyth book. The author has weaved a thriller around a next to impossible idea and very nearly pulled it off. After Al Qaeda (in The Afghan) he tackles the issue of Cocaine trade in this book. The US president wants to put an end to the drug-menace, and asks an ex-CIA guy to take over the task. The book follows this war on drugs and is a run-of-the-mill thriller.
One small thing I loved about the book was that a page was devoted to the recurring characters of the book.
If you enjoy thrillers, this book can easily be picked up.
Rating: 2.5/5

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time – Mark Haddon
A long overdue read. I picked this book on reading recommendations by @mythalez and @appi101. It has been quite some time since I finished the book, and I still don’t know whether I liked the book or not.
Some of the parts were awesome, but towards the end of the book I had lost all empathy for the protagonist. Does that make me a bad person, I have no clue!
A very different book from the ones I regularly read. Can be picked up based on your reading tastes.
Rating: 3/5

Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
Rubbish! Starts off really well, feels it has the makings of a good book and then inexplicably descends to a soppy melodramatic soap.
Stay away from this one, or read the initial few chapters and find the summary of the book to know the end.
Rating: 1.5/5

Titanic, Japan, Nalanda & Cricket

If I can read four books in parallel, what is stopping me from reviewing four books in one post? Nothing, and hence that is exactly what I’m gonna do, as I did earlier. Posting mini reviews of the books that I finished sometime in last two weeks.

Terror on the Titanic – Samit Basu
Samit Basu is an incredible writer. I had become his fan after reading the Gameworld Trilogy (1, 2, 3). Fantasy mixed with dark humour – that seems to be a unique genre :) In my opinion, he is one of the best writers in India.

Coming to the book, this one has been termed as Young Adults’ Fiction, although to be honest I never felt I was reading a YA book. Samit Basu weaves a thriller around the Titanic voyage, and the way he has used the memorable scenes from the movie Titanic as backdrop for his story is amazing. The plot never slacks, and all his characters are, to put it mildly, very interesting. Any one who enjoys reading the genre fantasy should always pick up the author’s books.

I think it is time for me to order Turbulence :)
Rating: 4/5

————————–

The Wit Of Cricket – Barry Johnston, John Ireland
It is a must read for any person who loves tales about Cricket. Dickie Bird, Fred Trueman, and Richie Benaud are some of the guys who recall interesting, witty happenings that happen either on the cricket field or off it. One incident that amused me no end was one where the batsman in some club cricket match skied a catch, and as three fielders were converging on it he shouted “Mine”. All three fielders stopped and the catch went down.

A delightful book, especially when read in short-bursts.
Rating: 3/5

————————–

The Nalanda Chronicles – Kalpish Ratna
This book is not just a fun read, it also seems to me a study in sketching characters for any written piece. This novella traces the story of a bus and its occupants for a single day when the bus gets hijacked. The writers (Kalpana Swaminathan and Ishrat Syed, who write jointly as Kalpish Ratna) could surely give a lesson to most writers as to how a character should be fleshed, and how the editing should be. A simple story told in a simple way. If you get your hands on this book, do not leave it before reading the book cover-to-cover.
Rating: 3/5

————————–

Made In Japan – Akio Morita
It is the story of Sony Corp, through the eyes of its founder Akio Morita. Starting the company in a war-ravaged building with a handful of people, today Sony is a household name. The book also follows the growth of Japan, its relations with other countries and the author also talks about Japanese traditions. This book was a inspirational read – anyone who wants to start something of his own, and is afraid, should read this book. The book gives you a kick!
Rating: 4/5

————————–

Books, books, books!

Update: Sidin’s second book “God Save The Dork” is now available on Flipkart. This is the sequel to the first book Dork and follows the adventures of Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese in London. If it is as enjoyable as Dork, it would be a must-buy.

——-

In the recent few weeks I’ve read quite a number of books, so instead of writing long thoughts on each, this time I am penning down a paragraph or two for the books I’ve read.

Known Turf – Annie Zaidi
What an awesome book! I read a non-fiction after a long time, and the book made me rue the fact that I had been concentrating on fiction. Annie Zaidi writes about her experiences while she was reporting about forgotten villages and people. This book is an eye-opener. We live in amazing comfort, while we waste food in the 2-3 meals we take everyday, infants are dying of hunger.
This book is a must read.
Rating: 4/5

Bougainvillea House – Kalpana Swaminathan
I had read very good reviews about this book – some reviews termed this as one of the best thrillers from an Indian author. While the book was not bad, it wasn’t good either. Maybe it was just me, but I felt the book was really dark, really sombre – not my cup of tea.
Rating: 2/5

And Thereby Hangs A Tale – Jeffrey Archer
I have no doubt, Sir Jeffrey Archer is one of the best writers of the current generation. His novels have always been captivating, but I feel they pale in comparison in front of his short stories. This collection of short stories leave you salivating for more. As soon as I finished this book, I picked up his other collections that I have, and reread some more of his short stories. Without a doubt, my favourite author.
Rating: 3.5/5

The Gamechangers – The Fake IPL Player
It was touted as a tell-all book, but it told nothing new. A good time-pass read for anyone interested in cricket and IPL. One should not go out of his/her way to get this book and read it.
Rating: 2.5/5

My Friend Sancho – Amit Varma
[Read this a year back, writing about it now :) ]
The most acclaimed blogger of India pens down his first novel, and it surely was a very good read. I have a feeling that a movie could be easily made out of this book, with Abhay Deol playing the role of the protagonist – the journalist: Abir Ganguly, Paresh Rawal could easily portray the role of the inspector Thombre, and somebody like Amrita Rao could play the heroine Muneeza. Anyway getting back to the book, one small grouse – there was excessive use of foul language, although it did not bother me much. And an awesome aspect about the publication was the font, margins used in the book – made the reading experience really enjoyable :)
Rating: 3.5/5

Paths of Glory – Jeffrey Archer
Anyone who is interested in mountaineering or simply interested in adventure stories – this is a must read. George Mallory had died in his attempt to ascent Mount Everest in 1924. Whether he was able to reach the summit, is a question that has been unanswered for decades. The author has weaved this story around George Mallory, claiming that he indeed reached the Everest peak. This book is an invigorating read – I wanted to climb the Everest after reading this book :)
Rating: 3/5

Dork – Sidin Vadukut
[Even this book was read nearly a year back]
This book is a must must read. Absolutely hilarious, it reminded me of Dilbert.
Rating: 3.5/5


Meet the Blogger…

I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

November 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

The 140 Chars

I write about …

Blog Stats

  • 362,470 hits

Ancient mumblings

Visitors


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 316 other followers