Sunday, April 27, 2014
Book: The child of Misfortune
Author: Soumitra Singh
Author: Soumitra Singh
Something from the Book
‘You never ask someone to play chess Amar,’ his father called out from his side of the drawing room. ‘You challenge them to it.’
It rarely happens that I read a book, finish it and then post the review right away. But ‘The child of Misfortune’ by Soumitra Singh compelled me to do so – my way of showing the book the amount of appreciation it deserves. The Child of Misfortune is the first of his work that I came across, thanks to Blogadda and it has totally made me a fan of his words. The book is about two friends Amar and Jonah who loved the game of chess in childhood, but growing up their life also turned out to be as complicated as this age old game. The story is a geopolitical thriller that takes you on an intense journey revolving around terrorism, politics and financial dark zone, covering places from Mumbai to Kashmir to Korea to London. The soul of the book is definitely the friend – enemy relationship between the protagonists, but it has so much more to it than that!
The book features dual protagonists, both very well sketched. The characters are smart, dark, complicated and very strong. Content of the book is fresh and rich and the author don’t flinch before crossing the grey limits. The book is also very well researched, unlike a lot of books that come up these days. From hacking to off shore account setups, from drugs to politics the book explores each dimension carefully and gives us enough intricate insights to understand all of it. There are many characters in the book; some made me feel they were under used but in the retrospection I guess the role plays were all adequate. The book is a definite break through to thrillers by an Indian author.
1. The content – It is fresh and at the same time relatable. Often thrillers tend to ooze the sense of fiction aka not possible in reality; but Soumitra Singh saw to it that this 327 page roller coaster felt authentic like some real life incident, as closely as possible.
2. The protagonists – The more I think of their brilliance the less words I get. They were just perfect. Jonah was a mixture of Tyrion Lannister and Jaime Lannister (If you know what I mean!)
3. Well Researched – It is always a pleasure to read a well-researched work, than read a piece of fiction that isn’t make-believe or makes you say I wish this world or these people were true atleast a 100 time.
4. Drama not meant to be drama – The book has full scope of being made into movies, cause that is what is happening these days in India. But nowhere did I feel that the content of the book was shaped as Bollywood desert.
5. Pace – I finished the book in 2 days by staying up one night till 3:00 am! It is indulging and fast paced and yes – you would not want to put it down! :D
1. Too many characters and some I wanted to see more! *greedy me speaking but yes this was a con according to me*
2. The end, it was a bit rushed and I wasn’t really happy. Though it did make sense, there were more feasible choices. It was like Abhishek Bachchan dying in “Dus”, if only he had heard of Auto Pilot or Dark Knight Rises had released back then. Not Author’s fault again – it was strong what happens, but I would have liked it to be different.
All and all a must read! Do not let this book slip out of your to read list. The contemporary topics and awesome characters totally get a 4 on 5 from me, 1 point out cause of the ending that left me repeating the word “Why?” It is a no nonsense page turner and will have a command over you when you start, so beware. Enjoyed it thoroughly and looking forward to more stories from the author.
To know more about the book please visit - www.soumitrasingh.com
Sunday, April 6, 2014
I see the crack in that tranquil face
I sense the darkness invading our space
Forlorn love is set for its final test
And failure is what it will achieve at best
The fading colours of the fall
Turning auburn with no shade of anything I recall
The hue spreads with your increasing disbelief
Burning faith’s tint is now on the fallen leaf
Blinded by the glittery mask of flirt
I fell into your arms like your desert
But you played with my feelings like a broken doll
If only had I sensed the devil you were behind that wall
I am holding on to the illusion of the love masquerade
For reality is grave and I would do all I can to evade
I know it all just slipped away
But letting go is so much more than I can say
I see the darkness now seeping out of you
Your poker face turning all my nightmares true
‘Cause hidden is a hungry sadistic smile
Singing in silence - this one is down another will be mine!
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Book: The Krishna Key
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Something from the Book
“The Divine is simply that which science has not yet explained. In effect, God = Infinity - Human Knowledge.”
The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi was a book suggested by at least a dozen of my friends to read A.S.A.P. Obviously the perk of strong P.R. means high expectations. But was it really a plus side? The phase that this book reminded me of was - A good beginning is half work done. Krishna Key revolves around one of the strongest Historical (for me he is not Mythological, sorry) Character of India and most Iconic person of Hinduism – Krishna.
The book starts with the death of an archeologist-scientist, Anil Varshney, by a psycho killer, who thinks he is doing it for some greater good after all he thinks he is the reincarnation of Krishna – The Kalki Avatar. But why is a God on a killing spree suddenly? Anyways, Anil turns out to be childhood friend of Prof Ravi Mohan Saini, who is a historian and post Anil’s death is the accused one. He is safeguarding something and with the help of his protégée and almost crush, Priya he sets of to find the reason behind the murder. Enters Radhika, our kick-ass, stern yet a bit rustic or rather desi cop who is determined to catch this cold blooded killer – Saini! Like you guys already guessed it, the whole situation is a boiling pot for Saini, but our dear professor only cares about the seasonings being put in the pot one by one. And so begins the rat race and quest to reach the truth about Krishna.
Now does all this sound very similar? Until someone has been hibernating for quite some years or just started reading books, people will directly connect this anthropological thriller to Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ and wouldn’t be wrong in doing so. Krishna Key though was a complete plotline copy-modification of Da Vinci Code had a lot of scope to build the story. But unfortunately didn’t really have the magic Dan Brown very smartly weaves into his books. But never the less the book gets full points for keeping the readers glued till the very end. It has a spark of what books using tapestry of Indian Historical Characters can have in future.
- The Theme – Picking up Krishna and Kalki avatar itself was a very bold move by Ashwin Sanghi. Krishna is one of the most complex yet interesting characters ever and that won the author half the battle right in the start.
- Taraak Vakil – A very strong antagonist, well portrayed and definitely more convincing and terrifying than Silas.
- Use of Numbers and Facts – The book linked sacred number 8 very effectively and influentially. The theory about Jyotirlings, though not true as per facts known till now, were really compelling and keep the readers hooked to the book till the very end.
- Well Researched – If not anything, the book didn’t present false theories and truth. It is a very exhaustively researched work and kudos to the author for that.
- Be Original – From plot, to characters, to flow, to style everything was inspired, cause that is the word Bollywood loves so much!
- Break Break Break – Not Lord Tennyson’s poem, but the story. The flow breaks in so many places that you tend to rewind a bit to get the link quite a few times.
- Unnecessary Storyline – There are stories that call for a love story in it, and then there are others that tend to do fine without one. The issue with most of the Indian authors these days is Invasion of Bollywood to Book-O-Wood and that makes them fit in a love story anywhere, not gauging the need or consequence.
- Weak Characters and timeline– A man on run too involved with everything other than saving his life, a couple of people who become a part of the quest just for the sake of it, a very week back story to the actual material of the hour and the disconnect in the timeline.
- Google Failure – This is my personal agenda with any history related book, I use google exhaustively. For Dan Brown books a lot of facts and points mentioned in the book checks out easily and hence the story turns out to be a make belief case, but the same can’t be said about Krishna Key. Most of the points in mentioned in the book had no relative evidence on world wide web so the book lost on the authentic feel.
- Extensive use of the good – In the initial phase the use of 8 and then 3 was actually one of the most interesting part of the book but as and how the story proceeded it seemed like the author made all the attempts in the world to make 0-9 all numbers important to Hinduism. It spoilt the fun towards the end.
- Weak End – Though the whole book is highly inspired by Da Vinci Code, the end was the result of the author doing eeny meeny miny moe with the ends of Lost Symbol and Da Vinci Code.
On the whole it is a sure one time read and might find a huge fan base with the Mythology Lovers' Club but failed to make it to my list of amazing books by Indian authors. It is a 3 of 5 book which would have been a 3.5 minus the squeezed in love story. A certain stuffs mentioned in the book are really interesting and narrative is sure to keep you glued till the very end. And the Author surely shows the spark of well researched work so looking forward to his older books, which I have heard were better. Pick this book for and interesting read on some lazy day and stay away from internet during the reading period else Google failure would make to your list too.
P.S. - There are a few grammatical errors and spelling errors in the book.