Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Other Books

Brief description of some other books read this year:



CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD by GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ



Read this once again this year and fell in love once again with the book described by a reviewer as a 'metaphysical murder mystery'.


THE FREEDOM MOVEMENT IN INDIAN FICTION IN ENGLISH by PRAMILA GARG

A descriptive but not too-analytical look at how the Indian English authors have described the freedom struggle in their novels.


HISTORY: WHAT AND WHY? by BEVERLEY SOUTHGATE





Again a re-read. Interesting look at how the idea of history and historical narration has evolved from the Classical to the Post-Modern time.

KRANTIKARI BHAI PARMANAND by DHARAMVEER

Bhai Parmanand was the teacher of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and others at the National College in Lahore. An adequate but not especially impressive biography.


LES MISERABLES by VICTOR HUGO




Mammoth book running to more than a thousand page with pages upon pages that take you away from the story (Imagine at a crucial moment: a 50 page description of Paris sewers!!!!). But what a story! What a cast of characters, esp my favourite Chief-Inspector Javert. What a creation!


MOTHER by MAXIM GORKY




Often described as the first 'Revolutionary' novel, this book about a woman who grows strong and determined as she interacts with her son and his other revolutionary friends in Czarist Russia, was as mesmerizing a read as when I read it for the first time around a decade back.


REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION by PETER CALVERT



A look at what constitutes a revolution. Had problems with the author's description of what should be seen as a revolution.


THAT SUMMER IN PARIS by MORLEY CALLAGHAN



There is something about Paris and something about Scott Fitzgerald and something about The Lost Generation that is so compelling, so when I saw this book with its sub-title 'Memories of Tangled Friendships with Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Some Others', I had to pick it up. It doesn't disappoint and it reiterates my view that Hemingway was a great writer but as a man he always wanted to win. And my poor Scott Fitzgerald was self-destructive. Such talent and such waste....


THE VINTAGE BOOK OF LATIN AMERICAN STORIES




Barring a Marquez or two, I have little idea about Latin American literature, so when I saw this book, I immediately borrowed it. Must say, Latin American literature is hard to understand. A few of the stories made a profound impression but a majority of them were beyond me.


A WREATH FOR THE ENEMY by PAMELA FRANKAU




The book is described as a-coming-of-age novel on the web. What did I understand after reading the novel? To be disciplined curtails one freedom. Freedom means you can have your food anytime you like and sleep whenever you want to, set-timings are binding. If you do not try to steal your brothers girlfriend; or allow your wheel-chair bound brother free run of the estate; or help your estranged wife get out of troubles than you are a 'Giver' and sooner or later people will leave you, bored of your decency. God! I must be living in a different world altogether.


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