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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tales of Fosterganj by Ruskin Bond

Back-cover Blurb:

'I forget what took me to Fosterganj in the first place. Destiny, perhaps; although I’m not sure why destiny would have bothered to guide an itinerant writer to an obscure little hamlet in the hills. Chance would be a better word. For chance plays a great part in all our lives. And it was just by chance that I found myself in the Fosterganj bazaar one fine morning early in May…’

Blurb from the jacket:

It is the early 1960s, and chance has brought a struggling writer to Fosterganj, a forgotten hamlet on the outskirts of Mussoorie. Little happens here, apart from the occasional mule train clattering down a cobbled street; and the writer hopes to live like a recluse, maybe finish a book or two. But appearances, as always, are deceptive, and soon he's caught up in a series of unusual adventures: close encounters with a leopard and a sinister black bird; a drunken evening in the company of several hens and a  penurious prince; a long night spent locked inside a haunted palace; an expedition into the mountains in search of a rare aphrodisiac; and a journey to a remote cantonment town to deliver a box full of gemstones.

Few writers anywhere bring small and quiet places to life as compellingly, and with as light a touch, as Rukin Bond does. Peopled with characters both charming and eccentric, Tales of Fosterganj is storytelling at its effortless best.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Common Man Tackles Corruption by R.K. Laxman

Blurb (from the jacket):

From financial crises to the woes of householders, from political instability to rampant corruption, Laxman’s cartoons capture the entire gamut of contemporary Indian experience. Hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time, this is a treasurehouse of humour from one of the most striking voices commenting on Indian socio-political life.

No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez


My first ever exposure to the work the Nobel laureate, Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez. I am sure, it is not just me who can't get the the latter part, the part after 'Gabriel', right.

Well, I inform you, reader, beforehand that me reading this book had got nothing to do about the author's recent death. In fact, it might sound bizarre, I completed reading the book that very Thursday - the day the author died. Seriously, I am not lying!

You can't imagine how moved to the core I was when I came to hear the news. Well, I guess, I wouldn't have been so moved if I hadn't read his that very day. When I looking for a read, something off the tbr shelf, some new author to dwell, someone remarkable, Gabriel caught my eye. Then here it is.

It is not essential why I chose this book of all his books. Yeah, I had choice. Perhaps, various options at that. The options even included the author's best work. But I chose this one. Obviously, because of its slender size. This novella was not more than 69-pages!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Serving You by Jaydeep Banerjee

Blurb (from the jacket):

Johnny has paradoxical views on life, has a mysterious persona, and often wears eccentric masks. How do these views influence an ordinary boy towards an extraordinary business A restaurant serving human meat? 

And yet this book is not about business. But about a boy's journey from adolescence to maturity. A tale of breaking shackles and living it up. 

Serving You is a poignant reminder of the simplicity of life and the freedom from self doubts. It is a tale of true love, true conviction and an extraordinary tale of triumph. A boy's journey into manhood, love, business and maturity. A journey from foolishness to eternal wisdom.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Common Man Meets The Mantri by R.K. Laxman

Blurb (from GoodReads):

A collection of gems from India's best loved cartoonist. From financial crises to the woes of householders, from political instability to rampant corruption, Laxman's cartoons capture the entire gamut of contemporary Indian experience. Hilarious and thought-provoking at the the same time, this is a treasure house of humour from one of the most striking voices commenting on Indian socio-political life today. This is a revised edition of the 1990 original.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Legends of Halahala by Appupen


If you are regular visitor of this blog and read my reviews of other Graphic Novels, you must well aware my obsession about them. Especially, Indian Graphic Novels.

That leaves me with little items on the menu. There are very few illustrators and fewer successful Indian Graphic Novels out there. I mention successful because, if it's not a success, it would either cost you a fortune to buy the novel or you have to go to the end of the world to find it.

I particularly hate Indian readers so much. Their negligence for Graphic Novels is one reason. Of course, they read Comics, but Graphic fictions and Comics share very little of similarities, when it comes to deeper sense. But I shalln't blame them either. The cost of the Graphic Novels are so high, I don't think Indian readers are much to be blamed.

So here I am, trying to promote Indian Graphic Novels and testing my own limits of sanity!!!

Newton's Law Reversed by Howard Roark

Blurb (from the jacket):

On a trip to meet an ailing relative in Gangaikondacholapuram, Akash is introduced to conflict when a simple village girl, Ganga trespasses his thoughts. His mind fails to elude Ganga and being overwhelmed by the new found emotion, his attempts to free himself of his battles only grip him tighter. As his mind flits between Ganga and Ganesan, another tormented soul, Akashs only reprieve could have been a banter with his father, when unexpectedly he hears the news of his fathers expiry. Little did he know that his fathers demise and the ensuing trip to the village would alter his cynical view of the world? In this journey from boyhood to manhood, Akash derives profound meaning through his retrospective deliberations on his dead fathers words.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


The Great Gatsby. What must I say? What can I say, perhaps? Name a book list featuring top books and you will find this book in it.

Even the author, is considered one of the most celebrated authors of Classic Literature.

Though I had in my possession the '94 edition of the classic, I stalled it for a long time. The blurb and everything else about the book just gave me the impression that it was just another overrated classic. You know, those classic which are overrated only for the fact that they had been written way back in the history. Or portrayed some extinct culture followed by people of that time - like, in the case of this book, the Jazz Age

Until, the movie starring DiCaprio, titled the same, found its way to the theatre. To watch the movie, I had to read the book first. That was an age-old resolve I had taken during the start of my reading days. So, basically, it is DiCaprio who had made me read this book. 

And, in that case, I would love to thank Leonardo immensely for it! Or else, I would have missed so great a book.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Impulse by Reekrit Serai

Blurb (from the jacket):

Stunning, powerful stories of modern India from a talented young writer.

Love is the most common of human affections. Yet, when it comes to love, nothing is as it seems. In modern Delhi, a young man woos a girl from Chandigarh who is totally out of his league, and a college girls life changes dramatically after an encounter with a classmate. In love, people can become objects of infatuation, or means to happiness, such as a partner who's immortalised in her husbands photo album, and two entirely different people who are more than friends, but less than lovers.

In these short stories, Reekrit Serai touches upon subjects that shape our urban lives, such as an entrepreneurs ambition, an interns unconfessed affection for his boss, the realisation of the hardships of being a parent by an impatient son, and the suffering and death caused by communalism.

With humour and subtlety, Serai introduces us to a very new India, where love and happiness go hand-in-hand with hardship and chaos.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Photo Booth by Lewis Helfand, Sachin Nagar (Illustrator)

Blurb (from the jacket):

He wanted to change the past, but first he would have to alter the future...

A new deadly drug is about to flood the streets of New York City. The police have no leads on who is producing the drug, or where it is coming from. As far as Praveer Rajani, a reckless Interpol agent, is concerned the only way to prevent countless deaths lies in a handful of mysterious photographs.

Within the photographs, Praveer can see images of places he has never known, and people he has long forgotten. But what are the photographs leading him to? Is Praveer being told that his life is spiraling out of control, and he now has one chance to put things right?

Or are the photographs related to a murder that Praveer is desperate to solve? Perhaps they are showing the love that his brother, Jayendra, let slip away or even the family that his sister, Nisha, wants back?

The mystery will finally be solved in this exciting romantic thriller from Campfire.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Hotel at the End of the World by Parismita Singh

Blurb (from the jacket):

In the hotel at the end of the world it’s business as usual, as Pema dishes up rice and pork curry to travellers who stop by for a drink and refuge from the rains. Everyone there has a story to tell, and at times they end up revealing more than they want to.

On their journey to China, Kona and Kuja, bound together by fate, stumble upon the trail of the Floating Island, promised land of plenty. Pema’s story is about lost love, while her husband speaks of homesick Japanese soldiers in Manipur and the Naga hills during World War II. The Prophet takes us back to the quest for the Floating Island, leading us to the little girl’s story as she sets out to fetch water and chances upon something quite unexpected…

Drawing from various oral storytelling and folklore traditions, and with influences ranging from Commando war comics to World War II history and Buddhist art, Parismita Singh creates a world that's magical yet very real. Exquisite in terms of both narrative and artwork, The Hotel at the End of the World marks a new height in graphic fiction in India.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sudhi Kannan : An Elephantic Adventure by Krishna


One of the four book, we have received from BlackBuck Publishers. The reviews of the other books are,
This book is unlike any other book from the publishers, we have received and read. The very plot is fascinating.

Blurb (from the jacket):

Sudhi is a ten year old notorious kid.

Kannan is a cool dad.

Boss is a mind bending terrorist.

School is hectic. Work is crazy. So Sudhi and Kannan decide to bunk a day off from their routine lives. The trip is to the Elephanta Island located a few kilometers away from the coast of Mumbai. There is a surprise waiting for them in the form of three novice terrorists. As you read this, they are heading towards the island to capture it. It seems possible, since Boss knows a trick or two with hypnosis.

Beware; the Coast Guard will be undercover. Hypnotized soldiers will take over the island. Bullets will rip through the night sky and a ten year old boy is about to change the course of every fool proof plan.

This adventure is going to be a blast. You are invited

Friday, April 11, 2014

Corridor by Sarnath Banerjee

Blurb (from the jacket):

In the heart of Lutyens' Delhi sits Jehangir Rangoonwalla, enlightened dispenser of tea, wisdom, and second-hand books. Among his customers are Brighu, a postmodern Ibn Batuta looking for obscure collectibles and a love life; Digital Dutta who lives mostly in his head, torn between Karl Marx and an H1-B visa; and the newly-married Shintu, looking for the ultimate aphrodisiac in the seedy by-lanes of old Delhi. Played out in the corridors of Connaught Place and Calcutta, the story captures the alienation and fragmented reality of urban life through an imaginative alchemy of text and image.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rise of the Sun Prince by Shubha Vilas (Ramayana: The Game of Life, #1)

Blurb (from the jacket):

Ramayana: The Game of Life (Book 1), one of the world's great literary masterpieces, skillfully retold for modern audiences. Epics like the Ramayana have been recounted infinite times. Is there a need for another chronicle in the presence of so many? How is this one different? And is it relevant to our ever-changing modern lives? 

Yes, there is a need, yes this is different and yes, it is relevant. This new series of books, each following one khand of the Ramayana, decodes the eternal wisdom of that poetic scripture through gripping narrative and thought-provoking instruction. In the time-honored custom of spreading wisdom through tales, every fascinating story in the epic is retold here and every character unfolded to captivate your heart and open your mind to life's deepest questions.

The narrative closely follows Valmiki's Ramayana, gently weaving in folk tales as well as the beautiful analogies of the Kamba Ramayana. The first of this six-volume series, Rise of the Sun Prince, takes you through the divine story of Lord Rama from His birth up to His marriage. Through these pages are revealed the tales of Dasaratha's leadership, Vishwamitra's quest for power and the intriguing story of a little-known stone maiden. Ramayana: The Game of Life has all of this and much more - food for contemporary thought drawn from an enduring masterpiece.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy (Author), Prabha Mallya (Illustrator) (The Wildings, #1)

Blurb (from the jacket):

A small band of cats lives in the labyrinthine alleys and ruins of Nizamuddin, an old neighbourhood in Delhi. Miao, the clan elder, a wise, grave Siamese; Katar, a cat loved by his followers and feared by his enemies; Hulo, the great warrior tom; Beraal, the beautiful queen, swift and deadly when challenged; Southpaw, the kitten whose curiosity can always be counted on to get him into trouble… Unfettered and wild, these and the other members of the tribe fear no one, go where they will, and do as they please. Until, one day, a terrified orange-coloured kitten with monsoon green eyes and remarkable powers, lands in their midst—setting off a series of extraordinary events that will change their world forever.

The Wildings is the most imaginative and accomplished debut by an Indian novelist in years.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Moon Wants To Be Spotless White by Priya Narayanan (Author), Suhita Mitra (Illustrator)


Off late, I had noticed, I had stopped writing Forewords. Well, I just realised little need of them and they held little interests to our readers, who read the post just for the sake of the rating and review.

However, after some time, I am back with another Foreword about why I stopped writing Foreword. It didn't seem like no one's pays heed to this part of the review. A couple of our readers had actually contacted us inquiring about the absence of Forewords.

I personally thank them, and the others, for their love for this section of the review, if they do.

This marks the first Children's book we have ever received for reviewing. In fact, it is also my first Children's book. So I have very little to compare this book with and judge it. Everything stated in this review is judged broad-minded, comparing with nothing.

When the author had contacted us to review her book, which is a "Children's book", I was open to freshness, so readily accepted it. The author replied back emphasizing on the "Children" part and asking for re-confirmation. This was her reply when asked about her extra-emphasis part,

However, I'm stressing on the fact that it's a children's book because there was this book blogger who approached me to review my book, was given ample warning that it was indeed a children's book for 5-8 year olds and when he finally got the review copy he wrote to me saying 'yeh to children's book hai!'

Funny these greedy reviewers...!

So goes the review...

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Legend of the Kalki by Ayush Pathak (The Temple of Avinasi, #1)

Blurb (from the jacket):

From the ashes of Epic Wars shall the great Lord of Dark rise,
So terrible his wrath, every protestor shall demise…

Ripped apart would be the Shield and the protecting forces,
A whole world shall fall, mortal or otherwise…

A heroic tale timed in modern age -- a battle of existence between evil and the good, bred on the ashes of the four thousand year old legendary Epic Wars. The ‘Immortal Protectors’ of the Temple are finding it hard to maintain control over a new rising evil power, far greater in magnitude than the previous war.

The Shield that protects Earth from external attacks had stopped the invading Dark Seekers, also called Nishachars -- a fled group from some distant dying planet -- for long. Until four thousand years ago … when the shield was ruptured, and the entire mortal world turned on the edge of demolition. It was then the immortal protectors, the Light Seekers, more commonly known as Devs, along with the remaining army of mortals fought and drove back the combined army of Nishachars and Asurs, and restored the shield -- but at a great price. The Nishachars retreated, and since then they have grown and redoubled their army several times, waiting for their prophesied Dark Lord to rise. The Devs, on the other hand, knowing that they won’t be able to stop the Great Dark Lord, if risen -- formed a secret brotherhood named ‘The Temple of Avinasi’ and scattered themselves throughout the world. Their only feeble hope lies in an ancient legend named ‘Kalki’, the last prophesied Avatar of Vishnu… And unaware of all this, two fourteen year old boys are presently spending their time merrily together in the mortal world, innocently oblivious to the fact, that how much changed their destinies are from what it seems, and how much the world’s fate is dependent on them…

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Love @ Air Force by Gaurav Sharma

Blurb (from the jacket):

The violent romance of the Fighter planes with the clouds in sky… the pulchritudinous Officers walking around arrogantly… the runway with the logo constituted by the concentric tricolored circles in the background… is the spectacle meets our eyes at the feeble mention of the Air Force but there is more about the Air Force besides these…

An unhappy Sergeant-Sushil Awasthi feels that his circumstances dumped him into doing drudgery in the Air Force and he deserved better out of life. Grumbling often, he accuses his wife, his parents and even Air Force for his agonies. When he finds that, the newly arrived medical officer, Wing Commander Shabd Mishra is his best friend of school days, his inferiority complex plunges further down.

The Wing Commander is still hankering after his school day’s crush Soumya despite knowing of her being married to another Air Force Officer, who too, gets posting at the same station.

How to things shape up when three classmates get together?

What fate does the love story of the lovelorn Wing Commander meet?

How do others around, the officers and the non officers, react to the friendship between a Sergeant and a Wing Commander?

Welcome to Air Force Station Agra to know how the Air Force reins the lives of its employees.

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