White Corridor by Christopher Fowler

Christopher Fowler books are my latest addiction. His books featuring elderly detectives Arthur Bryant and John May in Peculiar crime unit (PCU) are gems to read. So far, I have read three of his books and each of them made me glued to his story till I finish it off. The last one being ‘White corridor’. 

 

In this, the pathologist of Peculiar Crime Unit (PCU) has been found dead behind fastened mortuary making the entire team at PCU as suspects for the crime. For the first time, Arthur and May is not there to investigate the murder as they get struck in a blizzard. Hence the PCU has to solve the crime without the aid of their senior mentors.  In the meanwhile, Arthur and May finds another serial killer who waits to murder the stranded people in the blizzard.

 

The novel has two interesting plots and Christopher Flower has weaved a chilling suspense out of it. The chapters are intertwined with the happenings at PCU and Arthur/May’s adventure at blizzard. The elderly detectives crude humour and unorthodox approach are fun to read. And most importantly, the ending connected all knots making it a most satisfying read. I couldn’t pinpoint any cons in this novel. I would highly recommend Christopher’s novel to anyone who loves crime fiction.

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Sila nerangalil sila manithargal

It is Jayakanthan’s Sahitya Academy-award-winning novel.  One of most deeply moving story I have read recently.

 

Ganga (a Brahmin girl) gets sexually mistreated by Prabhu (a wealthy man) on a rainy night. Enraged by this incident, Ganga is abused by her brother and forced to leave the family. Her maternal uncle rescues Ganga. Nevertheless, Ganga’s helplessness made her lusted uncle to take advantage of her. To defy and prove her uncle wrong, who says that she cannot marry and lead a normal life like any other women, Ganga decide to find Prabhu whom she had met only once on that rainy night many years back. Ganga’s solitude and Prabhu’s vulnerable married life & guiltiness made them become good friends and find solace in each other. This unusual or rather controversial friendship causes uproar in their families. The rest of the story reveals what befalls on Ganga and prabhu’s life with a twisting and stirring end.

 

Though the storyline seemed to be uncommon and controversial, especially in the conservative society like ours, the author has brilliantly presented the novel. The story explores the most intricate relationship between a lonely woman and a married man.Certain questions has no answers.Ganga’s life is one such question. Sila nerangalil sila manithargal (Some people at some moments) is a very apt title for this work. You will find it out when you read it!

Books of the month…

This is to share about the books I read this month. Some made me to laugh, some made me to think, some put me to deep sleep and some made me to wonder why did i waste money on this trash. Actually I wanted to write a decent review on each book, but it’s always the time that prevent me from doing anything sensible. So here are some short comments on the books.  At the end of the post you can find my best choice of this month. Of course nobody cares about my best choice but still I write about it.

 

• The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s guide to galaxy by Douglas Adams

It is a science fiction comedy series. If you are so intrigued by space, planets, aliens, space shuttles, time machine….etc then here is the book that would intrigue you more. The first three books were hilarious and made me feel like sneaking around some planet far beyond Pluto. The next two books were hopelessly obscure and insensible. So at the end I rather felt like, thrown back again to dust packed earth from Pluto at the speed of light.

 

 

• PS – I Love you by Cecelia Ahern

Yet another poignant love story. Usually in the love stories two people would first fight, then fall in love, then when everything is proved to be happy, fate would play it’s crucial cameo role and kill one of the happy birds leaving the readers with wet eyes. However, this book is different because to spare the readers wet eyes, the author killed the hero (Gerry) even before the story begins. But before our Hero die, he do the most romantic act by writing 10 wonderful lover letters to his wife Holly, each stated with the post script I love you. These sweet letters helps depressed young Holly to bring back her lost happiness .

PS – Impressed by Gerry’s Love letter, I watched the movie. Kudos to the director!. As usual a flawless ruination of the story ! ( like any other movie adaptations from book)

• The Inscrutable Americans by Anurag Mathur

If you have chanced to read one of my earlier posts, you would have known by now how much I was humiliated by this book. If you want, you can still read my sore experience here

Then coming to the book, yes I liked it. The protagonist Gopal made an indelible impression in my mind. A quick read !. Quite funny.

 

 

 

• Artemis fowl by Eoin Colfer

This is the first book of Artemis fowl Fantasy series. It is about the most daring adventures of most criminal masterminded 13-year-old boy Artemis fowl II. Artemis is a ruthless intelligent boy whose main goal is to acquire money through illegal conspiracies to regain his father’s lost possessions.

I am too old to read the book. But, it doesn’t matter as long as my mind remains naïve and silly I can read these sorts of books too. Currently reading the second book in the series, which is also too good.

 

• Happiness sold separately by Lolly Winston

Already I wrote a post on this book here . Therefore, I don’t want to bore you again with the same book.

 

Great collections of Mark twain

After my disastrous experience with Charles dickens works, I decided to treat classics as sleep inducers. However, this book surprised me.This book is a collection of numerous short stories (around 90 stories I guess) of Mark Twain. I read 27 stories this month. Most of the stories are sarcastic witty satires. I especially liked the stories – The story of good little boy, the story of bad little boy, How I edited an agricultural paper, Journalism in Tennessee ….etc.I hope I would complete the rest of the stories next month.

 

The other aspect I liked about this book is – “its monstrous size”. This book can practically used as a weapon to knock out anyone. Just throw the book at your foe, the next second you can see your rival lying unconscious. Alternatively, you can also use this books as a pillow to sleep.

 

• Srirangathu Devathaigal by Sujatha (Tamil)

It’s a author’s account of intriguing personalities and incidents, he came across during his adolescence in his native place Srirangam, hence the title “Srirangathu Devathaigal” (Angels of Srirangam). Sujatha has beautifully penned down his adolescent account. The innocence of his boyhood is brilliantly retained in his words. Some stories were poignant and some were hilarious. I could relate myself to many of his stories and that made me feel nostalgic. One of the best books!

• Arthamulla Indumatham by Kannadasan (Tamil)

Actually I haven’t completed it. Just read the first volume of this series. It’s about Kannadasan perception on Hindu Philosophy. Though some of his beliefs are interesting to read, some seems to be contradicting with my own. I cannot make a right judgment on this book because it is more about spirituality and philosophy. Spirituality is something which I hardly think about and concerning philosophy, which so far helped me only to get confuse more.  But who knows, I may like this book more if I read this after 20 years. Till then let me live with my own philosophy and leave my mind in peace.

 

Now it is time to say my best choice of this month. It is none other than Sujatha’s Srirangathu Devathaigal. Probably the only book (among the list), I could relate myself more. Sujatha’s witty and touching stories made me enjoy more compared to the rest of the books and want me to read more of his work.

Happiness sold separately by Lolly Winston

A couple of months back, I picked up this book in a secondhand book shop with out the slightest hint of the story or about the author. I generally do not buy books blindly. Because sometime reading even most recommended book would turnout nightmarish. When I was blinking before the heap of the books in front of me that day, I eyed this book by chance. Somehow, I was impressed with the book cover and bought this book. Since then it has been laying in my shelf and I never bothered to read it until yesterday.

 

 

Happiness sold separately by Lolly Winston is a story about love, marriage, infidelity and infertility. The book begins with Elinor a 40-year-old attorney in Silicon Valley finds her husband Ted having an affair with his fitness trainer Gina. Elinor is not entirely surprised of her husband’s affair. After miserably failed to have children because of infertility problems, both Elinor and Ted ware exhausted and grown detached. Ted’s affair is an indication of their failing marriage. Things get complicated when Elinor becomes pregnant again and Gina’s son Toby finds strong attachment to Ted. With little twist and turns, the story ends touchingly.

I liked the book. It was a sheer surprise I finished it in a day. So it must be evident it is a page-turner. Lolly Winston has narrated the story at each character’s point of view. Therefore, at the end, surprisingly you will not blame any characters but only feel pity for them. Some of the chapters were depressing but it was mended by characters sense of humor and sarcasm. Overall, a safe bet for an easy read.

So it is time to change my premonition and start experimenting with new books and authors.

The Dark room by RK Narayan

There is no good in admiring an author, whose intellectual works can only be understood and appreciated by same literary intellectual mob. Sometimes it is tougher to be simpler. That’s why I am always marveled by this man “RK Narayan”. If you are ever gifted a chance to read his books, you will understand what I mean. He is one among the few authors, who could write, which even a poor mind (like me) can easily grasp. Just like his innocence of writing, his innocence of characters always makes me feel nostalgic. His novel “The Dark Room” is not an exceptional.

 

“The Dark room” tells a poignant tale of dutiful women Savitri (a typical devoted Indian house wife of those ages 1935) and her domineering husband (a typical arrogant Indian husband of those ages 1935). As an outcome of their marriage, they have three children’s Babu, Kamala and Sumati. Ramani is such a bossy chap, who expects every aspect of perfection in his household and failing to meet that will only reinforce his bad temper.  Unable to bear his tantrums and her inability do anything against him, sometimes Savitri would shut herself in a dark room in their house until her will fails her.

 

Things get complicated when “Shanta Bai” comes in to picture. Shanta bai gets employed in the English Insurance company, for which Ramani is a senior officer. Soon an intimacy develops between Ramani and Shanta that strains the relationship between Savitri and Ramani. Incapable to swallow the infidelity, Savitri venture to leave her husband and children’s. Even her absence never provoked fatheaded Ramani to search for Savitri and extend a grain of sympathy to her. When Savitri is about to drown in river sarayu, she is rescued and sheltered by Mari (a blacksmith & a burglar) and her wife Ponni. Resolved to live independent, Savitri finds a petty job in a temple with the aid of Mari. Soon reality hits her and remembrance of her children’s and her pitiful condition melts her determination (as usual) and makes her find way to home.

 

Though the story sounds gloomy, RK Narayan retains the brightness through his elegant narration and witty humor. None of the characters would fail to remind Indianism or I must emphasize south Indiansim. It is a delight to read his characters. At the end of the book, when Savitri muttered to Ramani “A part of me is dead”, RK Narayan touches the futility of matrimony. It is a profound statement.

 

Will the Gals of present generations be able to lead a life like Savitri?. With the considerable progress in women’s emancipation since this book has written, I only presume Women’s might have weakened in their morality and have improved to wring their Men’s neck (guys! no offence meant) in the same circumstances now.But who knows !!!

Jeeves in the Offing

I like classical books because I always believe it must have some profound elements in it that made generations to consider it everlasting stuff’s. With that hope I had been persuading myself for the last couple of weeks to complete Charles Dicken’s “The tale of two cities” and “The Great Expectations”. Still I couldn’t fathom why I lack the substance to appreciate this great man works. If it had happened for just one book, I would have excused myself, for it bound to happen sometimes. But I miserably failed twice in attempt to read Dicken’s work. All I had done for the last two weeks was simply dozed off with my eyes wide opened, while pretending to read these well written books in the history of classics.

With my crushing spirit I decided to read something this weekend that might rejuvenate all my reading passion. What else could my mind think to soothe me? Non other than my all time favorite author PG Wodehouse’s “Jeeves in the Offing”.

 

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Like most of the Jeeves series, the story begins with Bertram Wooster (Bertie) receiving a call from his old ancestor Aunt Dahlia to visit Brinkley court. Visiting Brinkley court is always been a joy for Bertram Wooster, only where his mouth would melt away with the aid of French chef Anatole – A man blessed with God’s gift of gastric juices (If you read the book you will understand) .But the joy lapsed only for seconds, for he soon discovered from her aunt that his fellow guests, whom had also been invited, are at present not in chummy terms with him. The reputable guests are Bobbie Wickham (former fiancée of Bertie), Mrs. Cream (the crime writer who reminded Bertie of Sherlock Holmes), her son Willie (a Kleptomaniac), Sir Roderick Glossop (Brain Specialist), Aubrey Upjohn (ex-headmaster of Bertie).

Certainly evident of his troublesome time, But still unable to resist Anatole’s food, Bertie embark to visit his Aunt’s house to experience another comic tragedy. All that happens, after his visit to Brinkley court will drive even a stone faced reader to roll over and laugh out loud. With so many twists and turns, all the mischief ends with the aid of Bertie’s witty servant Jeeves (one of PG Wodehouse’s immortal character). With the amusing plots and remarks, once gain PGW proved that he indeed a comic genius.

Phew! What a fantastic read after the gloomy experience for the last couple of weeks. Only when I finished the book I realized from the cold stare of my mom, that I might have split her ear drums with my loud and heartless mirth. I always know how much I had injured her with my goofy behaviors and once again she graciously laughed at me, by which my spirits lifted up, now my heart is dancing jolly well inside!