Monday, May 12, 2014

তুঙ্গভদ্রার তীরে (Tungabhadra'r Teerey)

Author - Saradindu Bandyopadhyay

Genre - Historical Fiction, Thriller

Source - Print

Rating - 4 

May 2014

First: About Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. He is a fantastic writer of bestsellers that are NOT devoid of literary merit. If one has to make the parallel to an English writer, it has to be with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and Sharadindu's Byomkesh is almost the equal of Doyle's Sherlock).
Second: About the time and place. You'd say the novel has not dated very well. You'd say that some of the sentiments some characters display are rather out of our times (reg: religion, sex). But hey, this is historical fiction, and that too medieval history, how do you expect it to be in with the times?
Third: Sharadindu creates such amazing plots. And has such a strong, clean writing style. Two hundred odd pages finished off in one go. This is good stuff! 
Fourth: I am lucky that I can read Sharadindu in original Bengali. This is one of the first few non-Byomkesh novels of his that I read, and I am itching to read more.
Fifth: Nice to read about the history of Karnataka. This is about the Vijayanagar Empire.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author - Neil Gaiman

Genre - Fantasy, Coming-of-age

Source - Audiobook

Rating - 3 (specifically, a weak 3)

May 2014

Hmm, not satisfactory enough. You expect the sun and the moon from Neil Gaiman... I do. I'm a fan. And he does not quite deliver here. 
Philosophy and imagery and lovely passages and Facebook quotes are all well and good, but there just isn't enough meat in the story here. This is one Gaiman book that I will suggest for a non-fan to give a pass. And other fans like me will read it anyway -- so how did you like it?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Place Of Execution

Author : Val McDermid

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Detection

Source - Audiobook

Rating - 4

April 14

The problem with reading two detective novels that are absolute all-time greats by masters of their games (namely 'The devotion of Suspect X' by Keigo Higashino and 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn), is that a perfectly good, rather well-written detective novel such as this, would still leave you with a feeling of 'that's all?' after you are done with it. This is a fine example of a detective/police-procedural novel, really. Finished it in one go, and wasn't disappointed really. Just felt that it's not ... ah... how do you put it .... not in the league of the other two. Not saying that this one is bad, not at all. .... in fact, I would gladly read other stories by McDermid. Just cognitive bias, I guess.
 A high 3, this one. Almost 4. So, round off to 4.