Monday, January 25, 2010

Notable books before the long long vacation

There are quite a few books I read in the last 2 months, which was basically at lot of free time interspersed with trips and sudden bouts of action, and quite a few of them are worth a paragraph or review if not pages of accolades :P. But before I was to embark on to fulfill this necessity, I checked out my earlier posts labelled 'reading' and found that I haven't showered the same justice on my earlier reads. So, let me rectify that first:

Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham: A somewhat humourous, somewhat satirical take on authors, fun to read but not extraordinary ;). However, while reading it, I remember getting tired of the description of the activities of the old-gone Victorian British era individuals. Perhaps, I was more in mood for a more modern setting.

Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams: The last in the Hitchhiker's series (I think!), containing the same elements which now somewhat getting repetitive, having lost their ingenuity. But then, also absolutely hilarious in bits.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding: It is not so well renowned for no reason. On the lines of Animal farm, but more brutal in depiction. Scary for the optmistic readers filled with the-world-is-heaven type of outlook but funny and satisfying for the cynical types like me :D.

The song before it is sung by Justin Cartwright: This novel is based on the historical story about the attempt to assassinate Hitler by some anti-Nazi German leaders. No, it is not the book that the not-well-made movie Valkyrie is based on. Coincidently, I had just finished the book (took many months given my lack of dedication towards reading in that period) that the movie was released. Of course I didn't bother to watch it. Anyway, coming back to the book, it merges the account of an historian trying to piece together the life of a martyr involved in the attempt and at the same time trying to sort out his jumbled and painful life. The book is gripping in parts. Only.

Immortality by Milan Kundera: Now, we finally come to the best book of the lot. In fact, I feel one of the best reads I have read. Milan Kundera is a very different kind of author. His narration of the story in his 'novel' is mixed with his own views and thoughts about the behaviour of the characters. It is as if he is sitting on the chair next to you and telling you a story while also indulging in a somewhat philosophical conversation with you. And his insights into human behaviour and emotions are extraordinary- the seem like a revelation but ring so true that you end up agreeing completely with him and admonish yourself for not having understood that before. Especially in this book, he intermingles his main story with several other small stories whose connections are obvious only later, and also with accounts and discussions about a few well known figures of history, ranging from Goethe to Hemingway. The whole book has a 'wow' feel to it, though some might get annoyed and be uninterested in the frequent diversions to the above mentioned discussions ;)

Okay, enough for this post, the several books that were read during the vacation will be written about in the next post!

5 comments:

Kunal said...

I had bought Lord of the Flies because it had won the Nobel in literature, and I absolutely hated the book.
After that I never bought any book that has won Nobel :P

thread said...

Hi, how are you? Hope you are doing well.
Thanks,
Thread

Anonymous said...

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Jeff Trider
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crazy said...

Totally agree on Milan Kundera. You do feel like he is sitting beside you and boring you with philosophical discussions which seem so obvious AFTER he explains it to you ...

mythalez said...

@kunal, hehe .. why did you hate it??

@paccha, thanks for what? for bearing with your comment? :P

@Jeff, me no likes random bots... dont comment here :P

@crazy, lol :D i wouldnt call them boring though :P