Monday, August 29, 2016

03:02 by Mainak Dhar (Book Review 4*/5) !!!

When I received this book titled "03:02" written by Mainak Dhar and published by Westland Publishers, I was surprised what it would be actually about. And then I read the synopsis and couldn't understand what the book is seriously about except that at 03:02 AM, the city of Mumbai suddenly went black with no electricity, no phones, no internet and no working cars just as if civilization was taken away from the human beings. But what is the reason for the same and how the city will overcome against it was a big question mark for me. As I began reading, I was impressed with the way the story begins and author directly comes on the topic and the city gets dark in the first few pages itself. The book becomes very slow after that as without giving us the reason of this unexpected and unbelievable circumstance, author just keeps on talking about how everything have just stopped all of a sudden. 

At this point, I had decided that the book is not getting anything above 2.5 stars from me but finally the reason is told to us. Though very less understandable to us and eventually we get to know that a big terrorist group has invaded the city with all its forces. And then there is our protagonist who is helping the people in his residential complex and around it just like Akshay Kumar does in the movie "Airlift". And when he comes to know about the terrorist group and how he will have to fight it with leadership, courage and conviction, he just stays positive throughout and starts managing things with the little resources and manpower that he has. 

The writing style of the author is very superb considering the command over the language and the narration style. Even the plot is so fresh and research-oriented, author haven't complicated the narration by streaming the timeline up and down like many other authors and confusing the reader. Even the vocabulary is simple which helps you to keep reading this book in a good speed with a flow. He has written things so brilliantly that you feel that everything is real and you even imagine it happening around you. It becomes scary after a while and I had to go for short walks outside to come out of that state of scary situation. The characterization is also nicely developed which makes you understand the background and mindset of each and every character involved.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, the first 70-100 pages aren't much interesting as author gets stuck in that one situation itself to build the premises. It could have been easily cut short down. I also feel that the book needed a lot of editing as the whole story could have been summed with the same effect in 50-60 less pages. Well, the climax is nicely written and the way book ends leave you with a wide smile than teary eyes as I expected it to end. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I would have given it 4.5 easily if it would have been slow in terms of taking the story further. I would like to read more from Mainak Dhar in future. 



Friday, August 26, 2016

Second Lives by Anish Sarkar (Book Review- 3.5*/5) !!!

The thriller genre is finding too many takers in the Indian publishing world currently as foreign authors are been challenged at the Bestseller's List. I am getting lots of good thriller to read these days even when the famous thriller writers, Ravi S and Ashwin S, are not releasing their books since last few months. I completed reading Anish Sarkar's Second Lives this week which is published by Westland Publication. This 350-pages book is definitely a page-turner and keeps you hooked throughout. The writing style of Sarkar is wonderful which keeps you intrigued and you want to finish the book in the single reading. Actually in this case, I would suggest the readers to not take too many breaks while reading this book as you might end up getting confused between the several murders that happens in the story.

The characterization of all the 5 friends is wonderfully done by the author and you can relate with each one of them. I also liked author's idea of writing chapters in first voice of each of the 3-4 main characters. Though it became confusing at times about whose version I am reading but still writing a thriller with this perspective is surely commendable. Author reveals half-story of any scene initially and later on discloses the whole thing which keeps the reader excited about anything might get disclosed now. Same feeling that we get while watching the Bollywood's Race series. 

The biggest problem with this book is its predictability in the 2nd half. You almost understand what will happen next if in case you have read many thrillers. I never like when a new character is introduced in the end and given the whole attention all of a sudden and a thriller where we have kept guessing the murderer among the central characters. Like it happened in Novoneel's latest The Stranger's Trilogy. In the pre-climax, a new character is introduced and defined as the Mr. X all of us have been guessing while reading the story. It takes away the interest of the reader that the book has been getting right from the first page. Also I didn't like how each of the character ends up having affair with some character who gets revealed to be the partner-in-crime later on or a part of the story. But still this book is worth reading. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.



Monday, August 15, 2016

Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right by Varsha Dixit (Book Review-2.5*/5) !!!

I had read Varsha Dixit's Right Fit Wrong Shoe more than 5 years ago and since then I didn't get any chance to read other novels that she published in between. I finally laid my hands up on her latest release named "Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right". The cover page of the book is very appealing which might result in the sales of this book. When I read the 1st book by Varsha Dixit, I got very confused as I was new to fiction reading and remembering the multiple characters just tired me as a reader. Comparatively, I found this book very sort out and easy to read. The characters are nicely built though few of them aren't used the way they could have been like Aditya’s.

Varsha Dixit’s narration is very simple and she does not believe in complicating things for the reader. Right from the first chapter, you will find the series of the scenes and sub-plots well organized which makes pace of reading faster and gives the reader momentum. The characterizations are well done as I have mentioned in the first paragraph itself. The biggest hurdle for this book has been its predictability. A reader, at every step, will understand what is going to happen next. And too much time has been spent in things that should not have been described that minutely and descriptively. 

The love angle is beautifully managed except the predictable part. I also liked the initial few chapters where Gayatri is trying to be comfortable with a character with which she has bad equations because of something she tried to do to spoil her married life earlier. The recovering phase is also narrated nicely after Gayatri got attacked by few men on a dark road. Overall, this book is a light read which can be done in a sitting or best, carries with you while traveling. I give this predictable story an average 2.5 stars out of 5 as it has nothing new to deliver but is still a time-pass read. 



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Amazing Secrets of the Bhagavad Gita (Book Review- 4.5*/5) !!!

There are so many books that are releasing these days based on Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata or Ramayana in the author’s own version. I am specifically attracted towards this genre because of my interest of knowing about my religion in the simplest language. I have tried reading the Bhagavad Gita written by some renowned sages but failed to understand the meaning and its implementation in my life which made me buy these books which were written for people of 21st century to understand what the holy book is actually trying to say and how can we implement it in our day to day life. The recent book that I read in the same genre in the quest of understanding my religion better is “Amazing Secrets Of The Bhagavad Gita” written by ED Viswanathan. 

The cover page itself consists of many questions that we have in our mind about our religion and what exactly is the right path to walk upon. And then the book is written answering all these questions. It is narrated as a conversation between Grandfather-grandson where grandson is asking questions about Gita and grandfather answers them all in the easiest possible manner so that the meaning can be understood by the child. The book starts with making us understand the several scriptures present in our religion and how Gita is one among them. The author also tells why Gita is the most referred book and when does it actually occurs during the war of Mahabharata. Who have written the book and how is also told to us. Only after clearing the basics did author move towards the prominent questions directly based on Gita. 

The book is written in a very easy language and author has been successful in making us learn many things about our religion. Many things are covered in this book which makes the reader more than happy as some books are very small talking about only one aspect of Gita. After every topic is covered, author has summarized the main quotes in the end for us to remember them and refer them if in case we do not have much time to read this book again. The author have not written this book in the most popular format of giving the Sanskrit sentence first and then translating it word to word. He has just kept narrating it as a speech which makes it easier to read and understand. I give this book 4.5 star out of 5.



Destiny of Shattered Dreams by Nilesh Rathod (Book Review-4.5*/5) !!!

I spent my whole Saturday in reading the debut novel written by Nilesh Rathod named “Destiny of Shattered Dreams”. He is a businessperson, writer and poet. He is also the co-founder of Ensemble Infrastructure India Limited which currently employs over 2000 people. While reading the book, it made me feel that most of the parts are influenced from his real life experiences as the plot of the book is about a middle-class boy who turns into an entrepreneur after which several unfortunate events start taking place in his life because of the decisions he takes. The book is published by Rupa and I feel it is one of their best releases this year in the fiction category. 

Nilesh Rathod’s writing style is amazing and no way has it looked as if a debutante author has written this kind of thriller book. It cannot be called as thriller but it’s a perfect page-turner as events keep unfolding and the reader will remain excited to know what happens in the next page. I liked the pace of the book with which the author has written right from the start to the end. The opening scene shows the protagonist in the jail where he is sharing his life story with the inmates because of which he ended up being behind bars. The story consists of love, romance, ambition, blood, glory, success, failure, politics, entrepreneurship, friendship, philosophy, poetry, marriage, extra-marital affair, depression etc. The first half is more about how the protagonist is forcibly made to invest money in his business from illegal sources because of which he gets affiliated with the corrupted politician. The 2nd half is more about the protagonist’s struggle to clean the image of his company and the insight in his personal life.

The book is exciting and makes you feel for the protagonist who gets trapped in the entire web just because he has an ambition to see his organization succeed and grow. The book tells about how a person gets trapped in the situations even after he knows that it will cause trouble later on but he has no option other than choosing that particular option itself. The last 20-30 pages where the author narrates protagonist’s destiny of shattered dreams brought tears to my eyes and I suddenly started feeling very lonely. The effect that the last pages have done to me is unforgettable and therefore, this is going to be one of the most special books I read. I believe that the author can write great thrillers like Ravi Subramanian. I am just expecting his next to be the same. I give 4.5* to this book. A great book indeed!



Thursday, August 4, 2016

Being Salman by Jasim Khan (Book Review- 2.5*/5) !!!

Salman Khan is one celebrity who has always been in news since his arrival in the industry. Take it for misbehaving with media or his love affairs or the hit-and-run case or the violent behavior with many other colleagues etc. Everyone wants to know why Salman Khan is the way he is. The journalist and producer, Jasim Khan, takes the challenge to tell us why Salman Khan behaves and reacts in a particular manner in this book called "Being Salman". A perfectly-titled book with a good cover page is surely attractive which makes any reader to pick it up even if he/she is not crazy for the actor. Though the pricing is on the higher side but for Salman's fans, nothing matters when it's about their Bhaijaan.

The book begins with history of Salman Khan's family where the author discusses even the past 5 generations of the actor by naming and characterizing each of his great-grandfathers properly and making you understand the background from which Salman Khan comes. The only problem is that this become boring after a point of time as Salman Khan is no where in the picture and the main motive for reading this book is to read as much as possible about the Dabangg superstar. Salman Khan finally arrives at the page no. 70 by the time it's too late but author have managed to keep the readers interested after 4-5 pages and reading about his conducts in school and college is a great read. 

By the time the unofficial biography reaches the point where his filmy career and the events happened after joining the industry is discussed, it seems as if a recap is being given about Salman's life which we have already heard crores of time on news channels and read in newspapers. But the other good thing about this whole section is that author have not sensationalized anything for the sake of making this book interesting but spoken about everything the way it is. The few insights on his court cases were a good read as many untold facts have been told. Rest, I am disappointed because author have not been able to explain why Salman Khan is the way he is. In stead we are told what and who he is which we already know. That is the main reason why this book has not gained from the word of mouth otherwise this could have been a great bestseller as autobiography and biography are doing wonderful these days. I give the book 2.5 stars out of 5. 



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