Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chain Reaction by Amit Sayaji (Book Review- 4.25*/5) !!!

There are times when you do not get a very good fiction book to read because of mediocrity of the local writers but all of a sudden the faith gets restored because of that one book which makes you want to pick up more random books without reading the name of the author. Something similar has happened with me this week. I have completed reading the book written by Amit Sayaji (about whom I have never heard before) named “Chain Reaction”. Though the cover page isn’t that attractive and impressive but the story and narration has made it one of the most memorable books of my reading journey or now, you can say, marathon, which I am running since last 6 years. 

The autobiographical feel given to this fiction story makes this book very readable and enjoying. The unpredictability of the story makes this book what it is. The characterizations of each and every character even though the books have multiple of them is done so intriguingly that you almost believe that this is a true story and each one of them might get covered in a news report in tomorrow’s paper. Such is the narration of the author! 

Even though the book is of almost 400 pages, you will not like leaving it without completing it in one go. I generally end up reading a book within a day at most even with breaks and all but I took whole one week to cover this book. A reader will like to stay with this story for lifetime. The comic timing of the author in the first half makes this book a very interesting and entertaining read. The protagonist and his friends are just the people you have seen since your childhood. The way whole childhood is described makes you laugh and giggle at many places. The book becomes little boring when the earning phase of the protagonist begins. But the author brings the story back on track when the protagonist realizes what his selfishness has ended up doing for the people he loved the most in life. From here, the book takes a very intense tone which again makes you feel bad for the character. 

This whole pre-climax and climax is written so sincerely that even you will start connecting all the dots of your life and wish to say sorry to everyone who have lost something because of you, your decisions or your mischief’s. Chain Reaction is a book that has all the elements a pulp fiction should have. I wish the author writes many books in future as he has the potential to reach the epitome. As written by a prominent personality on the back cover of the book, I will end this review with the same words,”Amit Sayaji is a truly gifted storyteller”. I rate this book 4.25 out of 5. Recommended!



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Little Black Book for Stunning Success + Tools for Action Mastery by Robin Sharma (Book Review- 4.5*/5) !!!

Robin Sharma is not just an author anymore. He is a legend who is going to be remembered for ages for the contribution that he is making towards the society by spreading his tools for developing in personal and professional life. I read many self-help and motivating books but no book has ever been able to bring more effect that Sharma’s. I am just done reading his latest book named “Little Black Book for Stunning Success + Tools for Action Mastery”. I am as impressed as I have been for all the times whenever I ended up reading one of his books. I have just missed 2 of his books from the plenty that he has written and I regret every day for not picking them up. I am going to do that soon.

Robin Sharma’s usage of words and formation of sentences are another word for perfection. The magic that his words and sentences make upon the reader is unbelievable. I had never imagined that a writer can bring such difference through a book which is not even that lengthy as others yet become one of your priceless processions. This book is totally oriented towards profession and career perspective. The simple tools are shared by the author which can be applied in our daily lives which makes a big difference eventually. And the great thing is that author shares famous examples to prove his point. Nothing in his guidance seems to be a superficial stuff which is written just to sound like a great personality but not possible to apply in our lives. That’s Robin Sharma for you!

The book is divided into small chapters. You can pick to read 4-5 chapters daily in the morning and apply them throughout your day and eventually, make it a habit. After every chapters, there’s a page where you can write daily about what you have felt gratitude towards, where are you going to pursue mastery today and what have you learnt today. This is a great exercise if you will really end up writing this daily in your own journal rather than spoiling this book by writing in it. Overall, this is another book of Robin Sharma which is impactful and can be read multiple times. I give it 4.5* out of 5.



The Man Who Became Khali by Dalip Singh Rana/Vinit K. Bansal (Book Review-2.5*/5) !!!

Reading biographies about sportsmen really charges you up and makes you motivated towards changing your lifestyle as soon as possible. I have read many autobiographies and biographies of personalities belonging to different professions like politics, manufacturing, sports, movies, film making, entrepreneurship etc. Each time I have read an autobiography, I have felt motivated to do something big with my life and it has changed something in my routine. Even reading Karan Johar’s autobiography did that to me which has nothing related to me. Such books definitely raise the bar about how an autobiography/biography has to be written. I just ended up reading The Great Khali’s autobiography titled as “The Man who became Khali”. The book is co-authored by Vinit K. Bansal who generally writes love stories.

Khali’s life has been very dramatic and knowing his struggles and hurdles that he passed during his childhood years is really painful and inspiring. How he changed his destiny from being a labour to bodybuilder to constable to Mr. Punjab to a wrestler before trying many other sports too. The way he narrates how not being educated made him make fool of his own life at many turning points makes you realize how important education and literacy is. His love for his wife is also evident in the two chapters that is totally dedicated to her. The way he takes tough decisions for his family shows that behind the huge physique there’s a caring and emotional man.

The book is written as a Wikipedia article where you get to know in which year Khali did what. It tells you his journey right from his childhood to the recent years. It tells you about his personality that he gets angry whenever he faces humiliation which makes him do something big and different. The book also tells that Khali takes his own decision and doesn’t listen to anyone even his father. But, there’s a very big problem with this autobiography. Anyone who keeps an autobiography expects to know the minute details about that personality as we are interested in going inside the mind of that person and not through the timeline of events in his life.

Nowhere is it mentioned that what kind of exercises Khali went through. Everyone is interested in knowing Khali’s diet which is never talked about. What did his family feel when he came on the television for the first time is not narrated anywhere. Is WWE rigged or not is never discussed which is the main thing which should have been talked about in the book. How did he manage to learn the little bit of English that he knows is not shared with the readers. How hard, difficult or funny it was to act for movies and advertisements is not described. His fear while fighting with his opponents is never discussed. The book is written with a purpose to just tell what Khali did in each phase of his life but you will never get to know who Khali really is, what he really thinks, what he is passionate about except sports etc. Overall, it is not an impressive autobiography at all. I give it 2.5* out of 5.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal (Book Review- 2.5*/5) !!!

I have been reading lots of books published by Rupa publications recently and to my surprise, I have liked most of them. But as it is said, not always roses smell the same. This time I picked up “The Four Patriots” written by the debutante, Sumit Agarwal. The cover page of the book and the synopsis made me very eager to read the story as I found the theme very interesting and intriguing about how four boys in unrelated professions will end up coming together to save the nation from the hands of the politicians who are eating and killing it since years. But I feel that the author has not been able to do complete justice with the theme. 

The writing style of the author is simple which will make the new readers interested in the book. The best part of the book for me has been the initial 100 chapters where the characters and their backgrounds are being disclosed to the readers. It is done in such a wonderful way that the book already becomes your favorite by then. But after that you want the book to reach another level with its chapters and the decisions and actions each of these four characters will take but unfortunately, the story does not take off after that. Only the first half is page-turner till the time the momentum is been built.

The problem with the book has been the individuality of all the characters even when they come together in the second half. Also, not all the characters are treated equally to make you believe that each one of them played their part well. Author keeps on concentrating only on one or two characters while others just play cameo in between. This is where the disappointment scales high as each of them is introduced as unparalleled hero in the initial chapters. Also, there is too much of politics and governance part included in the book which eventually makes the book sound as if the action is done by someone who is a big time politician and not by a common man. Some parts are so over-descriptive that you want to skip it. Overall, I am glad with the attempt of the author that he wants a message to spread across the youth but unhappy with the execution. I rate the book 2.5* out of 5.



Friday, February 3, 2017

31 Miles by Vinita Bakshi (Book Review- 2*/5) !!!

There are some books which aren’t that lengthy but it takes you a lot of time to complete them. And it is because they become such a bore after a time that reading out each sentence becomes a hell of a job. I admit that I have never skipped pages or sentences between any books even if I find them the most boring thing on Earth. I recently picked up book written by Vinita Bakshi named “31 Miles”. It also has the tagline “Can we ever win against ourselves?” The book has been complimented by Imtiaz Ali and the foreword has been written by Rajiv Makhni. Seeing all this, I had very high expectations with the story but I am deeply disappointed with the outcome.

Vinita Bakshi’s command on the language is undoubtedly unbeatable and she has the skill sets to challenge some bestselling authors of India. But the problem lies with the narration. She gets stuck in a section of the story and keeps on repeating the same until it sucks out all the excitement out of the reader. Even when the story is fast paced and short, it feels as if you are not turning pages anymore. The same thing is retold. The same emotion of a character is defined every time with different formation of sentences. The same type of conversation keeps happening between the character of protagonist and Rajan. The same consequences take place every time after the conversation. This makes the story sound totally boring and uninteresting.

Talking about the climax, I would have rated the book at par even if the ending would have done some justice to it. But it isn’t as fascinating as I expected it to be. When the words like Karma and Dharma are used, you already know what will happen and by whom and to whom. There is not much in it then to surprise you. Same has happened with the climax of this book. Though its intriguing to read how the unexpected takes place but it somewhere got predictable since the pre-climax section begun. Overall, I would say that the narration of the author could have changed the whole outcome of this novel. I give this book just 2 stars out of 5.



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