Review: The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin- Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin- Margaret Atwood
I’ve never been much of a sucker for award winning books. Even for the Booker winners. But this one had me falling hook, line and sinker. Read this one and you will add Atwood to your all time favorite writers immediately.

The Blind Assassin is a novel within the novel, a story running through two generations, in parallel universes, storming the worlds of two sisters and their families.

The novel has many layers to it, each unraveling an yet unseen sediment of story, each layer revealing as much as hiding. Atwood brings the characters to life with their mannerisms, dialogues crafted with an intensity that only just bubbles at the surface, inviting the reader to jump headlong into their entwined complex lives. The plot twists and turns and you’ll be enthralled till the very last page. Even there you’ll still be wondering if you concluded correctly.

The prose is the best I’ve seen till date, with compelling sentences that will stick out in your memory for a very long time. I found her writing to have the restraint and beauty as that of Irène Némirovsky, author of Suite Française. I’m sure that if I read the book again, I’ll find some more hidden clues and small stories that I’d not noticed the first time around.

Review: The Wedding

The Wedding- Nicholas Sparks
The Wedding- Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks is the new Danielle Steel. He writes books for women who are still chasing their big starry eyed love story from the time they watched Casablanca as a kid. It’s always about love, love and some more of it.

Sparks begins the novel with our here Wilson Lewis lamenting the loss of romance in his marriage. This seems bit difficult to digest- a man mourning that romance is out of his married life of 30 solid years is akin to a 10 year old kid worrying about key revenue areas. So, he’s not stereotyping you say? Oh well, great! So he’s showing us a man who’s sensitive and cares or rather begins to be so after 30 years of marriage and that is a great thing. But then why are his actions typical of a love-struck teenager?

Throughout the book, you see Wilson planning and musing and going over his past trying to find out where he went wrong. And as you go through his journey, you’d think he’s just being too hard on himself. And you’d especially go mad when you find that all this moaning about lost romance has arisen from the fact that he forgot one anniversary. Men around the globe forget anniversaries every year, and this man beats himself up like that for forgetting one. And yet they are complaining of no love?

On the other hand is the lady in question, Jane. There’s not much shown to her character, except for being described through a constant wry expression which apparently belies deep sadness within.  But that’s about it. Yeah, she cries a lot when hubby dear forgets anniversary. But then again, does crying mean all love is lost?

Sparks claims his books are moving love stories, and that’s the most honest and logically right thing you’d hear from him. In this powerfully moving tale of love lost, you will have to move from your reading spot to the garbage can to dump the book away after you’re done.

Dig the complete review here.

Review: Doctors

Doctors- Erich Segal
Doctors- Erich Segal

Whenever people hear Erich Segal, they think Love Story, and I don’t blame them. It is his most popular book. But if you have read Love Story and liked it, or disliked it, you should go read Doctors.

Doctors deals with Harvard Medical School class of 1962, and more specifically, with the lives of four doctors. Barney Livingston and Laura Castellano are childhood friends, having grown up as neighbors. They have their own reasons in pursuing medicine and end up in the same medical school. There’s Bennett Landsman, with a very intriguing past and an equally surprising future career, who comes to the rescue of Dr. Seth Lazarus long after they have graduated. The story shows us their years in med school, their career trajectories and how their personal lives shape up.

Throughout the story, you get the feeling that Segal has really done his job of researching all about medicine and the profession before writing about the book. It’s not just the bits of jargon and scientific terms used, it’s in the way he portrays his characters, their lifestyles, their mannerisms, their foibles and fancies, their very lives, which shows that he has studied extensively. His attention to details and specifics comes out very well in this novel.  Armed with all that well-researched knowledge, his adeptness at story-telling and his particular gift of creating moments that affect you, Segal comes up with a masterpiece.

You will learn that doctors too, are after all humans, with the responsibilities of gods. Pick up this tome, for a thoroughly engrossing and stirring read.

Read the complete review here.

Review: My Legendary Girlfriend

My Legendary Girlfriend- Mike Gayle
My Legendary Girlfriend- Mike Gayle

Our hero, Will Kelly is soon going to turn 26. He hates his job of an English teacher at a comprehensive. His house is such a dump that he can’t cook without setting off the communal alarm. He has a somewhat steady income, but not enough money to distract him from the most important problem of his life: his legendary girlfriend Aggi. Or rather, ex-girlfriend. It’s been three years, and he still can’t get over her.

Then one fine day, he gets a call from Kate,the previous tenant of his shabby cubbyhole. They get talking and Will starts mulling over the possibility of life after Aggi, of a life with new beginnings, of a life with Kate. And what happens next is for you to find out. Does he find his second “The One” ?

The debut novel apparently took Britain by storm and was pegged as the Male Bridget Jones Diary. For the first claim, I wonder if it’s saying anything considering the fickle weather of Britain. For the second claim, now here I have two things to say-

1) Women whine. We know that. It was funny, even endearing to some extent to see Bridget Jones do that. I doubt I want to listen to a man whine about not getting a date or complaining that he’s getting fat.

2) There’s a reason it’s called “chick-lit” and not “dude-lit” or “hunk-lit”.

I couldn’t decide which guy I hated most- Will, Mike Gayle or the friend (yes, a guy) from whom I borrowed this book.

The complete review can be found here.