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Showing posts from August, 2010

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville : A sidekick comes into her own in this sublime book for the younger ones

Mieville has famously said that he plans to write a book in every genre. Un Lun Dun is Mieville’s attempt at writing a book for younger readers. The book seems to be inspired from Through the looking glass by C.S Lewis and many others. The book starts out slow. The first hundred pages or so just feel like a drag. The protagonist who is supposed to be the chosen one is extremely extremely boring. It is at this point that I felt Mieville practically read my mind and made the sidekick the lead and the novel is immeasurably better for it. Once the sidekick becomes the main lead the novel takes on a life of its own and Mieville flexes his considerable literary skills. In fact you could skip the first 200 or so pages and still come out feeling that you have read a complete novel. That is probably my only gripe. The book though turns the conventional ideas of fantasy completely upside down with destiny, prophecies et al taking a backseat. All in all a fun read. I wish I had read

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie : Indian History has never been more interesting

I am envious of Salman Rushdie. He writes like a dream and seems to have the latest and greatest women in the world. What a life. What talent. Initially I supposed he was all hype, from what I saw in the newspapers. I wonder why they never highlight the fact that he is a splendid writer as well. Positives don’t make for good sales I guess. The enchantress of Florence took me by surprise, in fact blew me away. I wasn’t expecting anything and didn’t think I would proceed beyond the first 40-50 pages but it just drew me in the way all the best books do. I have been reading Midnight’s Children over the past couple of days and it is a fantastic book. Every page is a sheer joy to read. Never have I found Indian History to be more interesting and intriguing than when Saleem Sinai is narrating it. The book melds elements of fact and fiction using magical realism into a delicious cocktail of language that dazzles and delights at every turn. It truly is a masterpiece and the Bookers did