Friday, August 31, 2012

11/22/63: A Review

Rating : 3.5 out of 5

Author : Stephen King

This is the second book (first being Misery) that I have read of Stephen King's, and I am not disappointed. I had heard a lot about this one on Goodreads and finally when I saw it on Oprah's summer reading list; I thought I must give it a try.

The central theme of the book is time travel. The protagonist, Jake Epping’s, travels through a "rabbit hole" (as referred to in the book) to 1958, to prevent Kennedy's assassination.

The story begins when Al, who has a diner, tells Jake about a secret passage which is hidden in his diner that can take him back in 1958. He lets Jake try it out. Then after Jake is convinced of its existence he puts Jake to a task, the task of saving John F. Kennedy’s life.

The detailing in this book is exquisite, sometimes too much. The starting 200 or so pages are like a roller coaster ride. It is very difficult to put this book down during that time. But when the whole Oswald quest begins, the story seems to lag. It can get very boring to read about the mundane details of Oswald’s family life. The part when Jake is in Jodie is a bit entertaining but is full of cliques. The substitute teacher who is more than friendly and changes the life of a football player by promoting his acting capabilities sounds like a perfect tag line for a B-grade teen movie. The ending is adequate and comes with a statuary warning of – ‘Thou shan’t mess with the past’.

The characters in the story are well defined. Jake, who is an English teacher and to whom crying does not come naturally is well written. He is divorced and still coping with that. Sadie, his love, is a librarian and is in the process of getting a divorce from her abusive husband who is fanatically afraid of germs. She is beautiful and doesn’t know it. Is vulnerable and has a monster of a mother (A lot of cliches huh!!!!). The villain of the century, Oswald is “a semi-educated hillbilly, but he's surprisingly crafty."    He has a Russian wife Marina and a daughter June. The daughter he loves the wife he beats and loves. He is the apple-of-the-eye of his overly possessive mother who screams a lot. There are many side actors like Deke, Miz Elle, John Clayton (Sadie’s Husband), but the one that I found most intriguing was the Yellow-card Man. He seems creepy and scary. This is one character who I think needs a bit more detailing.

All-in-all the concept is nice, the plot is interesting and the characters are well written. But, firstly the middle part of this book I think, needs editing. It’s like listening to some annoying person rambling about his life. I have no issues reading books with a page count above a thousand but in this case it is unnecessary. This book could be written well within 600 or so pages if the editor can cut the rambling to a minimum.  Secondly, the story has a lot of cliches (as discussed above and more!!!).

So, it’s a good book if one can bear the talked-above issues.        

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Golden Past......

Today, the weather here in New Delhi is simply amazing. It was raining throughout and as I looked out of my window, sipping hot ginger tea, I wondered about a lot of things. These days I am reading “11/22/63” by Stephen King. Reading this book has been a roller coaster ride so far. In this story, the protagonist journeys back to 1958 via a “rabbit hole”. The author talks about the whole 50’s-60’s era in detail about the quality of food, the prices, the people, and the landscape.

The whole late fifties to the mid seventies era fascinates me. The pre-industrialization era where the word terrorism was not of daily use and food came from farms not mega factories, and friendships were formed to be lived, not to showcase on Facebook. I wonder what it would be like to live there, where the air actually had 22% oxygen content. Where the S-word and the F-word are not considered cool and a sense of safety prevails; where one does not have to undergo a full body scan just to board a two hour flight. I would watch epic movies like Breakfast at tiffany’s, To kill a mockingbird on the very first day of their release while eating popcorn which has real butter on it and drive back home in a '67 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible.Where Springsteen and the Beatles would rock the music world.  

I know most of you reading this would argue that the equality in society, the sovereignty, the technology and the medical advantages we enjoy today would outnumber the above factors. And the statistics like infant mortality rate, life expectancy, poverty rates etc would favor you too, but ask yourself this, wouldn’t you want to make “some actual friends” who you meet physically every day instead of a herd of online friends who may or may not be truthful. Don’t you want your “normal” food to be originally organic instead of specifically asking for one? I can go on and on about this. Maybe I am a bit biased. I am a classics fan and have always preferred nature to technology (although I am pursuing my Bachelor’s in Technology and Mechanical Automation), books to internet. Well I think it causes no harm to fantasies of a better world.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Teachers are people too!!!!

Yesterday, I was watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1), where Harry is wondering whether he knows Dumbledore at all. He knows Dumbledore as a guide, as a leader and as the headmaster of Hogwarts but he doesn't know him as a person. His personal life, his family are all unknown to him.

I think this happens because while growing up we do not see people like our parents or teachers as 'people', we see them under the paradigm of their role. And the idea of  them having a life outside of their 'role' is absurd to us at this age. Oprah, in one of her shows, shared a similar incident from her childhood. Once she saw her teacher eating at a restaurant and she was shocked to see that. We, as children, are used to acknowledge people according to the role they play in our lives and thus never perceive them as 'people'. But as we grow up, the other dimension becomes visible and it can be hard at times to undergo this transition. But that is what life is all about, isn't is???

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monsoon !!!!

Hey guys above are some sights which I captured during this Monsoon season :)
Hope you like them !!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India: Review

Author: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is one of the few very I sincerely respect. The way he has walked through life from being a nobody to the 11th president of India. And he has been able to do this solely because of his talent, determination and lots of hard-work.

Ignited minds is a book which really stands true to its title. This is one book which every Indian student or for that matter every student should read. This book analyses India's potential, its resources and asks a very important question that why haven't we been able to achieve what we should have by now, what are we missing??  Dr. Kalam narrates various incidents from his own life in this book and talks about how he never felt defeated in his failures and took them as important lessons in life. He talks about various students, teachers, schools , colleges and many other visionaries like Mr. Ratan Tata, Mr. Azim Premji and how their work is helping to shape a better future for India.

Dr. Kalam gives no prescribed solution to our problems in this book, but he does lead us to a path on which we can find it. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Not-So-Close Friendship

Today is friendship's day so happy friendships day to all!!!!!

"Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin."

The above line has been quoted time and again in history. And our world appears to revolve around it.
Landscapes change, people change, relationships change and sometimes we want to believe that they haven't. We want to hang onto what isn't there anymore.

Friendship, especially, the ones formed when one is very young are most affected by such changes.
For example :  My closest friend. Let's call her Sheena.We have been friends for about 16 years now.  I have know her since kindergarten and we have always been very close. She lived quite near my house and we would attend each others birthday parties. But when, due to some inevitable circumstances I changed my residence and my school, we ( naturally ) began to grew apart. Sheena made new friends, I made new friends but we still stayed in contact. This continued till we joined college. She moved on, calling frequency decreased and silly me still held onto the past, that was just that - the past.

Today, after an year and a half  of this not-so-close friendship, I do now let it go.I will still wish her on her birthday and I'm sure she will too, I will still send her greetings on festivals and friendship day like she does and I accept this as just it is, A Not-So-Close Friendship.     

Friday, August 3, 2012

An Award Nomination !!!!!!!!!

I still can't believe it, but I have been informed that "Untitled", yes this very blog has been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, by Stephanie . Thank you Stephanie, Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

There are a few rules one one must follow before accepting the award and they are as follows:

  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
  • Let the nominated bloggers know that they have been nominated for this award.
  • Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Thank the blogger who has nominated you.
  • Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post. 

Random Facts about me :
  • I wear eye glasses.
  • I love gifts (who doesn't).
  • I love to read.
  • I hate summers.
  • I love autumn.
  • I am addicted to chocolates.
  • I am an Insomniac ;)

15 Blog nominations: