Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Do aur do paanch


I’ve been meaning to write a book review for a while now, but lately all the books I have been picking, have been one flop after another. So I thought maybe it actually would be a good idea to put down all flops together and make a list of 5 books never to read. Also, before I begin, I’d like you to know that the first three on the list are genuinely terrible and the last two are hugely popular, blockbusters *maha successful hit hit kinda books* that I didn’t like...chances are you will think differently. *long post ahead*

You see all of a sudden I had this craze of reading young Indian authors who wrote light stuff..... the types who don’t give dimaag pe too much stress...Never mind, the process ended up in making me feel more depressed than ever. Here’s a brief look at a few of my terrible encounters so far-

Oh shit, not again- By Mandar Kokate
The title of the book is precisely how I felt on reading this one. Of all the bad books I have read till date, this is the mind- numbing worst. It’s like there is this guy who is sitting at home during vacation....nothing to do, bored to death, so he decides...’Hey, why don’t I write a book! I could talk about my girlfriend and the hot aunty next door’.....Lucky for him, his dad’s a hot shot guy, who gets it published...result being, sirji’s magnum opus makes an appearance on the ‘best- selling’ shelf. Believe me when I say this, the writing is God awful; the plot...Oh there was a plot? Hmm missed it! Damn! I don’t even know how this guy made it to being an author. If he can write, I believe I can win The Nobel Prize! Oh yessss I’m thaaaat annoyed!

The Department of denials- By Anurag Mathur
This one, thankfully I didn’t buy and picked from the library instead. So time is the only thing I lost out on. I had read one other book, ‘Inscrutable Americans’, by the same author which was fairly alright, barring the profanities *which I have a very low tolerance for*...This book was basically my idea of time pass. So what happened? Nothing. Yes, just that. Nothing happened. The book starts with the guy wanting to be the Prime Minister of India. Now is it very wrong on my part to expect him to at least join politics in order to achieve his dream? No na? But nahi ji! From start to end, the author doesn’t know what he wants to say, the protagonist doesn't know what he wants to do. It’s like the guy becomes an engineer, doesn't get a job, uses dad’s influence to get a government job, finds a rich girlfriend, gets married...yalla story over.
What? Who? Where? Bwackkk! You won’t even bother asking all these questions cos you would have been soooo full on pakaaofied by the crassness of the story.

You are here- By Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
The only extra points this scores over the previous two is, it is written and presented in a relatively better way. The plot however does very little to surpass the lowest possible standards. Actually it’s not even a story....just a ‘dumb’ confused uptown girl with an urban lifestyle. She gets dumped.... To get over him, she falls for another guy.....he fools around for a bit...finally she nails him down and then realises, ‘Oh I don’t need him cos I’m too damn good.’ Whatever!
Lust, lust, lust!.....Sanskaar gaye bhaad main!

There were other books too, like Piece of cake, Of course I Love you...till I find someone better, Almost single, The Zoya Factor, Keep off the grass......all of them huuuge disappointments! This probably explains why Chetan Bhagat sells like hot cakes...cos however he says it, at least there is some quality, some clarity of thought and some basic idea that is trying to be conveyed!

After these series of flops, I decided to go in for some seriously intellectual stuff. Turns out they were just wayyy too good and sophisticated for my little mind to gauge.

The Alchemist- By Paulo Coelho
99.9999% chances are, you have read it and most definitely heard of it.... and before the post mortem I must say the book was pretty awesome.... I can’t even imagine how anyone can come up with stuff like that. The writing, the ideas, the presentation, the size of the book...all hugely impressive. The prologue too I thought was the best that I have ever read!
Despite that, this book finds itself on the not so good books list because, truth to tell, I couldn’t relate with it at any level. The build up was so enormous and sooo many people claimed it to have changed their life that I perceived it to be a little out of the world. And it pretty much fell flat. Frankly speaking, I didn’t quite get what the whole omen ka chakkar was..... I mean....stones fall and that’s an omen...you see a bird and that’s an omen.....if it gets windy...yep that’s right... omen omen.....Sounds fancy....but when you sit back and think about it, it’s like....ok kya bakwaas hai ye!
Also, I’m very literally the materialistic kind and when you say ‘treasure’, I expect bags full of gold....you don’t give me that, and some crappy philosophy instead, I give you the thumbs down :P

The Fountainhead- By Ayn Rand
First of all, I can’t pronounce the name of the author....It all comes out really wrong when I say it....and no that’s not the reason why it’s being showcased *I’m not thattt unreasonable baba*
Yes, the book does have a story... and a very unusual one at that....with glitches of course.
To begin with, the very object of the author I thought was to give the reader a dose of the unexpected...which is most definitely a good thing.....only don’t contradict yourself in parts.
The story of 2 architects, one good one bad, their lives and as a moral of the story- how you are supposed to be free spirited and not care about other people’s opinions.
Peter, who you think is really normal and imperfect...just like you...is likeable but then he goes and murders someone, so you lose the pitch right there. Then there is the other architect, Roarke, idealistic chap who is the good guy....so you think that’s what you are supposed to be like....but midway that too flops when he molests his girlfriend.....I’m sorry but no excuse, no soul- talk, however philosophical, is good enough to justify that! Also, there is a point where he says the problem with people these days is they want to impress, and a couple of pages down, in context to the building he has designed, and I quote, says,
‘If out of those thousands, one stops and sees it (the building)--that’s all I need’,
Make up your mind baba. Fickle, eh? Then there was his girlfriend Dominique, who is supposed to be the heroine.... the epitome of zero achievement, a retard and head weight the size that would bring down the entire Obama government. If I met someone like her, believe me I would slap her!
I read a good 300 pages with this outcome. 400 more? With dialogues like ‘He drank a
great deal of water; the cold, glittering liquid in a clean glass was intoxicating.’
Are you kidding me?
Nah! I decided I couldn’t take it much further. *quits*

Yes, so that has been the summary. Dude all I’m asking is for the book to have an iota of a good story that makes sense and if that’s too difficult, then at least let it be basic interesting!
Phew! Makes me value Pride and Prejudice so much more! :o

Something for you-
-What's the most fun book you’ve ever read.
- Also, if you have read any of the books mentioned above and think differently, lemme know!

15 comments:

sayedkhadri said...

I read "Inscrutable Americans".. to be honest, I enjoyed it.. The writing was funny.. more funnier was the letters he wrote to his brother about his experience in US (In the book) Spl.. The Airport incident.. LOL (Even today I laugh when I remember that scene).

The Alchemist - was an excellent book.. I read it some time back.. small and up-to the point (Following your dream).. It's weird many people didn't like.. I don't Agree on your take on this book.. but you can have your own view.. Let's Agree to Dis-Agree..

I start reading *Ayn Rand's* Atlas Shrugged (This book is huge.. around 1000+ Pages), So read some pages.. and put it down.. I don't know when I will finish this book.. or when I will again start reading it..

Not read any other books.. you mentioned.. I will not read those books mentioned by you.. Thanks for your post :)

For more book review you can visit my blog : http://sayedkhadri.wordpress.com/

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ sayedkhadri- inscrutable was good....only thing i remembr is his oily hair...datt was funny...d end was vague tho.

alchemist- i gues....jus thot it was a lot of pravachan n i can take it if its well meant or helps me in sum way
u kno to me a gud book is wen i dont want it to end n even if it does, i shud feel good abt it....gues this one dint live up on those fronts...hence my conclusion

n hey if u do read d fountainhead den lemme kno how it ends!! :-))
glad to kno u write reviews...will chek on it soon

sayedkhadri said...

Yup.. Oily hair was funny.. I read it, I think 3 years back.. Don't remember much..

Sure.. Will let u know If I read and finish fountainhead.. (after finishing 'Atlas Shrugged' - I don't know, why people write 1000+ pages books.. I think 600 pages max is good..)

Yeah.. you are write about good book thing.. (When you don't want it to END.. and If it ends.. you must feel good abt it..) :)

Harish said...

Try these- one hundred years of solitude. character names are repetitive and can be confusing. otherwise great. midnights children.

coolkamikazecat said...

I made a terrible mistake of actually 'buying' Oh Shit Not Again - thinkin let's see how a fellow engineer from the city writes. After all it was on the Crossword bestsellers list! I echoed the same things you've said about it. It is the best example of how crappy a novel can get. It actually made me like Chetan Bhagat's One night at a Call Center which was a disappointment. Can't Indian authors write good storylines without getting crappy or dark?
All the books in Desi fiction category @ Crossword are almost the same.

Alchemist - I have not had the courage to pick it up after reading half way through the similar Monk who sold his Ferrari.

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ sayedkhadri- thnx! atlas shrugged 'sounds' really boring...gud luck :-)

@ harish- will look it up....midnight noooo...don like salman rushdie

@ coolkamikazecat- hie! one thing's fr sure....v hav pretty similar tastes :-)
btw i liked anythin fr u maam by tushar raheja....its a lot of coincidences but the story is really cute...ull like it if ur a filmy person :-)

subtlescribbler said...

talking about alchemist...u might have not liked it becoz Paulo's writing style either appeals ppl a lot or not at all.
in my opinion it is an awesome read, wisdom packed with dreams and how u can actually make them a reality. its one of it own kind and surpasses all the other books written dealing with something similar.
oh, shit not again is definitely not worth picking up.
as for the fountainhead- i have heard great reviews abt the book and author as well but since i myself haven't read it so i better be silent !

vineet said...

i agree with alchemist n fountain head, rest i hvnt read till now n aftr ur inspiring review, must say nt in this millenium, abt alchemist, most messed up book ever,took me 10 days of continous screwbal 2 complate dat hunkajunk,at times felt like jumping frm the 15th floor.fountainhead: was never ending,its story line is as baseless as the script of kahnani ghar ghar ke,another entertainer frm u :)

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ subtlescribbler- nah its nt d writin dat dint appeal....like i sed, i thot it was genius...wat dint appeal was d vagueness....to me its like modern art...evryone sez its grt....but frankly i dont get it!
also dere were all dese things i cudn totally undrstnd- like 'Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time'...sure sounds fancy n arty but if ur sayin wid conviction dat it will NEVER happen a second time, den whr does d question of thrd time come? self contradictory?
or maybe its too deep n i din grasp it...dunno!

@ vineet- lol! 10 days to read such a thin book! man ur too slow den! but yea v both arrive at d same conclusion! n abt fountainhead- ur makin me feel so much better fr not readin it :-)

MangoMan said...

That's why I dont read books. At all. Too much of an investment of time and efforts for things like these!

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ mangoman- hehe den y r u readin reviews!

- Sugar Cube - said...

lol Oh shit not again was a disaster! I hate that guy!!! I would go kill him someday! He has not only insulted English ( Ref : dragginggggggg words , and writing "Ok now" every now and then)..but he has also written a very filthy book. The moron thought sex sells.Lets be the second chetan bhagat.
And ended up with bullshit !@#$%^&*

I agree with your view on The Alchemist. I didn't get it either :P

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ sugar cube- sooooo rite!

Chirag Deshpande said...

I read "Ofcourse I love.. till.."
And the very thought that came to my mind, that's exactly how we answer questions in exam hall when we haven't got a clue.


Though it was entertaining. :)

Nice post bye the way. But I would still like to finish The Fountainhead. :P

Kudos!

Sadiya Merchant said...

of cours i love u...., in my opinion was strictly average n d end was bluntly sed- bad!
i mean wen u shell out money fr a book i don think u shud settl fr dat.

fountainhead...hehe kno wat! i jus got nder copy of it as a gift a week ago. its like destiny has it dat i musttttt finish up so i gues ill oblige! :)