October 23, 2009 § 6 Comments
Chetan Bhagat’s last book, ‘The Three mistakes of my life’ was more or less of a mistake(fourth?) itself. It read more like a movie script than a book, with improbable story lines, shallow characterization and more than a little melodrama. So, when a friend of mine gave me Bhagat’s new book “Two States” to read, there was somewhat of a doubt if I would be wasting some brain cells reading this one too. But it turned out okay. The book that is.
Bhagat has revived the protagonist of his very first novel(Five Point Someone) for this book. The story is the same old story of most Hindi films. Boy meets girl; they fall in love; families are opposed. That sort of thing. For good measure, Bhagat throws in the North-South divide. And some emotional turbulence in the protagonist’s life (not done too well though). Most of the book is about how the hero and heroine cope with the cultural divide and win over both set of parents. Along the way, Bhagat also manages to do some soul searching (a concept that seems to fascinate the MBA types to no end).
The story may be simple, but the treatment is different. Plus, Bhagat manages to keep the reader’s interest with witty lines sprinkled throughout the book (especially the stereotyping of races). Character development isn’t a priority in Bhagat’s novels, so don’t expect much on that front. Lastly, there are no major “suspend your belief” kind of moments in this book, like in ‘One Night @ Call Centre’ and ‘The Three mistakes of my life’.
All in all, Two States is an okay read. Good enough for the 95 bucks that one will spend on the book. Rating: 3 out of 5.
July 11, 2008 § 2 Comments
So I was tagged by Alice about one of my favourite subjects. Books!! For those not in the know, I am quite a book freak, favourite of all librarians and the guy who brings a smile on the face of Crossword employees each time he crosses the store entrance. The tag is to name some of my favourite characters from all the books I have read. So here goes.
Aragorn – Lord of the Rings – one of the many heroes of the trilogy, Aragorn was brave, courageous and intelligent. One of the few characters who didn’t develop a flaw in character as I was reading them.
Gandalf – The most powerful character in the three books. Its not the power that is contained within him that makes him a favourite of mine. Its just that he understands his place in the scheme of things and understands what needs to be done at each and every point in the story.
Bartimaeus – There is no way anyone who has read the Bartimaeus trilogy will not vouch for Bartimaeus as one the wittiest characters in modern literature. Its just the way the character pans out throughout the series, his idiosyncrasies, the little asides, sarcastic barbs and the sheer intelligence that he displays is fabulous.
Hermione Granger – I’ve always been one who’ll fall for the intelligent girl. Hermione of the ‘Harry Potter’ fame is that and more. Intelligent, sharp, witty and brave. Defining qualities I say. Wouldn’t be a mistake to call her the brains of the operation.
Dumbledore – For some reason, I’ve always thought of Dumbledore as the modern version of Gandalf. The man simply knows everything. And the power and responsibility thing. I mean so much power and so little arrogance. Nice character.
Maya – from the Gameworld trilogy (The Simoquin Prophecies, The Manticore’s Secret and The Unwaba Revelations). This girl has spunk, is sharp, witty, and as intelligent as they can get. I think I fell in love with her too 😀 Too bad she is fictional.
Kirin – from the Gameworld trilogy – the hero of the trilogy – sort of (Its complicated 😀 ). But the guy is immensely likeable even when the shade of his character turns greyish.
The Silver Dagger – from the Gameworld trilogy – Suave, sophisticated and a killing machine. Sorta like James Bond. Only that he is funnier and less puke inducing(and by that I mean I don’t like James Bond. He is competition 😛 )
Priyanka from One Night at a Call Center – She comes in second to Maya. Her character is more real than Maya’s is thou. And she is a very likeable girl.
The story is more important than the character for me. So the list of characters presented here have left sort of an impression on me. Why? I dunno. I guess that is part of the magic of reading. And that is why I like it.
That concludes this tag. There are others characters that I like, but I like these the most. And I like Maya best. 😀