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Book Reviews - General

Discussion in 'Book Lovers' started by Iravati, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Hello Shravs3,

    Sorry for the late follow-up. My alerts and notifications are turned off which means I don't actively monitor likes, quoted posts or member tags and notice any interactive reply only when I fancy a return to the thread.

    I watched the trailer and was impressed. Well, I didn't particularly enjoy the book. It thinned and then condensed and so on. I chose it as my foray into the hyped New Weird genre. I wanted to dabble in this new form of futurist or dystopian or speculative genre. So, I read the book. Again, the movie could have cannibalised the entire trilogy into a film but I only read the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy. As is wont in serialised novels, there is no gratifying ending to the lead book. The novel is okay but not worth the read-time. The trailer is more attractive than the book. I hope the movie with artistic licence rose to the expectation of that visual teaser.

    One recent book that I loved more than the movie is Story of your Life by Ted Chiang. In the movie, the discovery around the Heptapod A (speech) and Heptapod B (writing) was rushed but in the book it unfolded more coherently. Also, the alien heptapods in the movie were devoid of sympathetic connects with humans as they were depicted as blurry and impassive whooshes but in the book the aliens had intriguing and amusing exchanges with the linguist Ms Banks. Story is one book which surpassed in style and narrative to the adapted movie. Alas, the text of "Annihilation" paled in comparison to the visual trailer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  2. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    The Life of Insects

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    There are crazy books and utterly crazy books. They sound so crazy even in the scant blurb that you are astounded of the inventive mind behind such political satire. I had to lay my claws on this book. There was no ebook. I gave up but not fully. As I was flipping through Ed Yong's "I Contain Multitudes", I was distracted by this backgrounded book. I trawled the entire net again and then eventually found a legit edition to borrow.

    To the readers of Russian satires, the literary style is not alien but the jutting voice of this book is not the style but the interwoven bizarreness and transition across the chapters. The main actors in this fictional piece are humans transforming spontaneously into mosquitoes, moths, ants, and their like. These creatures are both humans and insects and above all they are reflective souls who endure the vicissitudes in a Russian political landscape. Like David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas with interconnecting plots, all the storylines of the insects criss-cross into a web of intrigue and amusement. The mosquito kinship of Marina and her daughter Natasha was played out well. If you are into jerky fiction and genre-defying works, then this book is for you. And if you liked what George Orwell did with farm animals, you will greatly love what Victor Pelevin did with insects.
     
  3. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    All about H Hatterr By GV Desani

    Princess Bride has been my favourite book for so long that I never doubted a serious contender might topple it some day. But, it happened! And just yesterday. As I had begun to read, I paused and inquired around and resumed and inquired some more and resumed by intercutting with personal calls to inquire who all knew about this book. Not many knew! Pshi! Hence I decided to spread the word and bored their ears with my glowing praise. You must read this book!

    H Hatterr is deviously funny in its gnarled English. I have never read a book of such kind. The book is quirky and riotous! I downloaded Desani's Hali Stories upon reading this forlorn work. Alas! Very under-ranked book! If you enjoy absurd and quirky portrayal and foolery English then read this book straightaway. Also, read for the sake of Agnus Castus and for the honour of Sister Celeste.

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  4. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    That Glimpse of Truth: Short story collection


    She: This is crazy! This is the craziest collection of amusing short stories!
    He: Go on ..
    She: The collection has shorts and sketches from cosmopolitan and contemporary tastes. This is absolutely crazy!
    He: You said the same about some Hatter?
    She: No, Hindustani Hatterr is just crazy but this collection is fulsome crazy.

    He: I find your excitement stranger and crazier than anything.
    She: I know I am unusually excited over everything but this is reasonable excitement.
    He: I doubt. You are a strange creature. And your untethered excitement shoots off the roof ever.
    She: But this is the excitement.
    He: Till when? Tomorrow?

    She: No, no ...these are not stories but a sly doorway into the lives of authors, you are introduced to short-story writers and then you look up MR James who drove a double tricycle on European treks and that music composed by Shapurji Sorabji on his stories, and that Henry Lawson who rented a house from Mrs Isabel Byers. But the handpicked stories are also captivating.

    He: You are the strangest creature I have ever met.

    She: And all those lovely words " an da shealladh" , "therefrom", "martello", "berm", "fleet-flooted", "thewy", "wittol".
    He: Are they in that book?
    She: No, not all but only a degree of separation from more interesting words in the book.
    He: Do you squeal away like this with everyone?
    She: Absolutely!
    He: And how do they respond?
    She: You are the strangest creature I have ever come across [everyone in chorus].


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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  5. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Books of the week:

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  6. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Thoughts on books:

    I don't actively operate on an interactive mode on IL. I scratch here and there and few hmms and ahas. Just few minutes ago, I was thinking, what is it that I am trying to achieve in this thread by sticking colourful images of bulldozers and billowing farts. I don't know. I don't know what kind of beacon I am struggling to recreate here. I would love to write full-blown reviews but I am pressed for time hence I post swatches of my reads. Nevertheless, I swing between reviews and chirps.

    What am I trying to achieve? I have reflected much in the past one year since my QPQ advent. You need atleast 4-5 guiding friends in your life to nudge you incessantly. To guide you. Sometimes, they shrug, at times, they exclaim, but mostly they end up transforming you. Few years ago, I had none who could convince me what books to read, how to read, the whys and wherefores of reading styles. I was lost. I have been ecstatically fortunate in my life to always have had the right people in the right turns of my life. People who appear out of nowhere and rewire you into something monstrously irreversible to turn your whim into a practice.

    I don't know if there are any Iras out there, women in right faculties with ample confusion. All they need is a strange nudge, an inspiring wink, to sweep them away. I am chronicling one such adventure here. A sidewalk with buzzing people in the midst of which arise Virgilian souls who jab your shoulder and say: Let's go on a literary stroll. Perhaps my jabber is only a testimony to one such episode where more than volume or intensity of the reads, it is the people who inspire you to read that matter. Iras out there, go and meet your guiding Virgils.
     
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  7. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Few hours ago, a mail notification beeped on my phone.

    Hello,

    Congratulations! The book "Mr. Wilson's cabinet of wonder", which you have been waiting to borrow is now available.
    We've put the book on hold for you as you are the next person in the waiting list. Please visit the following link to borrow the book.

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    I forgot that I signed up in the waiting list of this seemingly obscure book. When the mail chimed, I only wanted to claim it today and read later. But my curiosity got the better of me and I sneaked up for a preview by indulging in just the first page which read ...

    Deep in the Cameroonian rain forests of west-central Africa there lives a floor-dwelling ant known as Megaloponera foetens, or more commonly, the stink ant. This large ant-indeed, one of the very few capable of emitting a cry audible to the human ear-survives by foraging for food among the fallen leaves and undergrowth of the ....

    My curiosity just didn't get the better of me but possessed me as I swiped from page to page in incredibility and amusement in the narrative. I had no idea what I was reading ...what genre is it ...what is real ...what is fact and what is farcical. The book is divided into two parts: Part-I deals with the whimsical origins of 'The Museum of Jurassic Technology' and Part-II deals with ascendancy of other quirky museums.

    What is that wacky lower jurassic museum? That is where Megaloponera foetens, Myotis Lucifugus, Sonnabend, Delani, Deprong Mori, Maston and Griffith or Griffin, well, Griffith come together.

    As I am not supposed to post revealing excerpts of such fantastical reads, no matter how much 'The society for the diffusion of useful information' urges to spread the programme, I can only proclaim that if I had a kid, a big 'if' given that I get cranky with kids around, this is the kind of echt-book I would not let them skip on their way to first grade from kindergarten. A generative and muse-y book teeming with shrugging puzzlement written for adults (also: finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction), but would have been defining and transformative had I read it as a kid.

    P.S: The preface of the book ends with a paragraph that tallies with my impression of the book.

    'In a text as vertiginous as the museum itself, as allusive as one of Borges' tales, as refractive as a Calvino story, Lawrence Weschler gives us a masterful work of magic realist nonfiction that evokes both our delight in and our need for astonishment.'
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  8. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Books: 04/04/2018

    Luigi Pirandello's plays:

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    Hermann Hesse:

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  9. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Awoke to Gormenghast on a Sunday!

    As I was pressed for time, chose the radio adaptation of the first two books from the Gormenghast trilogy. The series has asserted a delightful sense of “crumbling” through the machinations of Steerpike and melancholy of Sepulchrave and oddities of Sourdust and fealty of Flay. Don’t sell this adaptation short.



     
  10. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Books - April 11, 2018

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