Book Review – Micro…

CategoryScience Fiction

Rating – 4/5

The book is not at all “micro” in size but the detailing is at such a “micro” level that we actually start imagining the micro as macro and shudder (at times). A fantastic and spell binding read, for sure.

The story starts with a very strange occurrence of events where 3 people are killed with deep cuts all across their bodies and no one has a clue what caused those deep cuts. The story starts taking grip right from the page 1, line 1.

A group of young scientists (From Massachusetts) are introduced to a budding venture named “Nanigen Micro Technologies” (a venture by a sharp as well as wicked minded Vincent Drake and intelligent and beautiful Alyson Bender). Eric, brother of one of the young scientists, is also a major part of this venture. These young scientists are asked to work for Nanigen and are invited to visit the office in Hawaii.

The visit turns out too adventurous. Eric is then murdered by Vincent Drake, because Eric knows too much about the black works of Vincent to be alive. Alyson Bender helps Vincent in killing Eric. Peter, brother of Eric and one of the scientists, comes across a numbing fact that his brother hasn’t gone missing but is murdered. And since that time he sets himself on the mission of prosecuting Vincent and Alyson. But the events take unexpected turn and they (all the scientists) are exposed to “Tensor Generator” (a machine that miniaturizes anything to micro level) and are then the small creatures left on their own in the wildness of Hawaii jungles, which are also lab to Nanigen Technologies.

The whole story henceforth of the scientists in the wilderness of those jungles, where they are even smaller than the fire beetles and ants, is indeed a spellbinding. You keep on turning pages one after the other and your eyes are glued to the pages. Nothing can take your mind away from the storyline until you finish the book, or let me say till 75% of the book is finished.

Let me tell you the reason behind why I said until 75%. Michael Crichton, as we all know, is the author of another such sci-fi novel which is even converted into a movie called Jurassic Park. Hence we know he’s a man of immense story telling capacity. So coming back to main point, Michael Crichton died before the book was finished, at around 75%. Hence another author, whom Crichton might have asked to finish the book, Richard Preston finished the book. The story telling methodology of both differs largely and hence you will also notice a shift in capturing capacity of the book. Nothing to take away from Preston, but frankly he’s no match to the abilities of Crichton.

But overall the book is an awesome read. The anxiety of fight between Micro-Scientists and the threatening, overpowering nature and its micro creatures is really spine chilling at times. My advice will be DO READ THIS BOOK.

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The Reluctant Detective – Book Review…

The Reluctant Detective by Kiran Manral

The title of the book is very apt – The “Reluctant” detective.

A thirty something housewife, a school gate mom and a rich, fashionable woman – that’s how Kanan Mehra, the protagonist of the book, is. This book somehow the inverse of what general book is. In general, the author becomes the character in the book. But here, the character reflects more on the life of the author itself.

Kanan Mehra was a working woman, now a full time mom to Kabir and what a normal rich woman is, an avid shopper and fashionable. Attending lunch parties and oh, not to forget the kitty parties. She stays in plush apartment and society where there are not one but two murders. Kay, being the gossip Queen (self bestowed honor) decides to solve the murder mystery of the woman who lived in the same building and of a man whom she hardly knew.

On hearing or reading the word “Detective”, you would expect some investigation, some thrilling revelations etc. But there are more parties and out station trips, kitty parties and gossiping involved. The story starts with jogging, where Kanan Mehra wears some fashionable and costly cloths, lycra or some material. The book kind of describes the author’s own life like what her son does and what she expects from spouse, what she wears and what fashion statement she makes. In between all this, the author sometimes thinks of the murders and what can be done to solve those.

But then what I felt is the book is true to its title, The “Reluctant” detective. The author being a housewife, wife to a rich man and mom to a brat (that’s how she addresses her son) it’s obvious that the book talks about fashion, cloths, make up, kitty parties, zero figure, lunches, expectations from spouse etc. So I think the author (Kiran Manral) has done quite a good job. Her fashion vocabulary is something a girl will like to go through and have.

The book could have been better, had the author tried to reduce the daily make-up and getting ready, what to wear and what to say things and included more of some “real” investigation in the story line. I mean, before going to trip (Kay Mehra and family goes for a trip in between) the murder is a mystery and after coming back from the trip, just after 2 days, the murder mystery is mysteriously solved. That part doesn’t add up pretty much.

Overall, the book is good read for those who like the fashion world, girls especially. And okay read in general.

The Hungry Tide – Book Review

The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh

Book CategoryModern Fiction

Rating4/5

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If you want to feel the Tide Country, Sundarban (on boundary of West Bengal and Bangladesh)

If you want to know about river dolphins,

If you want to know about historical tales of tide country, the legends,

If you want to know different personalities,

My advice would be, read “The Hungry Tide” by Amitav Ghosh.

There is more to the book than I have enlisted above. The writing skill of the author, the story telling ability and also the ability to weave the different stories beautifully into one another, are some other highlights of the book.

The book sketches a complete picture of the tide country in front of the readers. The different rivers, their names, the history behind naming them so, the mangroves, the islands, people on the islands, their daily confrontations with nature and animals – all presented in a beautiful way.

The book has many protagonists. The centres of attraction though are Kanai and Piya.

Kanai is a translator in Delhi. He knows quite a few languages with odd combinations. His uncle and aunt live in Lusibari (one of the islands in Tide country). He comes to visit Lusibari and meets Piya while traveling from Kolkata towards Lusibari. The womanizer (that he thinks he is) in him awakes and tries to get close to Piya. But their journey together ends very quickly, though with a promise to meet again. Kanai asks Piya to visit Lusibari.

Piya is a scientist – Cetology (a branch of Marine Mammal Science that studies around 8 species of Whales.) She was to visit Tide Country for her research in potable water Dolphins. She comes to Lusibari and while coming only she gets introduced to Fokir.

The story jumps from present time to past time (time of Nirmal – Kanai’s uncle) very efficiently and swiftly. The story then opens various petals of relationships between humans, humans and nature etc. It also opens pages from the near and distant past. It is a fine blend of practical life the islanders live and the superstitious (not exactly superstitious but having faith in things which Atheists don’t believe in) they have for Bon Bibi (protector mother for the Islanders)

The book catches your attention and mind from the very beginning. And there isn’t a single page where you would be allowed to think that the story is becoming sluggish or losing its plot. Right from Page 1 to Page 402, you will be living, actually living, in the Tide Country. That’s my word.

A must read book, if you ask me 🙂

Book Review: This Is All I Have To Say…

Book is of 93 pages only but takes 2-3 reading to understand it fully and a life time to experience and preach something like what “Swapan Seth” has written in this book.

Right from Love, Failure, Money, Leadership to Parents, God and Moral things, Swapan has whole heartedly pin pointed his take on everything. As Tarun Tejpal has to say about the book, “The stuff every parent would love to tell their children”, this is really a good book to read. I have felt myself saying “This is what my mother says to me” while reading the book. More than philosophy, Swapan has actually lived these lines in his books. (This is what is my understanding) because my mother is not very philosophical kinds but she has seen the world outside and has lived the hard and sweet times, so its more of a experience talking than the philosophy 🙂

Major one liner in the book will make it clear why this person is so successful in Advertising industry. And those one liners are not just elegant to read but deep in thinking or as he says Graceful. Swapan has pin pointed the exact feelings of your heart. You may not be able to express it and Swapan does that job for you. You read some lines and you go, “Whoa! This is exactly what I feel or this is exactly what my parents tell me”. Swapan has managed to say it more gracefully and articulately what our ancestors said long back. He gives some examples from his own life in every chapter of this book and makes it more lively and touching.

This is a must possess and must read book. It’s worth every penny. Your mindset will change next time you come across certain situations, that’s for sure.

Book Review: Kane and Abel…

This is a very enticing book. I know I am very late to read this book. But as they say, better be late than never.

While I was in a book shop in Bangalore where Jeffrey Archer was to launch his new book “Only Time will tell”, I asked the salesman there, I want to buy the new book and along with it I want to buy his another book too. Can you suggest me some good flick of his? He suggested me two books especially,

  1. Not a penny less and not a penny more, and
  2. Kane and Abel.

I went for Kane and Abel after reading “About Book”.

“This is very enticing book”, probably is an understatement. The splendid detailing of the characters is one strong point of this book. You can actually see the characters in front of you once you start reading the book. Despite the size of book, 645 pages, you don’t feel like keeping the book aside once you start reading it. The weaving of different characters and time lines is another plus point of the book. It builds the climax and keeps you waiting on one character and at the same time starts building climax of other character. And you keep guessing what will be next step and something else happens out of the blue (not on every occasion, but on some it happens for sure).

The book talks about William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovaski. One born rich and born with banking background, hence shrewd and other migrated from utter tyranny to splendid heights, back to tyranny and then to the top like Phoenix. The story is of sibling rivalry as Dan Brown has said. But the book is not just about that. It teaches us the way of life. “Life is very short to keep grudges on someone” or “You never know, the person you were thinking to be your malefactor can actually be your benefactor”. It also teaches; never cloud your view about someone just because of the rivalry. And always give other person a chance to explain themselves.

The World War II and times then have been splendidly detailed. The grace and force with which certain scenes are written made me think whether the author have gone through such a tyranny or richness to detail it so beautifully?

My simple request to anyone who has not read this book till now, “Grab a copy or rent it from a library and read this book anyhow.” One of the must read books. After reading two books by Lord Jeffrey Archer, now I know why people call him “Master Story teller” 🙂  Don’t be more late than you already are and read this book 🙂