Monday, June 30, 2008

Books read in the Summers

1) The Three Mistakes of My Life -- Chetan Bhagat

Bad literature. Written in the same spirit as I used to write my engineering assignments.

2) Choke -- Chuck Palahniuk

Nice. Caustic, bitter, funny. Typical bone dry prose. But not even close to Fight Club.

3) Netochka Nezvanova -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Netochka Nezvanova is a female name meaning "Nameless Nobody" (sort of an Indian analogue of "Anamika"). This one's an incomplete book that Dostoyevsky attempted to write before he was sent off to Siberia. Hardly his best, but you get to see his obsessions developing post-infancy.

4) Kari -- Amruta Patil

This one was finished sitting in Andheri's Landmark in an hour or so. The female in question is an Indian who's written this story set in Mumbai about a lesbian female called Kari. Pretty good for a debut, this graphic novel is recommended to anybody who has a spare hour in a bookshop.

5) कुरु कुरु स्वाहा -- मनोहर श्याम जोशी

Mercilessly self-deprecatory, savagely funny, remorselessly irreverent, bitterly scathing, unapologetically cynical and employing a remarkably brilliant experimentation in narrative structure, this book was easily one of the greatest I've read in a long time.

What attracted me from the very outset was the blurb description of the author ("...laziness and self doubt have always prevented him from publishing his works"). Although the cult status of this book was never in question, whether or not I will join the cult was the question which has since been resolved most emphatically.

Although highly recommended, non native Hindi readers will encounter huge difficulties with the book on account of its heavy use of Hindi slang interspersed with a good dose of highbrow litgiri.

What a book!!!

6) The Argumentative Indian -- Amartya Sen

Excellent work by one of the best in the business. Highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested in modern India/Indian history.

7) मेरी प्रिय कहानियां -- अज्ञेय

Finished during the long 19 hour nothingness that goes by the name of a Waiting Room in Jhansi. Not great. Agyeya was a far better novelist and poet than a short story writer.

8) उमरावनगर में कुछ दिन -- श्रीलाल शुक्ला

Three stories written in the same spirit as his masterpiece Raag Darbari. Satire and caustic wit to Shrilal Shukla is what hollering and random enemy slaying is to Sunny Deol.

Next on the playlist are:

A) Survivor -- Chuck Palahniuk
B) Stand on Zanzibar -- John Brunner
C) Diary -- Chuck Palahniuk.

4 comments:

sami in chains said...

What about the photographs? Send me the link to my gmail account!

anand said...

Shuchi,
Ask Chachaji. The playlist which you have here is very similar to one he gave me about 20 years ago!!

How are you?
Anand

Nanga Fakir said...

Jain bhaiya!!!

To find you here of all places!!!

I'm okay and am currently back from a trio home.

anand said...

Yes. I do tend to go everywhere. Have tried writing multiple times, par ab dimaag kund ho gaya hai. Khaali clients najar aate hain!!