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Tips to become a succesful book blogger

No one has become a superstar blogger overnight.Recognition in blogosphere takes time and there are no short cuts for achieving instant success as a blogger.Read like there is no tomorrow and pen down your sincere thoughts in a lucid, organised and unpretentious manner.Your work will definitely get its due.

Blogadda-Quikr Shopping Fiesta: My Experience

It was like a slap on my face.Thankfully Arun was not there with me to witness by embarassement. I was all set to call him when some random piece of paper with a phone number written on it from my pocket caught my attention.

Book Review:Salvation Of a Saint

On the whole,’The Salvation Of Saint’ is a decent thriller.It may not be as racy as ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’,but still it’s a pretty good one.

Interview with Doctor-turned- Writer Deepal Kripal

Earlier this week,we chatted with Doctor-turned-Author,Deepak Kripal.He has authored 'The Devil's Tale:An impossible journey',published by Leadstart Publishers.In this candid interview,he tells us about his debut work,future plans,his journey as a writer and his other interests in life.

Private India: Book Review

On the whole,'Private India' by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi is a strictly average work.

August 9, 2020

'വിലായത്തു ബുദ്ധ' - ജി ആർ ഇന്ദുഗോപൻ

 യാത്ര  ആരംഭിച്ച ബുള്ളറ്റ് ട്രെയിനിൽ ഇരിക്കുന്നത്  പോലെയാണ്  ജി ആർ ഇന്ദുഗോപന്റെ രചനകൾ വായിക്കുന്ന ശരാശരി വായനക്കാരന് ലഭിക്കുന്ന അനുഭവം . വര്ണനകളുടെ അമിത ജാഡകളോ വിവരങ്ങളുടെ ആഡംബരങ്ങളോ  കൂടാതെ നേരിട്ടങ്ങു കയറുകയാണ് കഥയിലേക്ക്‌ .അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ ഏറ്റവും പുതിയ ലഘു നോവൽ ആയ 'വിലായത്തു ബുദ്ധ ' യും ഇക്കാര്യത്തിൽ വിഭിന്നമല്ല . ആഴ്ചപ്പതിപ്പിൽ  ഈ നോവൽ ആദ്യം പുറത്തു വന്നപ്പോൾ വായിക്കാൻ അവസരം ലഭിച്ചിരുന്നില്ല എങ്കിലും  മാതൃഭൂമി പുസ്തക രൂപത്തിൽ ഇറക്കിയത് അനുഗ്രഹം ആയി . പുസ്തകത്തിന്റെ  ആമുഖത്തിൽ കഥാകാരൻ പറയുന്നത് പോലെ യശ്ശശരീരനായ കലാകാരൻ ശ്രീ സച്ചി യ്ക്ക് വളരെ ഇഷ്ടപെട്ട കഥ ആയിരുന്നു ഇത് എന്ന് വായിച്ചു കഴിയുന്ന മാത്രയിൽ തന്നെ നമുക്ക് ബോധ്യമാകും .


തീട്ടം ഭാസ്കരനും ചന്ദനക്കള്ളൻ ഡബിൾ മോഹനും തമ്മിലുള്ള സംഘർഷങ്ങളാണ് പുസ്തകത്തിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാന തന്തു .മറയൂരിലെ ചന്ദനക്കടത്തും ചന്ദനക്കൊള്ളയും പശ്ചാത്തലമായി വരുന്നു എന്ന് മാത്രം .ഭാസ്കരന്റെ മകൻ ആനിയും ,ചോലയ്ക്കലെ ചെമ്പകവും മകൾ ചൈതന്യവും ആണ് മറ്റു പ്രധാന കഥാപാത്രങ്ങൾ . ഒരു  വലിയ  നാണക്കേടിൽ നിന്ന് മുക്തനാവാൻ ഭാസ്കരൻ കണ്ടു പിടിക്കുന്ന വിചിത്രമായ ആശയവും ,നടത്തുന്ന കോടതി വ്യവഹാരവും അതിനു വിലങ്ങു തടിയായി വരുന്ന ഡബിൾ മോഹനും അയാളുടെ പകയും എല്ലാം രസകരമായി തന്നെ കഥാകാരൻ വരച്ചിടുന്നുണ്ട് . സുഗന്ധവും ദുർഗന്ധവും ചൈതന്യ മലയും ,ചന്ദന മരവും അകിലും എല്ലാം ശക്തമായ പ്രതീകങ്ങൾ ആയും കടന്നു വരുന്നു .

രണ്ടു വ്യക്തികൾ തമ്മിലുള്ള ക്ലാഷ് നെ രസകരമായി വെള്ളിത്തിരയിൽ എത്തിയ്ക്കുന്നതിൽ ജീനിയസ് ആയിരുന്ന സച്ചി മാഷ് ഈ കഥ സിനിമയാക്കുവാൻ തീരുമാനിച്ചതിൽ തെല്ലും അതിശയം ഇല്ല. പൾപ്പിന്റെ മർമ്മം  അറിയുന്ന എഴുത്തുകാരനായ  ജി ആർ ഇന്ദുഗോപനും പോപ്പുലർ സിനിമയുടെ തലതൊട്ടപ്പനായി അവരോധിക്കപ്പെട്ടു വന്നിരുന്ന സച്ചി മാഷും ഒന്നിച്ചിരുന്നെങ്കിൽ മലയാള സിനിമയ്ക്കും സിനിമാ പ്രേമികൾക്കും  ഒരിക്കലും മറക്കാൻ ആവാത്ത ഒരു ദൃശ്യ വിരുന്നു തന്നെയായി തീർന്നേനെ 'വിലായത് ബുദ്ധ ' എന്നുള്ളതിൽ തീർത്തും സംശയം ഇല്ല . അത്ര കണ്ടു വിഷ്വൽ പൊട്ടൻഷ്യൽ ഉള്ള കഥയും കഥാപരിസരവും ആണ് ഈ ചെറു നോവലിന് .

ധൈര്യമായി വാങ്ങാം ,വായിക്കാം ഈ പുസ്തകം .

June 28, 2020

Book Review: Vijayanteyum Omanayudeyum Loka Yaathrakal



       Those who are living in Kochi/Ernakulam might have heard about this couple atleast once. They have been the subject of numerous newspaper articles and television shows. If I tell you that this book is about a Vijayan-Mohana couple who run the tea shop called ‘Balaji Tea Stall’, in Salim Rajan Road, Kathrukkadavu,Ernakulam, it might not ring a bell. But if I rephrase my statement a bit and emphasise again ‘this’ is ‘that couple’ who use the savings out of their earnings from their tea stall to fund for their world travel, I’m pretty sure that atleast some of you will recollect their story.’Vijayanteyum Mohanyudeyum Loka Yathrakal’, as the title suggests is an account of some of the travels done by this lovely couple.
         The book starts off depicting the childhood of Vijayan and how he was fond of travels right from his school days. He also recollects his love for movies and his spendthriftness during his early years. The turning point in Vijayan’s life as he himself has recalled in this book happens after the entry of Mohana into his life.The next few chapters are short descriptions about the various travels they have made till date.

          Coming to the positives, the book is highly readable and is totally unpretentious. There is no attempt to portray the couple as overtly virtuous or create an artificial halo around the couple.Vijayan and Omana have been honest enough to confess their limitations and the mistakes which they have made in life. So, when Vijayan says that he has been highly indisciplined till he met Omana or when she recalls about the bad experiences she had to face soon after her marriage, the reader can totally relate to it.The language is quite simple and conversational and the narrative smooth and crisp.
The production quality of the book(Vee cee Books Kochi and Anaswara Offset Printers,Ernakulam) is top notch and the beautiful pictures which have been included in the book also enhance the reading experience.
           On the downside, though this book belongs to the ‘travelogue’ genre, descriptions of places and the historical aspects behind  these places  hardly gets place in this book.Avid travel readers will find this book a tad disappointing.Instead, if you approach this book as memoirs of Vijayan and Omana and their life experiences, you can finish reading this one with a smile on your face.I'm giving this book a 3 out of 5.

-nikhimenon



June 21, 2020

QBR(regional): Double bell by Harris Nenmeni


                                                        Experience
                                                        95 + pages
                                                       Green Books
                                                       Originally Published in 2020
                                                       RT Rating: 3.2/5

'Double Bell' by Harris Nemeni is a highly enjoyable read depicting the short incidents encountered by the author during his stint with K.S.R.T.C (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) The Verdict:This one is a small, enjoyable read featuring real life incidents.
Synopsis: There won't be a single Malayalee who hasn't travelled in 'aanavandi' atleast once in his life time. Many of us have fond memories/experiences of our travel in a K.S.R.T.C bus. But have you ever thought how the life of a 'Aanavandi' conductor would be?If you haven't , this exactly is the book for you.

The Good:the writing which is honest and believable, un-pretentious writing.

The Bad:nothing really!
RecommendationsBuy it!

-nikhimenon

പുസ്തകപരിചയം : അനൂപ് ശശികുമാറിന്റെ 'ഗോഥം :ചാപ്റ്റർ വൺ '

                                 

                             അനൂപ് ശശികുമാർന്റെ  ആദ്യ പുസ്തകമായ 'എട്ടാമത്തെ വെളിപാട് ' മലയാളത്തിലെ ആദ്യ അർബൻ ഫാന്റസി പുസ്തകം എന്ന നിലയിൽ ശ്രദ്ധിക്കപ്പെട്ട പുസ്തകം ആയിരുന്നു എങ്കിലും വ്യക്തിപരമായി പറയുകയാണെങ്കിൽ അത് എന്റെ അഭിരുചിയോടു അത്രയ്ക്ക് അടുത്ത് നിൽക്കുന്ന പുസ്തകം ആയിരുന്നില്ല .എങ്കിലും അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ അടുത്ത പുസ്തകം ആയ 'ഗോഥം -ചാപ്റ്റർ വൺ ' പ്രതീക്ഷയോടെ തന്നെയാണ് വായിക്കാൻ എടുത്തത് .മലയാളത്തിലെ ആദ്യത്തെ വിജിലന്റ് ത്രില്ലെർ എന്ന ടാഗ് ലൈൻ ഓട് കൂടിയാണ് ഈ പുസ്തകം പുറത്തു വരുന്നത് .എന്റെ പുസ്തകത്തിന്റെ ഏതാണ്ട് ഒരേ സമയം തന്നെ പുറത്തു വന്നതിനാൽ ഇതിനെ കുറിച്ച് കുറിപ്പ് എഴുതണമോ വേണ്ടയോ എന്നതിൽ ചെറിയ അങ്കലാപ്പിൽ ആയിരുന്നു ഞാൻ .(നല്ലത് എഴുതിയാൽ തിരിച്ചു പ്രശംസ പ്രതീക്ഷിച്ചു എഴുതുന്നു എന്നും മോശം എഴുതിയാൽ അതിലെ എത്തിക്സ് ഇല്ലായ്മയെ പറ്റിയുള്ള വിമർശനങ്ങൾ വരുമോ എന്നും തന്നെയായിരുന്നു ഭയം ).എന്നിരുന്നാലും ആ ചിന്തകളെ എല്ലാം  കാറ്റിൽപറത്തിക്കൊണ്ട് കുറിപ്പ് എഴുതാൻ തന്നെ ഒടുവിൽ തീരുമാനിച്ചു .

                                    ടാഗ് ലൈൻ സൂചിപ്പിക്കുന്നത് പോലെ സമൂഹത്തിലെ തിന്മകൾക്കെതിരെയുള്ള നായകൻറെ പോരാട്ടം തന്നെയാണ് പുസ്തകത്തിന്റെ പ്രമേയം .കൊച്ചി യിലാണ്  കഥ  നടക്കുന്നത് .പരിസര മലിനീകരണം ഉണ്ടാക്കുന്ന ,ഇലീഗൽ ആയി ക്ലീറൻസ് നേടിയെടുത്ത  ഒരു  കമ്പനിയും ,അത് നിമിത്തം ദുരിതം  അനുഭവിക്കേണ്ടി വരുന്ന  ഒരുപറ്റം ആളുകളും ,പണത്തിനു മുൻപിൽ മുട്ടുമടക്കുന്ന ; ഭീഷണിയ്ക്കു മുൻപിൽ വഴങ്ങി കൊടുക്കുന്ന ചിലരും ചേർന്ന്  ഒരു കുടുംബത്തെ ഛിന്നഭിന്നം ആക്കുന്നതും ,അതിനു മറുപടി കൊടുക്കാൻ ഒരു സൂപ്പർ ഹീറോ അവതരിക്കുന്നതും ആണ്  ഈ പുസ്തകത്തിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാനപരമായ  പ്രമേയം ,എങ്കിലും ആകെത്തുകയിൽ ഇത് ഒരു 'ഒറിജിൻസ്‌ ' സ്റ്റോറി ആയിട്ടാണ് എനിക്ക് അനുഭവപ്പെട്ടതു .തോമസ്  എന്ന നായകൻറെ ഉദയവും ,ഹരി എന്ന വില്ലനും ഒരുങ്ങിക്കഴിഞ്ഞു .വലിയ  ഒരു പോരാട്ടത്തിനായി .കഥയുടെ ബാക്കി ഭാഗത്തിനായി അടുത്ത ഭാഗങ്ങൾക്കായി അനുവാചകനെ ആവേശപൂർവ്വം കാത്തിരുത്തിക്കൊണ്ടു തന്നെയാണ് ആദ്യ ഭാഗം അവസാനിക്കുന്നത് .

ലളിതമായ ,സാധാരണ (casual readers )നും ആസ്വദിക്കാൻ ആവും വിധം തന്നെയാണ് ഈ പുസ്തകം എഴുതപ്പെട്ടിരിക്കുന്നത് എന്നത് തന്നെയാണ് ഇതിന്റെ ഏറ്റവും വലിയ സവിശേഷത .തോമസ് എന്ന കഥാപാത്രത്തെ അനുവാചകരിലേയ്ക്ക് എത്തിയ്ക്കാൻ മുൾട്ടിപ്പിൽ പെർസ്പെക്റ്റീവ്സ്  ലൂടെ കഥ പറഞ്ഞതും നന്നായിട്ടുണ്ട് .The Batman analogy  was decently done .

പോരായ്മയായി പറയാവുന്നത് ചില സന്ദർഭങ്ങളിൽ രഞ്ജിത്ത് ശങ്കർ ന്റെ പാസ്സന്ജർ സിനിമയെ ഓർമിപ്പിച്ചു എന്നുള്ളതാണ് (അഭിപ്രായം തികച്ചും വ്യക്തിപരം ).അത് പോലെ ചിലയിടങ്ങളിൽ  കഥ വേഗം പറഞ്ഞു പോവുന്നത് പോലെ തോന്നി (ആ വീട്ടിൽ തോമസ് ഒളിക്കുന്നതു ,ഇസ്രായേൽ പോർഷൻസ്,ഇവയൊക്കെ  ).എങ്കിലും അടുത്ത ഭാഗത്തിനായി അനുവാചകനെ ആകാംഷാഭരിതർ  ആക്കുന്നതിൽ ഗോഥം പൂർണ്ണമായും വിജയം തന്നെയാണ് .

വില-130
ലോഗോസ്സ്  ബുക്ക്സ്

PS -ഞാൻ നിങ്ങളുടെ പുസ്തകത്തിന് നല്ല റിവ്യൂ എഴുതി ,എന്റെ പുസ്തകത്തിനെക്കുറിച്ചും നല്ലതു പറയൂ എന്ന മട്ടിൽ ഞാൻ ഇതിന്റെ രചയിതാവുമായി സഹകരിച്ചു എഴുതിയ കുറിപ്പ് അല്ല ഇത് .ഒരേ സമയം ഇറങ്ങിയ രണ്ടു പുസ്തകങ്ങൾ ആയതു കൊണ്ട് പറഞ്ഞു എന്നെ ഉള്ളൂ.അത് കൊണ്ട് പൊങ്കാല വേണ്ട ..lol

-nikhimenon

പുസ്തക പരിചയം :ബിപിൻ ചന്ദ്രന്റെ 'ഇരട്ടച്ചങ്കു'




ബിപിൻ ചന്ദ്രന്റെ 'ഇരട്ട ചങ്ക് 'സിനിമാ സംബന്ധിയായ ലേഖനങ്ങളുടെ സമാഹാരമാണ് .ഈ പുസ്തകത്തിന്റെ പ്രത്യേകത ,സാധാരണ ഇത്തരത്തിലുള്ള പുസ്തകങ്ങൾക്ക് ഉണ്ടാകാറുള്ള ബുദ്ധിജീവി നാട്യങ്ങളോ സാങ്കേതിക കാര്യങ്ങളുടെ അമിതമായ  വിശദീകരണങ്ങളോ ഇല്ല എന്നുള്ളതാണ് .ലളിതമായ ഭാഷയിൽ ,രസകരമായ രീതിയിൽ  തന്റെ സിനിമാനുഭവങ്ങളേയും ,സിനിമയെയും ജീവിതത്തെയും പറ്റിയുള്ള കാഴ്ചപ്പാടുകളും വിവരിക്കുകയാണ് ലേഖകൻ .
          സമകാലീനമായ  പല സംഭവങ്ങളും ഈ പുസ്തകത്തിൽ കടന്നു വരുമ്പോഴും വിവാദമായേക്കാവുന്ന പല പരാമർശങ്ങളിൽ  നിന്നും സംഭവങ്ങളിൽ നിന്നും  എഴുത്തുകാരൻ കൃത്യമായ അകലം പാലിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്  എന്നതും ശ്രദ്ധേയം ആണ് .അതെ സമയം തന്റെ ബലഹീനതകളെപറ്റി സ്വയം ട്രോളാനും ഗ്രന്ഥകാരൻ  (ഹിന്ദി പരിജ്ഞാനത്തെപ്പറ്റിയുള്ള പരാമർശങ്ങൾ )മടിക്കുന്നില്ല .
          ഡെന്നിസ് ജോസഫ് നെ പറ്റിയുള്ള അദ്ധ്യായം ,പൃഥ്വിരാജ് ന്റെ സ്ത്രീ വിരുദ്ധതയ്ക്കു എതിരെയുള്ള പ്രസ്താവനയെ പരാമർശിക്കുന്ന ഭാഗം ,കമ്മട്ടിപ്പാടത്തെപ്പറ്റിയുള്ള ഭാഗം ,മലയാള സിനിമയുടെ നെടുംതൂണുകളായ മോഹൻലാലിനെയും മമ്മൂട്ടിയെയും കുറിച്ചുള്ള അദ്ധ്യായം ഇവയെല്ലാം പുസ്തകത്തിന്റെ ആസ്വാദ്യതയെ വർധിപ്പിക്കുന്നു .മനോഹരമായ  കവർ ഡിസൈൻ ഈ പുസ്തകത്തെ കൂടുതൽ ആകര്ഷണീയമാക്കുന്നു .
         ചുരുക്കത്തിൽ ,ലളിതമായ ഭാഷയിൽ ,രസകരമായ രീതിയിൽ ഇന്നത്തെ മലയാള സിനിമയെ കുറിച്ചുള്ള ഒരു ചെറിയ ,മനോഹര പുസ്തകം ആണ് 'ഇരട്ട ചങ്കു ' എന്ന് നിസ്സംശയം പറയാം .

വില- 140
പ്രസാധനം -ഡോൺ ബുക്ക്സ്


-nikhimenon

March 3, 2020

Book Review: Maranathinte Thirakkadha by Anver Abdullah

                               

                  'Maranathinte Thirakkadha' is a detective novel by Anvar Abdullah,published by Don Books.The protagonist is detective Perumal, an ex-CBI official-turned-Private investigator.Like in the case of many super star movies of yesteryears, in this book, the protagonist makes his appearance only towards the 'half-time'(read 'by the 100th page or so').
                   Leela Rose Panangadan is a newbie actress who has just found her super stardom.With a state award and a couple of blockbusters to her credit, she is widely considered as the 'next big thing' in the Malayalam film Industry.The producers are making a bee-line to get her dates and she has managed to garner her own share of detractors by now ,too. The prominent among them being , Gokul Das, an ageing superstar and a womaniser, who has suddenly developed a soft corner to Leela. But the smart lady that she is,Leela has been rather cold towards him till now and Gokul's enemity with Freddy, Leela's god-father is making things worse. Leela's dark past slowly catches up with her and Gokul and his cronies, including Janardhanan, the editor of a page 3,film magazine can't wait to make the best use of this situation.The actress becomes the prime accused in the murder of Robin Crish.Can Perumal save her from this mess?
                 The book is an engaging read.Though at times, you get the feeling that the author has tried the 90 s formula of long,court room dramas,towards the end he has been successful in tying all the loose ends.This is the kind of book which can be enjoyed during a long train/flight journey or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.This indeed is a good, time-pass read!I'm giving it a 3 out of 5.

-nkhimenon

February 17, 2020

Mini Book Review: Selfie by Selma




                        'Selfie' is a collection of memoirs by Selma.Written in a very simple, yet interesting manner, the book is also a commentary on the many social issues which we have witnessed in the last couple of years or so. In this book, Selma also pens down the interesting events which happened in her personal and professional life and the foreign travels which she has embarked upon till date.The debut writer is successful to a very large extend ,in airing her thoughts interestingly.Her positive approach towards life is also pretty evident in her writing.The reader also get to know that she is a very updated and open minded,fun loving,cinephile human being with very liberal values. On the downside, the book doesn't offer anything new in terms of knowledge or narrative style. At times, while reading the social issues mentioned in the book, the reader gets the feeling that he/she is just going through a collage of the news paper headlines of the past couple of years or so.The author hasn't really bothered to go into the intricate details of the issues being discussed, rather she has only brushed through the issues in an albiet topical manner. Also, there isn't anything that is too intriguing or eventful in this memoir.

On the whole, I'm going with a 2.6 out of 5 for this book.

-nikhimenon

February 15, 2020

Book Review: Nayika Agatha Christie by Sree Parvathy


                               Mystic Mountain by Sree Parvathy was a book which I didn't like that much. It had left me with absolutely mixed feelings and I genuinely thought that the book had a perfect setting and a decent beginning but only to lose it's steam midway. Anyways, the book went on to become a best seller and the author's follow up work,titled 'Nayika Agatha Christie' has just hit the stores a couple of days back.
                              First thing first; unlike 'Mystic Mountain', 'Nayika Agatha Christie(NAC)' is not a full blown thriller. This book is more of a biographical fiction and tries to trace the 11 missing days in the life of  the 'queen of crime'.The novel begins with the disappearance of Agatha and her husband Archie getting framed for her disappearance/murder. Her car and some of her belongings are later found abandoned somewhere in the outskirts and the police,media and the public kicks of one of the greatest searches of all time to bring back the writer,dead' or 'alive'.
                             Coming to the positives, the book is definitely a light read and at no point does the author try to 'show off her literary intelligence' by indulging in over detailing and long, boring monologues. Though in the beginning , I thought that this one was going to go the 'Gone Girl' way, pretty soon, it became evident that the author had other plans in store.  The friendship between Anna and Teresa has been portrayed really well.The comparison between Poirot and his contemporary 'Holmes' is also brilliantly done.The book also throws light on the exemplary observation skills and intelligence of Agatha Christie in crime deduction & body language with the 'shop robbery-overcoat-scene' being the perfect case in point.The author also should be given due credit for not portraying 'Archie' as a full blown villain and giving him equal space to open up.
                        It is pretty evident that the author has done a great deal of research for penning this work.Madam Christie's love for music and her penchant for problem solving have been etched out in a graceful, realistic manner.Also 'NAC' discusses multiple themes like adultery,solitude,midlife crisis, lost love, depression and melancholy in a subtle, yet effective manner.
                        On the downside,as I said in the beginning,this book is not in the thriller genre and if you pick up this book expecting a fast paced thriller, you will be disappointed. This one is a good character study of one of the greatest writers of all time.Period!

On the whole,I'm going with a 3.25 out of 5, for this work.

-nikhimenon

February 13, 2020

Mini Book Review: Surgical Blade by C.Anand


Surgical Blade is an anthology by debutant author C.Anand. There are six stories in this collection where varying themes like retribution, casteism, paternity,loneliness and depression are explored.The book is published by Ivory Books,Thrissur, one of the latest entrants to Malayalam publishing arena.

As I mentioned earlier, Surgical Blade has got six stories.The language is pretty simple and you can easily finish reading this book in a couple of hours or so.Though the themes explored in the book are quite decent, to be very honest, none of them manage to break new grounds nor do they explore any hitherto unexplored ones.While 'Surgical Blade' deals with 'revenge and retribution',the story also tries to make a social commentary on the sexual violence faced by tribal women.'Munichaami' is a story which tries to deal with the multiple themes of estranged paternity and apathetic attitude shown by children towards their elderly parents at the same time. Among the stories, I felt 'Jaathibeejam', which takes a subtle dig at casteism as the pick of the lot.

On the whole, 'Surgical Blade' is a decent collection.

-nikhimenon

January 24, 2020

Mini Book Review: Bla Bla by U.K.Kumaran


                     Bla Bla is the collection of four Novellas by U.K.Kumaran which deals with varied and interesting themes.Teacher-Student relationship, the dark side of communal politics, strong inter-personal relationships and the beauty of mother nature are the themes and the author has succeeded in sketching his thoughts in an interesting and thought provoking manner.The prose is simple yet effective and there is a faint streak of humour running through out.Many of these stories also manage to generate curiosity among the readers about what is going to happen next.

                    'Ivan Ente Priya Shishyan','Shmashaanangalude Sauhrudam','Adutha Nimishathil' and 'Bla Bla' are the four Novellas.I enjoyed reading this collection.I'm giving this a 3.5 out of 5


-nikhimenon

January 8, 2020

Mini Book Review: FlashBack by Sudeesh Peringottukara


        Flashback by Sudeesh Peringottukara aspires to be a crime thriller. The story is about the mysterious death of a lady doctor .Dr Grace  is found dead in her in-law's house and though the death is initially dubbed as a case of suicide, pretty soon,it becomes evident that it's a case of Murder.The case is initially investigated by the local police team and when they fail to find out the truth, our protagonist enters and the real culprit is finally brought to the books.

       On the surface level, though this is a pretty interesting thought( a bit dated one though!), the execution and writing is quite lacklustre, making this one a pretty average work.The characters feel a bit half-baked and the reader doesn't get much time to invest himself to the proceedings.This book feels like those crime thrillers which used to come out in the late eightees and early ninetees.

On the whole, I'm giving a 2.5 out of 5 for this book.

-nikhimenon 

December 23, 2019

Book Review: Twinkle Rosum 12 Kaamukanmarum by G.R. Indugopan


                   G.R.Indugopan has become the poster boy of present day's Malayalam Popular Fiction by now.His books are raw, rustic and has a very simple kanguage which the masses can relate to.I absolutely love reading his books and Twinkle Rosum 12 Kaamukanmarum is his latest, released by D.C Books.
             The book basically has three Novellas.The title one tells the story of an idyllic 'Punyaalan Dweepu'(island) somewhere in the outskirts of Kollam. Twinkle Rose is recently married to that Thuruthu,but it's soon revealed that she has an old connection with the island in Harro,who is our hero Terry's best friend.What happens when Anurag, her ex-lover comes to the island with his wretched 'plan' is what the story is all about.Coming to the positives, I liked the way Indigopan has created the setting and it's lively characters.The writer has always been known for the real,believable characters which he creates within a rural,atmospheric setting.Here also, he doesn't disappoint a bit.Coming to the negatives, I think the theme could have been developed a bit more and towards the end, the story doesn't entirely do justice to it's characters and their setting.Neverthless, this one is an enjoyable read!
             The second one, 'Pushpavallyum Yakshi Vasanthayum' is undoubtedly the pick of the lot.In this one, Indugopan returns to his favourite territory-the world inhabited by small time goondas and local underworld.We have two local Dons,Pushpavally and Vasantha and this story is all about their gang rivalry and upmanship.I don't know how many of you remember the hooch tragedy which shook Kollam district almost two decades back.It's quite obvious that the 'Pushpavally' of this story is more or less modelled on the female king pin of that notorious crime which shook the state sometime in the late ninetees.The climactic twist is indeed unexpected and has come out really well.If you loved 'Shankhumukhi',in all probability you will relish reading this novella.
              The third one, 'Aaralvaimozhiyile Pathi Ventha Manushyar' has elements of horror and also deals with some pertinent social issues and exploitation.This one is also a brilliantly executed tale.

On the whole,I'm giving a 3.75 out of 5 for this book.You won't regret buying this one!

-nikhimenon

December 22, 2019

Book Review: Postman by Benyamin

           Benyamin is a highly inconsistent writer in my personal opinion.While I loved reading his 'Aadujeevitham' and had an okay feeling about his 'Manjaveyil Maranangal',his 'AkkaPorinte Irupathu Nasrani Varshangal' and 'Shareera Shastram' kind of disappointed me. So I picked up his 'Postman', an anthology of eight stories dealing with helplessness and longing, to read with mixed feelings.But to my pleasant surprise, I liked this book a lot.The stories are genuine, contemporary and succeeds to a very large extend in portraying the emotions which the author has tried to convey.
            As I mentioned already, the book has got eight stories and the pick of the lot is undoubtedly the one titled Postman, which talks about a dedicated Postman in a small village who was reverred by almost everyone in the locality.After his passing away, his son discovers some secrets about him and how he deals with it is what the story is about.The story explores various themes like morality, the perception of right and wrong and also about 'untold' love.
           In Solapur,Benyamin narrates the sad tale of Shobhi and her husband who have been taken for a ride by the Kidney racket and the porn mafia.A genuinely moving tale about poverty and exploitation,this one is! Perhaps the weakest one of this lot is ,'Pusthakkada' in which the author has tried to show his contempt towards best sellers and what it's doing to the avid literature lover. I have multiple issues with this story.First of all, this story is a bit of a stretch and I genuinely do believe that 'popular fiction' also has a very big role in making non-readers to readers. C'mmon, each one of us were introduced to the world of books through these light stuff ,isn't it? But for what he has faltered in 'Pusthakkada',Benyamin more than makes up for it in 'Neeleswaram Baby' which is a genuinely satirical and interesting take on the modern day writers and the double standards they practice.'Markes',another enjoyable tale in this collection has it's protagonist in 'Gregory Mathews', a wannabe writer and the parallels with the Srinivasan character in 'Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala' is unmissable.'Alice In Wonderland' kind of reminded me of P.Padmarajan's 'Lola',but neverthless this one is also an okay read.

On the whole,I'm going with a 3.75 out of 5 for this collection.

-nikhimenon

December 19, 2019

Book Review: Run Away by Harlan Coben


           First things first, I'm a die hard fan of Harlan Coben, whom I believe is one of the most entertaining pulp thriller writers of this generation.Be it his Myron Bolitar series or his stand-alone thrillers, Coben never fails to entertain the reader.
            Run Away is the latest stand alone thriller from Coben and like many of his recent stand alone works, this one is also about the search for a missing child.Simon Greene is a highly successful professional and with his doctor wife Ingrid and his three children he had been leading a peaceful life.But then,his eldest daughter Paige,who had gone to the Uni,turns a drug addict and runs away.Simon can't fathom what made his beloved daughter to become an outcast but he suspects that it has something to do with her boy friend, Aron Cornwall.Run Away is all about Simon's search for his daughter and his efforts to bring her back to the security of their home.
            Like his previous works, in Run Away also Coben has succeeded in keeping the reader hooked to the proceedings to a very large extend.The writing is crisp and twisty enough to keep you guessing till the very last page. Coben is indeed a master of twists that the moment you think the novel is coming to it's finale, he starts throwing twists at you one after the other.The characters are also very well etched out and the reader can easily identify with the mental trauma that Simon Greene is going through with his daughter missing and his wife in coma.
On the whole, I am giving a 4 out of 5 for this work.This one is definitely a fast paced thriller!

-nikhimenon

December 17, 2019

Short Book Review: Manuvinte Lokam by Krishnakumar K.J


             Manuvinte Lokam by Krishna Kumar K.J is the story of a young boy who is in search of his parents and sibling who went missing years ago after an air mishap. Manu is our protagonist who is living in the U.S and ventures out to find out the truth behind his dear one's mysterious disappearance.
           The book,written in a very simple language is at best an okay read which might well for the very young readers.Apart from the lead character, there aren't many characters which are well developed.At times, the book reminded me of the many adventure stories which I used to relish reading during my childhood.That exactly is it's strength as well as weakness. At times, you get the feeling that you are reading some sort of children;s literature.

On the whole, I'm giving this one a 2.5 out of 5

-nikhimenon

December 9, 2019

പുസ്തക വിചാരം: 'നിഴലുകള്‍'


പ്രിയ വിജയന്‍ എന്ന എഴുത്തുകാരിയുടെ ആദ്യ പുസ്തകമാണ് ഗ്രീന്‍ ബുക്സ് പുറത്തിറക്കിയ 'നിഴലുകള്‍'. ചെയ്യാത്ത തെറ്റിന് ശിക്ഷ അനുഭവിക്കേണ്ടി വന്ന മീര എന്ന യുവതി തന്നെ ജയില്‍ അഴികള്‍ക്ക് ഉള്ളില്‍ ആക്കിയവരെ കണ്ടെത്തുവാന്‍ നടത്തുന്ന യാത്രയാണ് ഈ പുസ്തകം.അതിനായി അവരെ സഹായിക്കുന്ന അഭിമന്യു എന്ന പ്രൈവറ്റ് ഇന്‍വെസ്റ്റ്‌ഗേറ്റര്‍ നടത്തുന്ന ശ്രമങ്ങളും കഥയെ മുന്നോട്ടു നയിക്കുന്നു.

ഈ പുസ്തകത്തിന്റെ ഏറ്റവും വലിയ പോരായ്‌മയായി എനിക്ക് അനുഭവപ്പെട്ടത് ആദ്യാവസാനം മുഴച്ചു നില്ക്കുന്ന അമച്ച്വര്‍ സ്വഭാവം ആണ്.കുറ്റാന്വേഷണത്തിലോ പിന്നീടുള്ള സംഭവങ്ങളിലോ കാര്യമായ ഉദ്വേഗം നിലനിര്‍ത്തുന്നതില്‍ കഥാകാരി പൂര്‍ണ്ണമായും വിജയിച്ചോ എന്നുള്ളത് തര്‍ക്ക വിഷയം ആണ്.മീര എന്ന കേന്ദ്ര കഥാപാത്രത്തിനു വ്യക്തിത്വം കൊടുക്കുന്നതിനായി എന്നോണം സൃഷ്ടിക്കപെട്ട പല കഥാ സന്ദര്‍ഭങ്ങളും കല്ല്‌ കടിയായി അനുഭവപെട്ടു.

ആകെത്തുകയില്‍ ശരാശരി അനുഭവം സമ്മാനിക്കുന്നു ഈ പുസ്തകം.

-nikhimenon

December 8, 2019

Mini Book Review: Dubai Days By Sajeev Edathadan

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                           Sajeev Edathadan’s ‘Sampoorna Kodakarapuranam’ was a book which I enjoyed a lot. So, I picked up his follow up work, ‘Dubai Days’ with quite high expectations. But to be very frank, ‘Dubai Days’ left me with mixed feelings.
                           Like his previous work, in ‘Dubai Days’ also Vishalamanaskan uses his trade mark humour to take the narrative forward. Edathadan is also brutally honest and doesn’t have any qualms in reminiscing about his noble up bringing. But the basic issue with this book is that many of the ‘stories’( incidents) included in this compilation don’t have enough meat in them to have any re-call value. The pick of the lot is undoubtedly the one in which Vishalamanaskan talks about his mother and how she ensured her children a successful future overcoming all the hardships. 

On the whole, ‘Dubai Days’ is a time pass read. I’m giving it a 2.75 out of 5

PS- I hope Edathadan will let go his fetish with ‘However’ atleast by the next book.

-nikhimenon

December 7, 2019

Mini Book Review: Beeja Bankile Penkutty by G.R. Indugopan


'Beeja Bankile Penkutty' is the collection of two Novellas by G.R. Indugopan. The first one ,'Paasham' tries to explore the after effects of a 'mischief' done in the prime of youth and also goes on to delve into themes like fighting one's own 'inner demons', while the second story, 'Beeja Bankile Penkutty' is about the unusual relationship between a meritorious student and a girl who works in a Sperm Bank.

Like Indugopan's previous works, 'Paasham' explores the lives of people who live in the lower strata of the society and has almost the same tone as the stories featured in 'Padinjare Kaalam Chorakakkalam','Ammini Pillai Veettu Case' and so on.I think, by now, the author has become a master of this sub-genre.The characters are raw, rustic and are mostly believable.'Beeja Bankile...' has more of an urban setting and is also a largely enjoyable tale, but one gets the feeling that the theme could have been explored further.

On the whole, this compilation is worth your time.I'm giving it a 3.5 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

December 1, 2019

The Woman In the Window by A.J.Finn


                I am not sure whether I can really call this post as a review. Infact, I don't intend this to be read as one either. A lot has already been written about this book and it has already become some sort of a global best seller by now. Frankly speaking, more than the merit of this work, it has become what it is now as a result of smart marketing and aggressive media push.
               The book falls in the same zone of 'The Woman In Cabin Number 10';(Ruth Ware)  'The Girl on the Train'(Paula Hawkins) and 'Her Every Fear' (Peter Swanson).Anna Fox suffers from agarophobia and she lives alone in an apartment somewhere in Newyork. She has just parted with her family and spends her time drinking too much of alcohol and binge watching on old English Films. Her only connection with the external world are the website/on-line community where fellow people with agarophobia share their experiences and the window in her room which overlooks to the next apartment.One Night, she sees something bizarre through her window and the shocking secrets which follow take the story forward.
                 Now, I will come to the issues which I have with this book. It took it's own sweet time to establish the characters(there aren't many either!) and the principal character Anna turns out to be a really annoying and irritating female.The suspense about her family was easily predictable and for the first 200 pages or so, nothing really happens(except for whatever already revealed in the book blurb) and our heroine simply wastes (our) time trying to remind us of all those classic films(which she loves), chatting in that online community of her's and making us convince how 'twisted' her mind has become.The book picks up pace only towards the final fourty pages or so, thanks to the 'un-expected' villain(thankfully, I never saw that 'twist' coming!)

On the whole, this one is a really over-hyped thriller. It's an okay work at best. Nothing less, Nothing more! 

-nikhimenon

October 23, 2019

Book Review:Believe Me by J.P Delaney


                         'Believe Me' was first published a few years back in another name by ad-man Tony Strong.The book was not a very big success and was soon forgotten. But after his new found success as the author of 'Girl Before' under the pseudonym, J.P.Delaney, he decided to extensively rewrite the book and the result is 'Believe Me'.
                         Claire is a small time actress who because of immigration issues is working for a divorce law firm.Her job is to entrap straying husbands.But when one of her clients get murdered and her husband becomes the prime suspect,the investigating team decides to make use of her talent to lure their suspect into a confession.But pretty soon, she realizes that she has fallen in love with her target.Is there a way out for her?
                        'Believe Me' aspires to be a psychological crime thriller(of the 'gone Girl','The Girl On The Train',kind).The Protagonist,Claire Wright,having a troubled past and personality issues is one with questionable intentions and the reader never truly 'trust' her or her actions.Patrick, her counterpart, the translator of controversial French Poet Charles Baudelaire, is also portrayed as a man with grey shades and dubious intentions.I kind of liked how J.P Delaney has tried to draw parallels between Claire's story and Baudelaire's life and his encounters with the women he loved.
                      To be very honest, the book works in bits and pieces.One of the many issues I have with this book is it's length and the illogical sequences. After a point,the whole set up looks quite artificial. Even the reason/circumstances leading to Claire going under-cover to trap the culprit is also hardly convincing.Delaney has tried to cover the logical issues in his plot by throwing twists at you in regular intervals. While some of them works, quite a few don't. Neverthless, this one is a decent thriller if a twisty,mindless psychological thriller is what you are looking for!

On the whole,I'm giving this one a 2.9 out of 5.

-nikhimenon