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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.

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

October 22, 2019

Mini Book Review: 19 Canal Road by Sreebala K Menon


19 Canal Road is an award winning collection of personal experiences of Sreebala K Menon, when she was a paying guest in Chennai.The book is a satirical take on life in Chennai in the late 90 s and has a host of characters who are funny as well as genuine.Though these write-ups first came in Gruhalakshmi almost two decades back and in the book form 16-17 years ago,it hasn't taken the life out of it.The book is indeed an interesting read!

-nikhimenon

October 20, 2019

Book Review: Best Seller by Ahmed Faiyaz


                     Indian writing in English (the popular/urban pulp kind) did get an enormous boost in the early 2000s, when Chetan Bhagat brought out his record breaking best seller, 'Five Point Someone'. It not only proved that there was a market for that kind of stuff (read urban fluff) but also paved way for many new publishing houses and revived quite a number of old ones.Best Seller from Ahmed Faiyaz is a satirical take on the new age Indian(English) Publishing arena and how things work out in the back end.
                    Akshay Mathur, is an out-of-work editor of a defunct literary magazine in UK.His debut work as an author has just flopped big time and he also has debt running to half a million in London.So when he is assigned to India to turn around Kalim, an ailing Indian Publisher, he is not left with too many choices.In a world of misfits and has-beens , Akshay has to work really hard to find his own voice. Also joining him in his mission are Anya Malik, the pretty lass,the practical and street smart Zorah Kalim , a Bollywood heart throb who wants to get his work published.Will Mathur succeed in his mission to turn Kalim into a leading publishing house?
                    Coming to the positives, Ahmed Faiyaz has written a fast paced,slick book which shows some light on the cut-throat world of Indian Publishing.There aren't too many characters and the overall tone of the book is largely light hearted.
                   On the downside,though the theme of the book had a lot of potential,for some strange reason,the author hasn't really bothered to go much deeper into the murkier world of publishing.The characters are quite shallow and one dimensional and for the large part of the book I couldn't fathom why the world was so seemingly obsessed with Mathur and his small publishing firm.

Overall I'm giving a 2.5 out of 5 for this book. It's a light,harmless read! 

-nikhimenon

October 19, 2019

Book Review- The Moving Shadow: Electrifying Bengali Pulp Fiction


                 

                  A few years back, Blaft released a book titled : The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction. If my memory is right, the book came out in two volumes and it apparently featured the English translations of  some of the most celebrated works of 70 s-80 s Tamil Pulp Fiction.I badly wanted to read those books then, but for some reason I have never been able to read them yet.
                The Moving Shadow, is a similar attempt on Bengali Pulp Fiction by the award winning translator ,Arunava Sinha (incidentally the jacket cover of both books are also strikingly similar).
                 The book is basically divided into two parts. While the first half is a collection of four crime stories written by some of the biggest names of Bengali Pulp(Premendra Mitra,Swapan Kumar,Vikramaditya,Muhammed Zafar Iqbal) , the second half (Satyajit Ray,Adirsh Bardhan,Gobindolal Bandhyopadhyay,Bhabhani Mukhopadhyay) comprises of an equal number of carefully hand picked horror stories. Though some of the stories were first written almost 60-70 years back (evident from the descriptions and the dates mentioned in them), they never fail to engage and intrigue the average reader.
                 Of the four crime stories featured in the first part, I liked the first one the most (Parashar Sharma makes a bid).It tells the story of a multi-millionaire and his spoilt son. The suspense was good and the climax twist was also un-predictable. The second story, ‘Moving Shadow’ about the escapades of a mad scientist, though too far fetched was also entertaining (provided you don’t take it too seriously).The third one, ‘The Secret Agent’, incidentally the longest one in this collection is some sort of a spy-crime-thriller which badly needed some better editing. It’s not only over-long but also gets monotonous after a point. There are too many characters also in the story which confuse the reader after a point.However the loose ends get tied neatly towards the end and the twist is also neatly done. Copotronic Love is about a robot which is madly in love with a woman. An illogical,yet interesting short story, this one is.
                 Among the four horror stories ('Bhuto','The Moon is Back','Saradindu and this body','Foreshadowed' featured in this book, my pick is 'Saradindu and this body',about a doctor with mental illness penned by Gobindolal Bandyopadhyay.The story has got a killer twist which manages to send a chill down your spine.
               Arunava Sinha deserves accolades for his wise selection of stories as well as for the translation which is quite neatly done. The language is pretty easy-to-read and the editing is also crisp.

On the whole, I’m giving a 3 out of 5 for this anthology. It’s a fun read!

-nikhimenon

October 14, 2019

Mini Book Review: Opening Night by Diksha Basu


                         Diksha Basu is better known for her satirical , moving take on Indian Urban Middle class,'The Windfall'. 'Opening Night'(2012), Basu's debut novel which came out much before her break out work is an average chic-lit ,at best. It is the story of twenty something Naiya Kapur and her life in Mumbai.
                     Naiya Kapur, our protagonist is a Non Resident Indian who after suddenly getting hit by the acting bug has migrated to Mumbai and is on the look out for that 'big break' in Bollywood.Sadly, as any other newbie (read the non-filmi background), she has to face multiple rejections and try her luck at 'dubious',sleazy auditions.Meanwhile she gets into a relationship with Jay, the ex-model-turned producer. 'Opening Night' is all about Naiya's tryst with page 3 parties, fake auditions,fame and her neurotic boyfriend.
                     If you have read the above para, you might have figured out by now that there is nothing that differentiates 'Opening Night' from the n-number of Bollywood chick-lit works which came out in the earlier part of this decade.That exactly is the problem with this book.I myself have read atleast half a dozen books with similar story line.But to give Diksha due credit,'Opening Night' by and large maintains it's light hearted tone and never takes itself too seriously.It is a harmless,light read .Nothing more,nothing less!

On the whole,I'm giving it a 2.75 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

October 13, 2019

Mini Book Review: Murder Games by James Patterson & Howard Roghan


                     I am no big fan of the assembly line thrillers that come out of the James Patterson syndicate. As a matter of fact, I try to avoid them as far as possible since most of the recent works from the JP factory (books written by one of his many collaborators , but invariably featuring 'his' name in 'bigger fonts' in the jacket cover)have been pretty medicore. I picked up 'Murder Games'(also published as 'Instinct' in some territories) as it had been recently made into a successful television show. I must say that the book turned out to be much better than I expected.
                   The setting and the basic premise are pretty generic.There is a serial-killer on the run and our protagonist ,Elizabeth Needham is an NYPD detective who is in charge of this case .She turns to the brilliant professor, Dr Dylan(whose book on criminal behaviour the killer seems to be following) for help .Meanwhile the upstate tabloids have found a nick name for the killer, "The Dealer".Murder Games is basicallt the cat-and-mouse game between "The Dealer" and our investigators-Elizabeth and Dr Dylan.
                  The twists were interesting and the climax was also pretty decent.I kind of liked how the author(s) etched out Dr Dylan's personal life.Like anyother book from the JP syndicate, the language is pretty easy-to-read and the chapters are also short.

On the whole, I'm giving it a 3 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

October 5, 2019

QBR: Suspicion by Friederich Durrenmatt

                                                   
   
                                                       Suspense
                                                       156 + pages
                                                       Pushkin Vertigo
                                                       Originally Published in 1962
                                                       RT Rating: 3.2/5

This work first came out in the 1950's, almost two decades ago, but still it makes for an interesting read. 

The Verdict:This vintage thriller is quite an engaging read!
Synopsis: Inspector Barlach is suffering from Cancer. He notices that a successful Swiss Surgeon bears a striking resemblance to an infamous war criminal.Suspicion is Barlach's journey to un-mask the criminal hiding in plain sight. Or is it all a ploy by someone with vested interests?

The Good:the setting, the characters,suspense

The Bad:predictable at times
RecommendationsBorrow it!

-nikhimenon