Tag Archives: book review

Lanka’s Princess by Kavita Kane a book review

lanka-s-princess-original

 

  • Language: English
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Rupa Publications India
  • ISBN: 9788129144515, 8129144514
  • Edition: 2016
  • Pages: 280

Lanka’s Princess is a tale of Meenakshi, the Surpanakha as we know her. The name sticking to her because of her nails or claws that she had on her fingers. The story is an exhaustive one which tells you about the troubled childhood. I could easily see the Kaliyuga version being played in teleserials and I am sure these guys can’t match to the cunningness and thinking that Meenakshi had.

This is a fantastic effort by the author, I am reading her for the first time. Mindblown by the intricacies and exhaustiveness of the narration, she dwells so deep into the psyche of the character called Meenakshi aka Surpanakha.

The scenes with her mother and her doting the father are real emotive ones that sets it in a contemporary age and it might look like the story of our neighbourhood. I am sure the Saas Bhau serials cant even come anywhere near in terms of cunningness that sets the tale across ending with Ravan.

What an intricate family relationship that Ravan and his family had across the spectrum including Vishnu as much as his Adhi Sesha being a part of Ravan’s clan. Its also a story that feeds on ambition and self praise and towering on the self and ego of one person Ravan and abetted by his sister Meenakshi who feels neglected since childhood.

Revenge is a kind word here to be used since we see how the flare up from small incidents take shape of a ill feeling that can destroy the person and all those around her. Its about the poison tree that people water forgetting things and eating its fruits later.

The characterisation of all the people in this tale is such an astonishing feature, be it Ram, Ravan, Lakshman or the heroine of this saga, Meenakshi. The story is a rivetting one and the language is very addictive in a sense that its easy to read and turn pages.

I loved the research behind this book and a new Ramayana played out in front of me, much to the discomfort that Sita wasn’t the primary reason for Ravan to wage a war. Quite often we do take the face value of the stories thats been given to us. The magic of the mythology that we have inherited is beyond compare especially because the characters of Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Bhagvatham have some common time travelling and relationships beyond their ages when they happened.

We see some of the best of Ravan, and the worst of Ravan and many many worsts of Surpanakha.

Some nice narrative on Kumbha who we hardly give the space he deserves. All we know was his six month sleeping / eating.

Absolutely a nice work in total, threw open some new perspective and changed the way you look at what happens when a woman thinks of revenge!

Thanks Rupa Publications for your copy and thanks to the Kavita Kane for this wonderful work and hope to read many more stories that needs to be told.

PS: The author Kavita Kane specialises in telling the stories of some of the important women in the epics thorough their first person account or through their eyes.

The Tantric Curse by Anupama Garg – a Book review

Book Review The Tantric Curse Anupama Garg

The Indian spiritual tradition is always a mystery and that is kept so because people have heard of them only by hear say and never ever tried to find the real body of knowledge.

Quite often it gets twisted simply because the people who want to know it don’t have the patience or would not like to go through the rigour of knowledge seeking.

In this book the author who is a spiritual seeker herself makes a nice attempt to impart those basic understanding of spiritual and the tantric sciences with this novel.

The characters of Krishnam, Rhea make the story and the life and times of Rhea is central to the narration that we have here. The author takes extra care in getting us understand the real meaning of some of the things that are just not true and gives an insight into the lives of sadhaks, gurus and tantra tradition.

The portrayal of Rhea as a common girl and then later getting transformed is one that will leave you  thinking. It’s a rare attempt and a brave one, simply because the author has shown the female as the lead in the story and that helps remove much of the stigma that comes attached to say a Shakthi Dham or a religious place.

The descriptions and definitions at the right places gives us an insight into the real spiritual pursuits rather than those which are highlighted in the normal world and media gets it.

A nice read and a fast paced one could have been a little crisper at places but makes you turn the pages as you go.

Pick this book to know about the real vidya of tantra and how it is practiced and you could remove a lot of misconceptions about the religious and spiritual aspect of tantra.

On a sidenote I really liked the cover page and its got so many things covered.

Buy this book here at Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/tantric-curse-english/p/itmecb8fnhc49myu?pid=9788129137524

Amazon link here: http://www.amazon.in/Tantric-Curse-Anupama-Garg/dp/8129137526

Beauty is a wound by Eka Kurniawan #bookreview

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BOOK DETAILS
Publisher Speaking Tiger
ISBN-10 9385755684
Edition 1
Number of Pages 480 Pages
Publication Year 2016
Language English
ISBN-13 9789385755682
Binding Paperback

Beauty is a wound is a fantastic novel which revolves around a character who we would not even take it our stride for her profession. But the way the author has woven a satire of life and history of nation as much as you can think about it. There is an eerie sense of humour that best describes the way the characters are presented by the author.

There is a way to describe things of the nation if you think about a narration of the history from the characters. The story is also about how you can mix the history and fiction in a classic way to get you the best of storytelling.

There is a rawness in the language and that translates to making it more authentic in a way and the author turns no stones to get you smell the land and get you close to the environment.

There is a momentum with the characters and also the story and it has all the ingredients to make you laugh within. Sometimes there are big sarcastic statements blurted out as if nothing has happened. The weight of the argument is to be seen within the context, there are social messages some modern take on the long customs and then radicalism presented with a simplicity that exudes charm.

I am also in awe of the translator who I am sure has held the story in its entirety and we can see the way the words being explicitly used or abused (you can choose them). A book of this calibre is enhanced when it reaches out to the world population and the stories gets told in multiple languages.

This is the second time in recent days getting to read a translated work with a charm that you can easily identify with the original language and how impactful it would be.

I could see a Salman Rushidique narrative with the history as a backdrop and the characters being woven around the events that shaped the country. Quite possible a history – story best woven with a dose of fiction added to it.

I am sure you will be left with the stories of Dewi Ayu for quite a while after you keep the book down.

Go here to buy the book: http://www.flipkart.com/beauty-wound-english/p/itmegfg5xwburhwy?pid=9789385755682

This is a part of Flipkart Sponsored Book Review Program.

Senthilkumar

The Best Seller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian #bookreview

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BOOK DETAILS
Publisher Westland
ISBN-10 9385152386
Imprint Westland
Number of Pages 392 Pages
Publication Year 2015 October
Language English
ISBN-13 9789385152382
Binding Paperback

The best seller she wrote by Ravi Subramanian makes you sit through till you have turned the last pages. Gripping drama spiced with love interest, sex, vaulting professional ambition and betrayal in equal measure.

The settings are simply awesome and the earnestness and ambitiousness of the young generation and how they take the means to the end and sometimes the way they take the road never travelled to make it happen are all highlights of this novel. I did find it a bit philosophical in a way that your family is bound to be the last place you can be yourself and there is nothing like your family to go back to.

Aditya’s character is a wonderfully woven one with a sub text how fame and money can make you lose your composure and how a bit of waywardness is going to cost as much as everything in life, is a character who will remain in your memory long after you have turned the last page.

A friend’s characterisation in Sanjay and the machinations are a revealing aspect of human emotion of jealousy and envy that pervades today under the guise of friendship, and other relationship.

The pace set by the author is brilliant and the way things happen and connecting the dots is something only Ravi Subramanian can pull it off. The techie in him and the Apple cloud is a delight to read. I remember a line where they said things were different when apple and blackberry were real fruits, you know what I mean.

The ‘I want in now’ generation and its remorse less way to famedom and ethereal affinity to money is characterized in an engrossing way.

A fast paced read and will make you realise the futility at times on what we are doing 24/7 in the name of work and everything else we call it work. Knowing it is going to be a Bollywood reproduction its got ample dose of explicit scenes for the reader. It was a little extra if you ask me.

All in all a great read for a novel in this genre, keeps your attention solid till it gets out. Probably doesn’t have those Ravi Subramanian’s signature of the Financial world stuff, nevertheless he holds your attention.

I took 2 sessions to finish this book. I loved the way the author chose to thank Bloggers and some of his little circle of creative people through this novel.

The marketing aspect of a publication is a lesson that every author would need and if you read this book then possible that you would end up with some insights on what goes behind the marketing of the book and definitely you would understand that writing is not the toughest part.

A page turner by any other name will be called the Best Seller She Wrote.

Here’s one trailer of the book 🙂

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wroteby Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Senthilkumar Rajappan

Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert #bookreview

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Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing (IN)
ISBN-10 9384898996
Imprint Bloomsbury India
Language English
ISBN-13 9789384898991
Binding Hardcover

This is a beautiful book which makes you relevant for what you are. Quite a engrossing read, and contrary to make you feel flamboyant, it makes you confident about who you are and how you can be yourself create a magic in your life and then spread it out.

This book is classical read, making you better at what you are good at. Though the book has been divided into parts, its an easy read from any page and you will have a match of frequency if may call that when you read. You will feel the words for what they are especially because they are true and infact workable things unlike being sold off as aspirational in a way.

The books is divided into parts – Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, Divinity. In each of these parts, the author takes us through personal experiences and stories of the well known and some of those who didn’t want to be well known and gives us a picture of what lie in us, its not that fame or coveted status that the inner urge is looking for. It could be the overcoming of the fear and persist with courage on doing what you want to do without any fear and enjoy doing that.

A very engaging read and you can take time to enjoy the stories and go back to the book at your pace. I think that is an essential trait for a self development or a motivational book. If they can achieve that sense in you that you want to re-read and grasp it for the better the book has achieved its objective. And who doesnt love stories, and for those from the land of story telling, its just a bonus.

Filled with inspirational anecdotes and slice of life incidents it makes you sit up and think afterall it could be possible, well that would be the first step to shedding the fears what ever that could be.

I am sure you will enjoy the read and I must mention that this is the first time I am reading Elizabeth Gilbert and I can see how the other titles must have impacted a lot of people.

I will be failing in my duty if  I dont thank Flipkart for the book and in case you want to check out on a copy for yourself please click here: Big Magic

Senthilkumar

Not A Word About Love by Hana Goldberg #bookreview

The flight of imagination is the start of a journey and especially in a book if served with the touch of sense and sensuality, it  is a great achievement.

Gripping. Makes you move pages. Takes you on a ride. With thoughts. Wild and free. Sometimes practical. Looking back. Review yourself. Introspect. Blast from the past. Reminiscence.

Well some of the sentences I put to use to imitate the language that the author engages in making the reader read through the emotions. It has a sincere approach to a carefree woman’s revelry in her thoughts and an uninhibited display of her sensibilities.

You will go on a trip to Thailand and live alongside with her moments, thoughts and actions and  be a witness to all that is happening to her, and sometimes share her thoughts and mindless rants. The water would touch your toes on the sea shore and the winds would caress your face as you ride along the bike.

Meet Maya who is almost at the tipping point in her life, and she is bored of the routine that stalks her life. Wants a change and take a ticket to Thailand and the story goes right from the time she checks in at the airport and then goes till she gets to see the co-passenger at his office.

Sensual to the character, with the background of Thailand, the story of Joe, the man in this story and Maya’s own fight for sensibility and sometimes for her wild imaginations, Not a word about love captures the essence of the longings and sensuality in a very subtle manner and that it happens outside of marriage doesn’t deter Maya in her quest to release her identity from what she has built around her.

At some places, we get to see the human side which transcends with the emotions of the characters beyond morality and sometimes gets into the practical outlook on life. This is a definite page turner making you think whats up next. Has a humorous take on life and makes for a wonderful gripping read.

Hana takes us through a gritty journey of emotions and frank expressions of self in Maya and traverses us through a mixed road of family, attachments, relationships both success and failures, and of course through the mind of a scriptwriter, who just wanted to be unleashed off her own inhibitions and live carefree in the moment.

Pick this title up and revel in a different world with Maya, that much I can vouch for. Fast paced and fluid the narration makes for an easy read and am sure you will finish this in one session for sure. The best part is the author has the reader under her control at all times never wavering in its style and going till the last page.

The title is a great one given the story and the misgivings that we attribute to the word Love.

Happy to be introduced to Hana Goldberg through this work and Tomoson for making it happen.

You can get your copy / kindle version just here: Not a Word about Love

Senthilkumar

When she smiled – by Ritoban Chakrabarti #bookreview

 

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Publisher Notion Press
Publication Year 2015
ISBN-13 9789384878252
ISBN-10 9384878251
Language English
Edition 1
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 225 Pages

I was happy that it was a debut novel, but along the way I missed the speed and pace that could have been better.

It is a story of school crush and how life changes for one Mrutunjoy the hero in his class 11 to be precise and his lady love Akanksha makes an entry into his life. Things are not the same for a guy when a girl enters his life. Or even at least when he thinks it to be. This has to be the best of all the novels that we come up with. Its quite a school boy falling in for a girl and how they go to the next step of their relationship, its like a bit cinematic, may be we are used to more movies showing this relationship in a way that we all seem to approve not knowing how it will end up.

The story could have been fast paced with the characters getting on, but it has too many description that lead us to nowhere. The language could have been polished in the sense there were instances for moderation of the usage.

The days in school is almost common place and there is not the special feeling effect on you and there is this going forth and back that doesn’t gel with the narrative at times. The author has been harsh on himself unnecessary if I have to look at this in a semi autobiographical way.

May be its because of the school boyish stuff that we were reading but I am sure we can expect much more than the cinematic narrative that we were placed with. Some places seems to touch a nerve but the momentum doesn’t last long enough for your to get them on you.

The language could have been a help especially in the days when we are overloaded with so many romantic and first love stories from all over. The vivid background of Shimla would have made for some scenic narratives if you ask me. The author sometimes gets on to be clueless as much as the characters presented are.

I know this being a debut has a bit of Chetan Bhagat effect on the storyline and the way of narration but the thing is it was a different world when Chetan Bhagat started writing and now there are enough and more of authors spinning tale after tale on the same names and you can have a series of social media led love stories. Here’s where I believe the author missed a great chance to live the romance sans these media interruptions and weave a nostalgic story. The story is a easy read but had a lot of potential if you ask me. Simply because you could take them on a memory down lane those times. Will wait and see how the author  takes up the next book.

My rating : 2.5 / 5 stars

Senthilkumar

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

60 minutes by Upendra Namburi – a book review

60 Minutes

Publisher Westland
Publication Year 2014 June
ISBN-13 9789384030247
ISBN-10 9384030244
Language English
Edition 1st
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 372 Pages
Book Type Fiction Book

We all know that Corporate life is a high stakes game, and that is what is presented in the “60 minutes” a fast read by Upendra Namburi. At times makes us wonder if it could be so stark I mean the corporate way of life mixed with manipulation, sex, extra marital affairs and derailment of the adversary.

Sometimes makes you sit and smell the coffee if its ok to be doing whatever you want and achieve the goal. Obviously this is the generation which feels end is the focus no matter what the means. Thats some rant from my side!

The story revolves around two corporate professionals in question, Agastya and Sailesh and how they continue to take personal rivalries to their professional life and sometimes even at the cost of the companies to end up spending crores and crores.

The narrative is very fast as the author sets the time of 60 minutes to go into a press conference for a launch of a product and the every minute makes up for so much of action sometimes its streched but overall he has a hold on the things for the reader and the narrative being interspersed with flash backs make it worthwhile sometimes actually trying to justify the now!

The series of actions and the game of chess, the BlackBerry messenger chats to looking at the tab for the market info all are placed in a way to keep you hooked and add to the flavour of the moment, possibly you will be wondering will there be a message or will the bourses take a hit for Agastya.

It would make for film as good as Corporate if you make one.  The characterizations of the narrative sometimes is so stark and the protrayal of women needs much to be desired. Be it Maithili, Priyanka and the wives of the two men in the story.

As a story it lends itself to mass appeal of corporate culture and the has a alls well that ends well to it, but after a real acrimonious bout of ego clash and personal rivalry.

A fast paced and easy read this is bound to be a best seller. You could do it easily at a single stretch if you want and may be two sitting is all you will need. Since its got only three characters you need to work with its pretty easy to follow the story and I think author has got it pretty right and tight with those characters.

I would like to thank Blogadda for the opportunity to review this book!

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Senthilkumar

One post a day  18/30

Business Doctors by Sameer Kamat – a Book Review

Business Doctors - Consulting Gone Wild

Business Doctors – Consulting Gone Wild By Sameer Kamat

Publisher Booksoarus
Publication Year 2014 April
ISBN-13 9789351569640
ISBN-10 9351569640
Language English
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 241 Pages
Territorial Rights Worldwide
Book Type Fiction Book

I must admit this was a different take from all the books that we are getting to read. Set in the land of the United States, this debut novel by Sameer Kamat takes us through the mafia in a very clinical methodical business way as any other business you would think of.

As much as the title Business Doctors, the book makes for an excellent fast paced read on how management consultants adorn the coat that doctors wear for all the practical purpose of getting a business back on track and regain health.

Micheal Schneider, the consultant in this drama here, has little idea what the future holds when he chooses to make a presentation to a mafia don sometime during a downturn in his business. He thinks some of the out-of-the-box solutions to get his client out of the red and he almost is getting there. There are lot of action packed scenes that get enacted like the escape of some of the well known convicts – so called specialists to aid the turnaround of the company .

There are places where it could be a moral dilemma but then the money and the lure of power and may be the fame gets a little head and the story moves fast forward.

A ll the characters are very well defined and the author takes us through the American mafia and consulting day rigor quite effortlessly with their portrayal.

I can imagine and see a cinematic version in front of me as I flip through the pages. The description lays bare in front of you and you can walk through the doors.

The basics in terms of business especially the mafia stuff makes for a fun read the casino, the pornography and other business of the don being given the strategic treatment if you call it. The digitisation of the pornography as a recommendation made me laugh. The romance in the novel goes as an integral plot to the story. How Schenider accomplishes his assignment and what the future holds remains the plot of the story. The unusual aged techie and other characters are quite a nice addition which makes it worthwhile read.

A very well written novel, and a fast read material could have been enhanced if it was in a better presentation.

The best part is the language is easy to follow an definitely takes you through the consultants’ mind if you ask me.

Watch the trailer here:

Check out to buy the book here:

On Amazon here : http://www.amazon.in/Business-Doctors-Management-Consulting-Gone/dp/9351569640/

On Flipkart here: http://www.flipkart.com/business-doctors-management-consulting-gone-wild-english/p/itmdvfjpdgt379vs?pid=9789351569640

Last word, thanks to Sameer Kamat for reaching out with a review copy and wishing him all the best and yes this is self published.

About the author:  Sameer Kamat is the founder of MBA Crystal Ball and Bookosaurus.

Senthilkumar

Ramayana: The Game of Life Series – Rise of the Sun Prince by Shubha Vilas a book review!

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Publisher Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year 2013
ISBN-13 9788184955309
ISBN-10 8184955308
Language English
Edition 1st
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 256 Pages

 

The beauty of Indian classics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata is always enhanced positively when you reread them. The different versions of the story from different parts of the country is a testament to the fact that our country had a different way of looking to meaningful discussions and interpretations of the wonderful stories and also how it moulded the generations to think and act.

Ramayana for all its splendour from the Valmiki’s world to Kamban’s storyline to Tulsidays’s renditions with soulful music accompaniment has always been a great story for kids as well as for adults. Here in this series called Ramayana: The Game of Life, and the first book in review – Rise of the Sun Prince, we find a classical and easy to read narrative of the early life of Lord Rama and the setting in which the original classsic took its first shape.

In a different world sought to be mythological and storified, Ramayana would remain exactly that – a story. The quintessential idea of the story was more of the thoughts and morals and the way of life for us mortals to understand in its relative terms of living one’s own life. That perhaps was lost in the story being celebrated and the idea of the living being relegated in what was perhaps the historic distortion in a way.

Here the author Subha Vilas decodes the essence of life, from looking at the wonderful instances or rather every instance that happens in the life and times of Rama the Lord incarnate and his associates in the family and others.

This book is a long read which I believe is one to be read and digested. You would add to the beauty of the composition and also the understanding that you would love to have. The author has taken exceptional effort to paraphrase and link the resources to all materials that make for a great reading.

I believe this attempt at rendering the Ramayana will be one of the best life changing efforts from a storified version.

There’s so much to learn from every instance of the story, you get glimpses of the character’s strength, the weakness and how they have held their nerve to be what they are. This is not a one – off  reading but a life book essential for anyone looking to learn from Ramayana and help oneself to tune to better thoughts and better days.

The author has kept a nice prose in effect making it very readable to modern day young audience and has taken care not to lose the charm of the story telling especially that of the young princes in question.

It has some great revelations in the story as much as we have taken Ramayana for granted. Read it for its sublime and sheer ecstasy of story telling  and the nitty-gritties of the characters involved.

As I said earlier, you would take time to read and then digest them. Once you are done I am sure you are going to go back, open it and continue relishing those and discover for yourself newer meanings and ideas.

As always the scriptures have been pregnant with meaning and this holds true for this series too. Look forward to the remaining series and live to celebrate the life of one of the most charming and greatest kings the world has ever seen – Lord Rama.

Senthilkumar Rajappan

PS: I was very happy to receive a mail from the author, and I believe this review is a destined one in a way that I should write about the wonderful series to be. Thanks a lot to author Shubha Vilas for the review copy and this opportunity to review the book.