Andy Weir’s The Martian – A Review

I started reading The Martian, and like Mark Watney on Mars, was stuck in the book till I could finish it. It has been a while since I picked up a book I could not put down, and even longer since I read a decent science fiction story.

When I was a young boy, I was gifted a hardbound book called “Space Stories for Boys.” This launched me into the word of classic science fiction. Over the next couple of decades, I have collected and read, from old book stalls, pavement shops, second-hand places read more

The Tale of the Dark Warrior – A Review

Hrishikesh Diwan’s The Tale of the Dark Warrior launched on New Year’s Day and I wasted no time in reading it – not a difficult thing to do since it is a novella and was instantly available the moment it launched.

The novella tells the tale of several different people, where their lives intersect, and how certain actions of each of them affects the lives of the others. There is also a mysterious man who keeps turning up and asking very philosophical questions of these characters. The read more

Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Cuckoos Calling

Short Review:

Brilliant storytelling, detailed universe, well-rounded characters, and a classic murder mystery reminiscent of the best in the business. Though the plot is not novel, it is the perfect potting shed for introducing the world of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott, the troubled detective and his new temporary secretary whom he can hardly afford. A definite must-read, especially if you are a fan of old-school murder mysteries.

Pirate Latitudes – A Smashing Pirate Tale!

Michael Crichton’s latest novel, Pirate Latitudes, took up one marathon reading session this weekend. It was, to be cliched, unputdownable.

The blurb reads:

An irresistible adventure of swashbuckling pirates in the New World from one of the best-loved and bestselling authors of all time.

Jamaica, in 1655 a lone outpost of British power amid Spanish waters in the sun-baked Caribbean. Its capital, Port Roayl, a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses – the last place imaginable read more

An Evening with Jeffrey Archer

Sunday evening was spent rather delightfully, listening to Jeffrey Archer speak. He was at Landmark to promote his new book, a re-write of his top seller, Kane and Abel.

The man is a genius when it came to handling the crowd – he had them eating out of his hand within the first few minutes – he spoke about what a great place India is, and Sachin’s brilliant century in the previous day’s game. It was easy to see how he would have swayed his constituents who sent him to the House read more

Slumdog Millionaire – A Prelude

I recall the first time I came across Vikas Swarup’s Q&A in the huge Landmark at Spencer Plaza in Chennai. That was in 2005, and I remember being fascinated by the blurb, though not enough to buy it right away. I made a mental note that I should read it sometime. It got added to the ridiculously long reading list in my head.

Some time ago, I heard about Slumdog Millionaire, and how it was a movie being made out of Q&A. And then, I read the rave reviews it had received, and how it was read more

Crossword, Hyderabad – Ill-stocked, Ill-organized, Ill-run

It all started with a gift voucher from Crossword I got for something or the other. Deciding to take advantage of it, off we went to City Center, where, suitably fed and glowing, I went into the aforesaid bookshop (Vidya cleverly slipped into Max to look at clothes, well knowing my propensity to take an inordinately long time in bookshops!). So I started looking around, trying to decide what I would buy, and in the process discovered that Crossword (at least the one at City Center) is one of the read more

Book-shopping Again!

When I was at school in Coimbatore, I was a member of what must have been one of the first really successful lending libraries in the town – Choose and Read. It used to be owned and run by a chap called Noorul Ameen, who used to smilingly tolerate the incredibly long time

Forty Books!

Last Sunday found us on the pavements of Abids, accompanied by the adventurous Haritha, hunting for books among the hundreds of impromptou bookstalls that had sprung up everywhere. After about five hours, we found ourselves richer by forty books, for which we had paid a total of about four hundred rupees.

Next, Michael Crichton

Just finished reading Crichton’s latest – Next.

At the end of this “novel,” there is an Author’s Note, which explains five conclusions that Crichton arrived at at the end of his research for this book. However, it is hard to believe that these conclusions were made at the end of research for this book, for the whole book seems to be a moral fable that tells tales illustrating and reinforcing each of these conclusions. This renders the book a narrative of denouements read more