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Tag: Book Review

Book Review – Facing Up by Bear Grylls

Facing Up by Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls is regarded as one of the youngest Britons to climb Everest at the age of 23. Over the years since then, he has gone on to cross the North Atlantic in an open inflatable boat, led an expedition to one of the remotest unclimbed peaks in Antarctica and gone para-motoring over the Himalayas.

Facing Up: A remarkable journey to the summit of Mount Everest is his first book. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this:

At the age of twenty – three, Bear Grylls became the youngest Briton to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Having suffered a broken back only two years before in a freefall parachuting accident, he overcame incredible odds, not to mention great hardship and danger, to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain.

Facing Up is the story of his adventure, his courage and humour, his friendship and faith. 

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In conversation with Nishant Kaushik: Author of multiple bestsellers

Nishant Kaushik

Source: http://www.bookchums.com/author_photos/
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Nishant Kaushik is the bestselling author of Watch Out! We are MBA, A Romance with Chaos, Conditions Apply and My Father is a Hero. He keeps a day job with Infosys Limited and currently lives in Australia. You can find him on Twitter.

He joins us for a quick tete-a-tete.

Aseem: How does it feel to be the author of multiple bestsellers?

Nishant: I am not yet content. Bestseller is an ambiguous term, because as well as your books sell, they can always sell more. I keep working towards that.

Aseem: How different is writing novels when compared to blogging? Do you like one above the other?

Nishant: I prefer writing novels (I am not a very regular blogger). When I write novels I get a chance to escape the real world and delve into the alternate universe my characters inhabit. That journey is something I relish, and I don’t get to experience it while blogging.

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Book Review – My Father is a Hero

My Father Is A Hero

My Father Is A Hero

Source: http://srishtipublishers.com/images/book
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‘My Father is a Hero’ by Srishti Publishers is Nishant Kaushik’s fifth novel after four bestsellers. At it’s core, it is a heartwarming story of the love between a father and his daughter. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

Vaibhav Kulkarni has had few accomplishments worth boasting about in his modest life and career. Yet, his happy universe lies intact in the love and pride his ten-year-old daughter inspires in him.

Nisha Kulkarni justifies every reason to be the favourite child of Pune’s premier school – be it her academic brilliance, her exceptional facility with music, or simply her unassuming charm. With his daughter showing promising signs of a stellar success story, Vaibhav has made peace with own unrequited dreams of the past.

But when the girl mysteriously starts losing her mojo and spirals into despair and seclusion, Vaibhav faces the toughest test of his life as a single father – to reclaim his child’s trust and happiness. What distance will a middle-class man with limited means go to show his daughter the merit in believing in a dream? Read this gripping tale of love, courage, and of the emergence of an ordinary man as an extraordinary hero.

For starters, the book has a nice cover design which perfectly captures the essence of the story. Everything about it be it the bag or the father and daughter holding hands is so well thought of.

Nishant has a lovely story at hand. The book starts off slowly as it shows the deep bond of love between Vaibhav and Nisha. Along with going out of his way to ensure that the smile never leaves her face, he also makes it a point to instill the right virtues in her despite the challenges of bringing her up as a single parent.

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Book Review – Crossroads: It’s about time..

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Crossroads – Its about time is Preeti Singh’s second book after the acclaimed Flirting with Fate which was nominated for the Commonwealth Booker’s Prize of 2012. It won the Best Debut Crime Fiction Award in the same year. She has also been writing for various magazines like Femina and Women’s Era. So does her 2nd novel work? Let’s check it out.

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Book Review – Messiah of the Scarlet Silence

“Messiah of the Scarlet Silence” is Arun Chaturvedi’s first writing attempt. Interestingly this book is available only in very select bookstores across the country. Maybe the author decided that he wanted to see the crowd reaction before printing more copies. Nonetheless, I bought it because crime thrillers are something which greatly interest me. Does it work?

The blurb goes like this –

There has always been a conflict between justice as a temporary phenomenon meted through a procedure, and the eternal conscience embedded deep within every subconscious state. Justice delayed, or even denied has had reverberating repercussions prompting individuals to mete out justice in a manner they deem as justified.

Molestation and rapes are rampant, and very few woman get their true justice. Many shy away from the courts fearing the stigma as well as the caustic remarks from the society. The trauma is intensified in court when the accused defense attorney attempt at character assassination to belittle the victim or make the incident look like a consensual act. The outdated legalities and the legal process itself are too slow, while the punitive punishments hardly serve as deterrents.

In this fictional incident based at Mumbai, a young girl is raped and murdered. And extraordinary situation demands a different remedial, and down the line, a bereaved sympathizer is created, who takes on the role as the messiah of the silent death, the scarlet silence.

While the story remains focused primarily on the police, the plot weaves into place the role of the judiciary, media, politician, underworld, and the public. It questions the role of these external elements that transform an honest person into a hardened killer. It raises hard questions on a crime that is rampant and continues unabated. It speaks of the core of the system that needs to be transformed. By including factual incidents, readers can co – relate those with this story that links the facts and fiction, to give it a realistic dimension.

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Book review – Love, Life and all that Jazz!

Love, Life and all that Jazz is Ahmed Faiyaz’s (Our esteemed alumunus from SIBM Pune = 2004 – 06 batch) first novel. The book is a journey of 4 friends (Tanveer, Tania, Sameer and Vikram) across 6 years from 2003-09. The novel does initially seem to be the run – of – the – mill kinds of novels which we find in our country today among young writers who think they are the next Chetan Bhagat in the making. But as it moves on, you do realise that this guy has a story to tell unlike many others of our generation.

Tania and Sameer have been in love for a long time. She is an interior decorator in Mumbai and both of them find it tough to balance their lives as Sameer goes to do MBA in UK and subsequently work there. Vikram is charming and affluent and a casanova kind of guy who can get a girl very easily but later goes on to do a lot more meaningful and constructive things in life. Tanveer is hardworking and ambitious and also insecure about his life and relationships as he has to cope up with a demanding job, a demeaning boss and the pressure of having to support his family. The rest of the book deals with how their lives intertwine with each other and they end up being the best of friends despite all the issues and problems they have.

Interestingly for a novel, this one is in 3rd person at many places. Initially it felt a bit weird but then it was sounding really good as I read it further. I am sure the story may not sound very appealing to a lot of people especially to the literary connoisseurs, but the fact is that as you read on, it does feel out of life. Thankfully and I guess I am saying this again, there isn’t much of sexual innuendo or sex scenes per se in this. Have always wondered what is the point of lacing a book with a lot of unecessary sex scenes! What I like most about the book is its freshness and the story about friends and how each of them cope up with their issues but still stand by each other and end up at the same place after 6 years from where they started. Yes, the story takes place over 6 years!

If you want a sweet and simple read without any frills, go for this book! I read this book in 4 hours non – stop. One thing is for sure all of you would be able to relate to it at some point or the other!

Rating – 3/5

Book Review – “A Cause Untrue”

“Combining the pace of Forbes, the action of Ludlum and the imagination of Forsyth…Blacker’s intoxicating thriller is a technical tour de force”. That’s one of the reviews at the back of this amazingly gripping novel written by David Blacker, an ex – Srilankan Army guy who has seen many combat operations with the Liberation Tamil Tigers Eelam during his stint with the army. I picked up this book randomly or you can say after seeing the cover which has different shades of green, brown and black and the fact that the name of the book had a line below it saying  “Sri Lanka’s Tigers take their war across the world…”. Till date I have always heard of non – fiction novels based on 9/11, 26/11 and other terror attacks (I am sure fiction must be there too…but never heard of it). So on seeing this, I felt really excited hoping the book would be a great read. And the book doesn’t disappoint one bit. Personally speaking its one of the most amazing novels I have ever read.

Blacker’s achievement lies in his ability to make what is essentially a Sri Lankan conflict into a thriller with global appeal. There is simply no comparable work of fiction by a Sri Lankan author. Writ against the backdrop of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and terrorism, the book weaves a plot that ricochets from Sri Lankan battlefields to the autobahns of Germany, from clandestine meetings of terrorists in British pubs to suicide bombers on the rampage in Canada. The violence reachers a crescendo with an international hijacking and a horrific hostage crisis.

The way Blacker intertwines reality (yes there is reality to an extent) with fiction always keeps the reader interested. He doesn’t waste time talking about how the LTTE came about. But directly explains stuff like what really happened in those parts of Sri Lanka where they once ruled like in terms of their exploiting and recruiting people including women and children, mining the area, bringing about the idea of suicide bombing in modern day terrorism etc. The locales of the countryside especially the Jaffna Peninsula among others are splendidly described. He moves the story effortlessly between different places in Canada, Europe, America and Sri Lanka.

But the most important parts of the book are the action sequences be it the the hostage drama, the bomb attacks or even high speed chases. Blacker’s work is hugely believable due to the fact that he uses familiar names, incidents and locations. The amazing Lewis Hamilton like pace of this book makes one read on and on (basically once you get your hands on it, you surely cant leave it for anything and would get up once its completely over!). The talk about LTTE, the different special anti – terrorist units of different countries along with the names of different places in Sri Lanka keeps the thrill going along. This novel though is not for the faint – hearted as it contains a lot of graphic details of death and destruction which is a day – to – day thing for army units as well as terrorists.

Quite a lot of people may criticize the book or the author for the violence or probably the romanticization of the conflict or even painting a racist picture of the Sinhalese or the Tamils. But all in all “A Cause Untrue” makes for an undeniably great read.

And yeah this is one book which should be made into a movie…It should be a treat to watch 🙂

Rating – 4.5/5

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