Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nine on Nine

Author: Nandita C Puri;
Genre: Indian Fiction (Short Stories);
Pages: 212;
My Rating: 4/5;

I wanted to give Indian Fiction a break, but I had to redeem the loyalty points on my Citibank Account and this was the only book I could order! When I read the reviews online it seemed quite ok and also it was a short story collection, so I thought - why not?! The fact that the author is the wife of Om Puri (the famous bollywood actor) and not an established writer, had made me more skeptical....I mean books written by these not so famous spouses of famous actors you know..

It's a small book, a collection of 9 short stories and a fast paced one...something that I finished in just one sitting in a few hours. All stories are women centric and most of them set in the backdrops of Bengal (reminds me of Jhumpa Lahiri, I had an overdose of it in her stories!). But thankfully these characters here are not extraordinarily rich & educated women from high society families, like in Lahiri's stories. But I could find a similarity in the writing style of these 2 authors. Puri, like Lahiri, has a style of ending her stories without a definite, happy or a logical climax. That brings the stories few steps closer to reality. Usually all the endings leave you with a lot of thoughts and questions and it is left to the reader's imagination. I love that aspect! Also they all have a dash of suspense in them to deliver the punch of the story, which keeps you engrossed till the end.

The first story "Arranged Marriage", which is set in a Marathi household is the best of the nine. Amazing plot and very well written, with a lot of vernacular lines which bring in realism. I also liked "At Jenny's" and "Flashback" which had very unique & intricately woven plots and a complicated ending... Other stories are enjoyable too, but these 3 stood out for me.

Overall, it's a good read!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Bridges of Madison County

Author: Robert James Waller;
Pages: 170;
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Literature;
Rating: 4.5/5;

Ah! I am back here after a long break of 3 months...It's never been so long since I went without reading a book.. So that itself explains how busy and occupied I was! Hope to read a lot more and finish the pile of books lying in my shelf..

The Bridges of Madison County is a film made in 1995, which is based on this book and recommended by a friend. I had heard a lot of good things about it and as usual I wanted to read the book first before watching the picked this up

This isn't a kind of book I would normally read. It's a sad love story and a very short one but packed with full of emotions & extremely touching...I absolutely loved reading it. It is supposed to be a true love story between Francesca and Robert Kincaid, set in the state of Iowa. Robert is a small town photographer who visits Madison county to photograph the covered bridges. He meets Francesca, a farm wife there whose husband/children are away from the town. They instantaneously fall in love and the story unfolds based on the brief affair between them during those 4 days. Though the love between Francesca and Robert seems very idealistic and flowery, it still is very compelling and doesnt fail to impress you. It may not be the best written book - but it is quite a good read! I am waiting to get my hands on the movie...