Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Mayor of Casterbridge

This is one book which had been in waiting for a long time in my shelf. I am glad that I read it at least now.

I have always loved English in my school days and took a fancy to read some extra on my own, outside of what we had in our syllabus. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy was bought in a book shop in Pondichery in my college days. The first time I started reading, I got bored by the language-Victorian in nature- and closed it, shelved up.

A nostalgic feeling recently made me dig it up and boy, I enjoyed each and every page! What a fine and interesting way of telling a story!  A simple story of a wrongful act and retribution is turned into an interesting tale, transporting me to the very times where the story is based.

As each and every character gets introduced from Michael Henchard to Susan to Li’l Elizabeth Jane to Donald Farfare to the sailor Newson, it is a travel back in time to old England with no disturbance of email, phone, ipad…hmm..refreshing. To be taken into consideration that such masterpieces are not produced nowadays.

The story very cleverly educates the reader on the dangerous effects of spirits when consumed in excess and the amount of suffering that we have to go in lowering our guard for a few minutes. As Henchard suffers, so does every alcoholic reading this, who has lost something on behalf of his habit.

Every page is a travel back in time, not to miss the wonderful language that the characters use-the old Victorian English.

Really, you will love this classic. I can vouch for it.

Will be back with more classics. Till then, start reading!

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The Lost Symbol

Everything is revealed at the thirty third degree

Imagine what an ordinary looking statement like this can do? Create chaos and then order? Start a race against time among various people to gain control of an ancient treasure that endows them with knowledge and power? Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol promises all of these.

I have read this book thrice and every time this book interests me more and more.  What could have become an ordinary thriller becomes an informative one with Brown offering new insights in every page, sustaining the reader’s interest. Even though you might have read the two previous books (The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons) in this series, this one keeps you on your toes. You root for not Robert Langdon, the Harvard Symbologist, bur for the manipulative Ma’lakh who sets in motion a series of incidents culminating in a thrilling finish.

Like The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons and his other works, Brown offeres a wealth of  interesting trivia in his masterpiece, making us wanting to read more and see things in a new light.  As we progress through the pages, the anxiety that grips Langdon grips us also, wanting to know what is that the unknown Ma’lakh wants from Langdon.

As each page progresses, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Right from Langdon’s arrival at the Capitol Building without an inkling to the part he would play in the drama to the discovery of a severeed hand with the curious symbols tattooed in it to the very last poetic justice that is delivered-simply fantastic.

Added to that the pyramid that plays an important part in the whole episode, revealing new information and astonishing both the reader and Langdon.  The curious symbols, the method used by the unknown man to gain information from all that he seeks, to his manipulative ways-making the CIA Director run errands, for one to discovering labyrinth after labyrinth in the Capitol Building, it is a rush to the last pages.

As we finish the book, we only wonder…Are such things possible? Do such things exist? What if?

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Filed under Book Review, Dan Brown