Three Act Tragedy

The very title suggests a dramatic quality in the plot. And so is it.

First Act-Murder at the party

13 people gather for a party in the house of an actor. A suggestion is made to increase the number to 14 to ward off the ill effects by the actor’s secretary, but is brushed off.  Tragedy strikes when one of the guests dies, after consuming a glass of dry martini. But nothing is found suspicious, though one of the guests, Hercule Poirot has his own doubts.

 

Second Act-the suspicion

Apart from his incidental appearance, Poirot stays in the background, content to pull the strings. It is the actor and another of his guests, Mr.Sattherwaite(of The Mysterious Mr.Quin fame) who embark on a trail of detection. True to Poirot’s oft repeated maxim that a murderer does not stop with one murder, another guest of murdered in a similar fashion in his own house with the modus operandi being the same.  This creates a panic among the remaining survivors, barring Poirot.

 

Third Act-The deduction

A third victim, with knowledge about the identity of the murderer speeds up Poirot to stage his drama, confirming the identity of the perpetrator which is a complete shock to the reader!

The way Poirot goes about manipulating the strings, playing second fiddle but arriving at the results in 24 hours is a feat. Though initially dull, the narrative takes pace with the murder of the second guest and veers off to a startling finish, leaving us wondering at the ingenuity of the murderer.

Last but not the least, enjoy this book with a glass of wine.  You will feel the thrill.

 

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The Dark Knight Rises

Yes. He has risen. And with aplomb and grandeur.

I went with an open mind, not expecting anything. The words that crossed my mind at the end were-a fitting finale. Nolan closes the chapter for once and all(but an opening is left, subtle enough).  This is one inspiring film-not only the theme, but the way the dark knight pulls himself out of every failure to do his duty.  You must see the climb to understand the inspirational part.  Let’s see some excerpts-

The poster was clear enough of the confrontation and the next one was indicative of a dark intermission-

But the warning is given before hand by the one whom we have seen in a different form in Batman Returns.

But what is the beauty is that the man inspires dozen others to take the battle and fight for their freedom.  The day of reckoning comes, but Gothamites survive, a rookie is inspired for a greater role, bat signs pop up in fire, and…..the music is the crown jewel.

This will be cherished for a long time to come.

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Kaaval Kottam

I am just finished with S.Venkatesan’s Sahitya Academy winner Kaaval Kottam. I must say that my appetite is whetted in every way. After a long time, I felt very satisfied after competing this magnum opus.

A word to first time readers-when you start it, complete it in one flow. Innumerable details, all of them of importance, are lined up in every chapter of the novel. Be it the passage of the Saluva axe or the chandrahaasa sword over the time to administrative details on every one who ruled the temple town Madurai(the story has Madurai as it background over a period of 600 years) from the plundering Malik Kafur to Queen Ganga Devi to Mangammaa to Krishna Devaraya to his illustrious general Viswanatha Naicker and his descendents to the British with the people of Naadhanoor in the backdrop who are witness to the changing times, the book is a treasure to every reader. The changing accents, the various historical, cultural, sociological and administrative changes are a guide in themselves to students of these subjects.

Be it the changes a new police station brings in the society to the effect that Blackburn’s ideas for extending the city limits to the minute techniques used by the Naadhanoor’s thieves-brilliant.

What more can I say? The 10 years’ work of the author has borne fruit in a delicious way.

Do buy a copy and enjoy reading it.

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The A Team

This is one movie that stays in your mind long after you have seen it. Such is the narration, screenplay and acting. Not to miss out the humor and pun in the dialogues, with tons of action thrown in.

The A Team (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0429493/) starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper tells the story of the Alpha Team or A Team of Hannibal Smith, Baracus, Face, Murdoch, of the US military. They undertake a covert operation for their superior officer Morrison, being the recovery of intaglio plates for currency printing. Things go wrong, Morrison is killed before the team’s eyes and the four are subjected to court martial and sent to jail. They make their escape(that too how!) and the rest is…..an exciting part.

Right from the first scene when Hannibal Smith(Liam Neeson) escapes with the help of his firing pin to the way Murdoch manipulates the helicopter, to the way they fly the tank(that is a scene not to be missed, folks) to the very last when they hatch the final plan to trap the traitor-brilliant. A sample scene below:

Watch the expression on Baracus’ face as Murdoch ‘pancakes’ his jeep..:)

The way each of the team escapes the prison-especially the Murdoch episode is a rip roaring one. Holler who? Holler who? Holler me…

This a fine example of brainy stuff and being cool under pressure.  Do watch it next time on Star Movies.

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Hercule Poirot-50 Short Stories

I was delighted to discover this book resting comfortably on a high shelf in the bookseller’s rack, waiting to be plucked by me(over imagination, my boy!).  And my hunches regarding a book are 100% right and was I right! Each and every story is a workout to the mind, a delight to the reader, a treasure to the diehard fan and a gem to the collector.

There are 50 stories, including a rare one and the 12 labors of Poirot(it does not bore you to read them again).

Not all are successful ones. Some are failures, some are baffling, some are so simple that you kick yourselves for missing the point so soon, some will make you race to the finishing page to see the result in a hurry, some will make you read them again and again and again..Better than a novel, they are a treat in themself, a perfect companion on a long journey, or a day of respite at home.

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One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

I had come across this title as I wandered around the libraries and shelves(online) looking for a good book. And ultimately decided to buckle my shoe and read it. It is different, I must admit. An intriguing one also, I must add.

Poirot goes to a dentist(of whom he has a morbid fear. Don’t we all?) Yet when he goes again a few hours later, the dentist is dead-in a suspicious way. And the game starts..

As each of the patients who came on that day are suspected and eliminated, the net gets complicated. The list includes people from all walks of life-from the commoner to the highest-a banker, who is the purported victim and on whose stead the dentist is dead.

Poirot rackles his brain a good deal(so do we) in looking for the one thing that would arouse his grey cells and nearly fails, but regains his composure later, leading to a brilliant conclusion. Each of the patient has a history behind him and each is suspicious of the other, trying to avoid the police scrutiny. One leads to the other and numerous pages of mazes follow…

And at last Poirot buckles up the culprit….Yes, it would be a spoiler to mention the very simple word that would point those who are yet to read it. So folks, buckle up!

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The Richest Man in Babylon

Some books are to be read;

some are to be read twice;

some read thrice;

some to bhe read a fourth time and put away;

yet are some which are to be read again and again and again and again..

The Richest Man in Babylon by George.S.Clason belongs to the last category. Yes, we are famiiar about the beauty of Babylon-the hanging gardens.  The Babylon parables told here by Clason are akin to a breath of fresh mountain air. The classic stories told by him give us an invaluable education about financial thrift, planning, especially how to accumulate our very own treasure from whatever we earn. The five ‘golden’ rules, the secret of accumulating a treasure elucidated within these pages are applicable even after so many years.

For those of you who love a good story, this is a good book. Those who look beyond the story for some excellent management and financial lessons, there are treasures to be found. As Arkad asks in the book-thou desireth wisdom or gold?

Rather than me elaborating, it is better you take a copy(it is small, 144 pgs only) and enjoy and let Arkad & co open your eyes to wealth and success..

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