Blueeyedboy

…by Joanne Harris.

Once there was a widow with three sons, and their names were Black, Brown and Blue. Black was the eldest; moody and aggressive. Brown was the middle child, timid and dull. But Blue was his mother’s favourite. And he was a murderer.

And so begins the journey. The story is mainly narrated by B.B. or Blueeyeddboy on his webjournal badguysrock.com. He writes what he refers to as fic (stories) which are generally about murders but also about his life with his mother and two brothers. His stories though, may just be more than fic. The individuals in the story are real and live around Malbry where our narrator lives. And died in manners eerily similar to what he posts. The question is, did B.B commit the crimes or not? After all, his stories are there for the world to see.

He receives comments from regulars, some of whom he knows in rea life. One of these is referred to as Albertine who is somehow embroiled in his past and now, his present. Who happened to be in a relationship with his now dead brother Nigel. B.B also talks about his childhood. And most importantly about their mother. Gloria Green. Who pummelled them and punched them and broke their bones if they did not do as she asked.

This was my very first book by the author. I found it interesting and yet, disturbing at the same time. While the concept seemed like an unusual one, there were parts when I was bored and other parts when I was just confused. There is a major twist three-quarters of the way through that I did not see coming but I had to re-read a couple of things as a result of it. Personally, I am not a fan of glorified murderers and reading the webjournal entries made me feel a tad sick. I didn’t think abuse was a reasonable justification. Also, I didn’t connect with most characters except perhaps when the boys were young and getting beaten up by their mum.

All in all, it is a decent mystery but not necessarily one to rave on about. It’s a whopping 500 odd pages and possibly could have been shorter. It hasn’t completely deterred me from reading other books by the author except I may borrow them rather than buy.

I give this book a rating of 3.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

The Angel’s Game

The Angel’s Game

…by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.Set in the early 1900 Barcelona, this story introduces us to the narrator, David Martin, who works at a local newspaper and aspires to be a writer someday. David gets an opportunity to write a story for a newspaper under a pen name, and thus signs a contract with the publishers of the paper. Few years down the line, David realizes that the kind of story that he writes for the paper is not what he really enjoys doing, and then enters a mysterious foreign publisher, Andreas Corelli, who offers David a chance to write a book under his own name in exchange for a big sum of money. The catch? – David has to write a book that will help create a new religion. Intrigued, yet unsure, David doesn’t take up Corelli’s offer right away, but when things in his life start going downhill, he gives in and starts off with the project. Soon after, David finds himself in the middle of a maze, trying to solve the mystery of his foreign publisher among other things. As he digs more and more to get answers, he’s only left with further questions.

Who is Corelli? How this project changes the course of David’s life. Does he get to finish his project? Why he finds himself in a big pool of trouble – police chasing him, people close to him passing away, people he comes in contact with getting killed, not knowing how and when everything is going to end. David’s life is anything but peaceful.

This book, working wonders to bring out the charm of a dark and depressed Barcelona, left me satisfied, intrigued, yet confused. The author does a superb job of narrating a tale of this proportion paying attention to every scene, every detail and never leaving the reader bored. I was hooked, right from the first page; had I had the time to read it all in one go, I would have…this is one of those books that is so thrilling in its scope that it will leave a reader wanting more with every turn of the page. The story flows flawlessly; the characters are all very well-drawn; the prose evokes the right emotions at the right times making the readers connect and identify with the different characters. All in all, this author’s work is a must-read.

Now for the part what left me confused – while I couldn’t put down the book especially once I got to the later part of the book, at the end, I was left with many questions than anything else. And honestly, I don’t know if that’s because this is something that is out of realm of understanding, or because the intention was to leave the reader in that puzzled state of mind. The author leaves the story with an open end – while it didn’t bother me that I was left to interpret the ending to my liking, to my understanding, it did baffle me a bit because of all the unanswered questions I have…maybe I’ll get the answers if I read it once more and fill my head with all those details that I might have missed the first time around, but until then I’ll have to settle for leaving my concerns behind. Anyhow, this doesn’t take away from the wonderful journey that was reading the book; so I won’t complain much.

Overall, I would highly recommend it – a tale of love, obsession, passion, friendship, a little bit of life’s philosophies with a tint of supernatural outlook makes reading this book a one of a kind experience.

My rating: 5*.

*for the rating scale, click here.

The Doctor’s Wife

Quick Data

Author: Elizabeth Brundage

ISBN: 0-452-28691-3

Website:http://elizabethbrundage.com/

The novel starts with the sound of the beeper of Dr.Micheal Knowles pager. He thinks that it’s an error because he is not supposed to be on call at that time but yet like a person married to his job he gets up and rushes to the clinic. The Knowles family has it all one could wish for a picture perfect life…a perfect wife Annie and two beautiful children Henry and Rosie. The life is all hunky-dory in calm upstate Albany, New York.

It’s the time when Michael’s ex-lover,Celina, approaches him for a certain help at her clinic that the danger starts dawning at their life. Though they’re doing a good job at the clinic,there are few people who think they’re being unfair.

While Michael is busy in his own clinic and the help that he is offering at Celina’s,Annie gets entangled with the not so famous painter, Simon Hass, whose wife Lydia is a fascinating character who puts everyone in shades. Four characters, four different opinions and four entangled lives.

Michael goes to the clinic that night after the beeper rings only to never come back home again. Annie feels she is responsible for his absence, the children hold Michael responsible for the hatred in their classmates eyes for them, Lydia thinks she does not want to do this but for Lord Jesus she is doing this  and it is a pay back for her sins and Simon, who really wants to save Annie from all this, is unable to get out of the loop of fear and his marriage to Lydia.

To choose life or to abort is the basic line of the story across. Michael is trying to help out females who get caught in the cycle of sex and pregnancy unwillingly…specially those are who hardly the age of a woman who can even take care of themselves. But the group,which thinks aborting is like rejecting life which Jesus is granting to the mankind,is against Michael and Celina.They want these two to stop aborting and they do all possible stunts to scare them to death.

Does Michael ever come back? Is he dead? And if he is then who is responsible for his death? The group? Simon? Does he leave everything behind and runs away? What happens to Simon and Annie ? Does Lydia forgives them ? Is she able to bring her husband back from Annie ? What’s the truth?

I think the novel turned out to be a good one. I had no expectations from the novel since I’d never heard about this author… I got this book in a book fair. I would like to share how: The seller was ready to sell me 4 books for 100 Rs [only :)] and I had only picked up 3 books. To make it four I was searching for another one which has been on my to-read list…but could not find none…so took this one cause it sounded good amongst the other unknown books 🙂

Surprisingly this is Brundage’s first novel and I must say that it surely doesn’t sound like one..It’s very neatly written and complied.

My rating for this book is 4*

In the country of deceit

Quick Data

Author: Shashi Deshpande

ISBN: 978-0670081981

Devayani decides to live alone in the small town of Rajnur after her parents’ death, ignoring the disapproval of her family and friends. She works as an English teacher,loves creating garden of her own,and is a very low key person living in her own world.One day she meets Rani, a former actress,who has  settled in the town with her husband and three children. Within no time Rani and Devayani share a strong bond of friendship or womanhood.They too aren’t sure but the relationship between them creates this need of meeting daily and sharing things.

Rani’s entry in Devyani’s life brings in Ashok Chinappa too,who is Rajnur’s new DSP.After few meetings with Ashok and lot of contemplation with self,surprisingly Devayani finds that she has fallen in love with Ashok..something contradictory to what she had thought that she would never get married and would always live alone-independent!! Ashok too falls in love with her,despite the fact that he is much older and married!!! Both of them painfully acknowledge & accept right from the beginning that this relationship will take them nowhere.

Adding the lines presented as the summary on the back cover of the book :

Why did I do it?

Why did I enter the country of deceit?

What took me into it?

I hesitate to use the word love,but what other word is there ?

And yet,like the word “atonement”,

the word love is too simple for the complicated

emotions and responses that made me do what I had done.

Ultimately,I did it because he was Ashok,

because we met.

That’s all.

Shashi’s writing tracks the suffering, evasions and lies that overtake those caught in the web of relationships.
There is no sepcific ending to the story,no one wins at the end..it does not carry the ‘everything turns out to be perfect because it’s the end of the tale’ attitude . This is a tale which is compassionate,spells nature of love,loyalty,deceptions and yet is rooted to the ground.

Shashi is one of the great Indian English fiction writers..though most of the times people might feel her novels are dark,which they are indeed,but I always feel they are rooted to the ground realities of life and work as a showcase of relationships,feelings and emotions for the readers

My rating for this book is 4