Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Animal Farm – George Orwell 

A couple of days back, after finishing Adultery, I got super busy with my new project at office. The entire day I was either on my toes or behind my computer digging into some training program, so by the end of the day I really missed something- reading. I was not even reading myself to sleep, and so I decided to pick up a short and interesting book, The Animal Farm (A fairy story). And it served its purpose.

Have you ever imagined animals talking? What would a pig say? How does a sheep react? Are donkeys really that dumb? Well, this little story about a farm will take your mind on an imagination trip, making you picture the scenes as you read. It’s like following a fun-routine. So there’s a farm loaded with animals- pigs, dogs, cat, cows, donkey, horses and more- and like any other farm, there is a master, Mr. Jones. The story revolves around a group of pigs who lead a revolt on Manor farm and chase Mr. Jones away because he is an evil master who just gives them sufficient food and water to survive. They say - ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’!

Napoleon and Snowball decide to take the responsibility of managing the farm. They are different, so are their ideas, and so are their methods to manage the rule on farm. While Snowball is a good morally upright pig, Napoleon is a dictator, narcissist and authoritative. His team runs on corrupt political power, the victims being the farm animals. The allegory here is that the story is based on the famous Russian Revolution of 1917. The characters fit really well in this drama and Orwell’s simplistic writing makes it even more impactful to measure not only the small story of the animal farm but gives us a bigger picture, like the use of political power to mould the victims by diplomatically telling them that this is for their benefit.

Orwell has painted the plot really well, keeping each animal-character in mind, and it is enthralling to see pigs talk like diplomats and leaders. The sequences of events fall wonderfully that make Snowball the culprit in the animal’s eyes. Squealer was a delight, little cute one with sharp mind games, playing his moves well. Whenever there is a change on the animal farm commanded by Napoleon, Squealer the pig would reach out to the masses and justify the same, telling the animals- It’s for your good and then adding overtly sentimental dialogues about how difficult it is to be a leader. Not even once did I feel that I am reading an animal-oriented book, the characters as animals, give us glimpses of human traits at various points in the scene- The commanding Napoleon, The animal’s guy Snowball, The sharp-minded Squealer, and the meek animals left with no choice but to agree to the superior and most of all- whatever the original nature of a man, it intends to change with power and greed.

It would have been fun to see some more dialogues though. It was pure narration, but a narration so straight that there was no beating around the bush with extra information and no dwelling of the plot, rather simply creative. I say creative, because visualizing a whole lot of animals and forming up a story from history is an innovative mind.

I would recommend this book for it will surely give you a playful reading experience, keeping you connected with the message George Orwell intends to pass via Animal Farm. (It surely is a fairy story)!!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Adultery – Paulo Coelho

I was quite excited when I ordered Adultery, because it looked like it was going to be one of Paulo’s best works after Alchemist. There were a couple of things which led me to think that way- the interview of Paulo Coelho with Goodreads after release, the female protagonist in drapes of infidelity and adultery and assumption of a pleasing climax (Which he succeeded in, to some degree). Not to forget... I loved the cover page!

So, as I mentioned earlier, the protagonist is a female in her thirties. Linda, a journalist by profession, runs a family with two kids and a wealthy, loving husband- in short a perfecto life. The pace builds up the character interestingly and keeps you glued to her persona. As a female, you might relate closely to a lot of points highlighted by her as her ‘problems’, and there are moments when you might feel ‘Oh! This happens to me too’. The pace drops once her husband’s politician friend comes into the picture and she runs into a dilemma after meeting him and exchanging physical intimacies. The story goes hay wire after that, looks directionless for a while until they confess their love for each other but are still in two minds about their relationship. Initially the novel looks and gives the feel of a story of a woman who is lost and wants to discover herself as a person and who she is (Which is actually what it should be), but irrationally it skips to infidelity and adultery. Knowing the tight spot she’s in, thinking of her family and her supportive husband, what choices will she make? Has she really discovered herself by taking the route which is ideally wrong and sinful?

Goa- A new revelation. All credits to this dainty place- Literati Bookshop Café   The ceiling-high bookshelves I was in Goa last m...