Tuesday, 10 November 2015

#Revisited: The Catcher in the Rye
 
This book was suggested to me by a very old and dear friend, and it’s been quite a number of times that I have gone back to this one to cherish all that it has to offer to a reader. Quite obviously, it’s one amongst my list of favorite books.

Why do I keep going back to this one?
The Catcher in the Rye is a very sensitive book, its sensitivity lying behind its immaculate writing, which a reader will never feel through superficial reading. The perception, the intention and the motive lies behind the words J.D Salinger puts in a very subjective style speaking from the protagonist’s mouth. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, is a student at Pencey, and is going to be rusticated because he failed in 4 papers out of 6. He is waiting for Christmas to go home and break the news to his parents but not before that. Therefore, he wanders through the New York City at wee hours, midnight and all through the day. The plot is simplistic, but what hides behind it is the theme of adulthood, teenage angst and alienation, which everyone identifies with and makes one want to revisit.
 
What interests me the most is the writing style- being published in the year 1951; it captures the exact linguistic approach of the schools, ‘phony’ language of the students and kids used over that period. Differently written and not losing out on the humor, I bet it will make you chuckle once a while when you are reading it. It makes you wonder whether the words were smoothly penned down as it shows raw and frank strokes , or if the writer took too much effort to connect the disjointed thoughts of the protagonist maintaining the plot line neatly.
 
The characters are strikingly best; you won’t forget any of them after having completed the book. I like the book for its plot, its characters, Holden Caulfield’s thoughts, J.D Salinger’s writing and more importantly the message it conveys. Just like the title -To kill a mocking bird, this title is captivating too- makes you question the analogy behind it. And it’s a treasure when you really understand it.
 
I have not revealed too much about the book, the story, what it is about purposely, because that will give away the charm of reading it, the thought behind the title, and the message hiding beneath. It took me a lot of time to frame this post, because I could never complete it since the time I started it, for the fear that I will never be able to do justice to the book if I ever wrote about it. I still feel I haven’t. I might have missed out on a lot of things that I love this book for, but I know for a reason that I couldn’t keep this post hanging and unfinished for any more time now, and there are more nuances and points to marvel about in this beautiful book which I am likely to discover in my future re-readings. It is one of those books which seem more beautiful every time you delve deeper into it.
 
One more reason it’s my favorite, is because I have the yellow page copy with the rustic smell in the pages that book lovers adore.

As per me- it is a must read!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Murder on the Orient Express- Agatha Christie
 
On one of our visits to the Crossword, my husband grabbed this book, only because the title lured him. And to me what appealed was the writer- Agatha Christie. He asked for my opinion and after getting a nod of my head, picked it up for his leisure reading.
 
And before he could start it, I pounced on it. Nothing works like mystery to get an idle mind clicking again.
Agatha Christie needs no introduction. The mystery writer is famous for the hundreds of stories she has knitted over the years, stories readers have never failed to be mystified by. Murder on the Orient Express is also one such murder mystery, featuring our very own Hercule Poirot. Who adeptly hides the web of thoughts in his mind while solving the mystery, this book sums up for a good read.
Plot: A murder on a train, caught amidst a snow drift. The murderer could not have run away for there are no footprints on the snow, which implies it is one of those aboard the train. So where did the murderer go? Who is it?

The answers to the questions unfold very aptly, keeping you hooked till page by page, the mystery is resolved. It might be no different for the regular Agatha Christie readers, they might even find the plot repeated, or the writing style similar to her other books, but for those who haven’t read them yet, this could make up a good first. The main characters are Poirot, Bouc and Dr. Constantine, the trio solving the murder mystery. On-the-go, many characters come up as suspects, and they have a link in common. Poirot racks his brain in the correct direction to find the link and close the case. His proceedings with the murder case, as shown in the book are remarkable. And how we know keeping your head cool can help you solve world’s biggest problems - This is showcased appropriately by Poirot.
 
I can’t reveal too much about the plot, because that will give up the suspense. For me, the book worked a great deal. It keeps you hooked just like a mystery novel should and has a climax that shocks and makes you marvel, both together. And, I would not like to make any comparisons between Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s mystery novels, as they maintain their own sanctity and individuality. We definitely have a huge fan following for Sherlock Holmes, probably a different kind of what Agatha Christie’s could be, but I am sure an avid reader wants to read a good book at the end of the day, so try it out, it might not end for you on a disappointing note on the whole.

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