Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2 different book reviews!

Here, when I mean different it doesn't mean that the book review is very different but the book selection is rather oxymoron-ish as one is by a bestselling and famous and late author Agatha Christie and the other is by the relatively new and unknown jaishree misra but my views aren't biased my the author's name , its more like a teacher who doesn't see the name and correct a paper (which IS rare nowadays :P ) 

Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley Cox) reviewed the novel in The Guardian's issue of December 20, 1963 when he said, "About Miss Agatha Christie's The Clocks I am not so sure. This begins well, with the discovery of a stranger in a suburban sitting-room, with four strange clocks all showing the same time; but thereafter the story, though as readable as ever, does tends to hang fire. Also there is one very corny item, the vital witness killed when on the point of disclosing crucial information, which is quite unworthy of Miss Christie."[4]

I do agree what Mr. Francis is telling,the book begins well with the clocks element adding to the mystery element very well but at the end when it turns out to be a red herring.......well its just a dampener.The book does have interesting attempts of narration.The narration has partial 1st person account from Colin "lamb" the hero of the book , but his sudden disappearances due to his mostly spying job adds to the confusion.Also, although amusing Hercule Poirot just sitting in his home and deducting is no fun......
Let's come to the story. As I told, the story begins well. Sheila Webb, a typist is instructed by a phone call which is delivered to her by her boss Miss Martindale to go to one Miss Pebmarsh's house and finds a dead body there........and Miss Pebmarsh, a blind woman denies calling for her . More intriguing.........there are 4 clocks in the house and all having the same time 4:13 ! Enters hero Colin who is hit by cupid's arrow when Sheila rushes out of the house and accidentally falls on his arms...ahem.
The investigations of the neighbors are amusing but gets boring as it covers 100 pages!What could have been a masterpiece gets ruined as the pace is slow, Poirot nowhere in scene and a key witness murdered. Poirot gives us a big lecture about the implausibility of many authors but what he himself discovers doesn't seem to be very believable!

Robert Barnard: "Lively, well-narrated, highly unlikely late specimen - you have to accept two spies and three murderers living in one small-town crescent
This guy has hit the bullseye! Agatha christie has got TOO carried away (like dan brown maybe :P ) and added too many spies and murderers lurking around!
Verdict- Read it if you are a christie fanatic or a bored reader. If you have read "black coffee " dont read this!
Secrets and lies
Surprise! Surprise! Secrets and lies exceeded my expectations and is a really good read!
This book deals with life of 4 woman in their early thirties. Bubbles malhotra is a wife of a millionaire but has a boring life where she feels she is more married to her mother in law than her husband! Next is Samira Hussain or Sam who is more of the protagonist of the 4 girls. She is suffering from a non existent relationship with her husband due to her overweight and his work.Anita is a brave and the aggressive women who we see nowadays, she confuses between true confidence- which is what aggression really is to violence, she also has to find a real relationship in her love life.Finally Zeba khan the Bollywood superstar who faces jet-lag,privacy invasion and has to get her morals right........
All these different women share a unlikely friendship , sprung when they were classmates.The story shifts between present which deals with their day to day problems and the past......which has a dynamic secret,their classmate lily's death.......everyone hates her and these 4 even planned to kill her. So did they really kill her? what was her past? will they solve their problems and how? forms the rest of the story. The book has been written exceptionally well with eye for details. One can really relate to the girls problems and all the characters are etched out really well specially sam's bro Harpoon's character was a standout.The story's narration is really good swinging the balance properly between the past and present.
However,the central character lily could have been done better and the hatred the girls show towards turns illogical as there are no actual chapters portraying her evilness , it appears hearsay! and the climax is quite a letdown as it is over expected......but kudos for the portion after that.
This book truly showcases Girl power in its own way and is a most enjoyable read with many fun elements!
verdict - Must read!
...................AND I don't want anyone to be cross with me as this is just my point of view! enjoy!

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