Monthly Archives: September 2012

Review: Fractured Legend

The book this week was “Fractured Legend” by Kranthi Askani. I received this book as part of Blogadda book review program.

The book revolves around the story of Priyambada, a temple slave who leaves the temple at night and froze into a statue by the morning. One day she decides to leave the world of stone forever and get into the mortal realm (through a ring that is gifted to her by the queen of the temple). She starts a new life with parents, brother and later gets married and brings up a daughter named Pravalli. There is another story of an assassin named Nandhini who gets entangled into a web of finding a manuscript (the manuscript is of the same story of temple slave). The book is divided into 3 stories but all 3 are related.

Now if I had to describe this whole book in one word, I would say it is weird (and not in a good way). I have never heard or read anything by the author (probably he is a first timer as the publishing house gives chances to first timers, that is on the book).

From the beginning to the end I simply could not understand the purpose of the book or the story within it. A temple of slaves, where the stone statues come to life at night and are frozen again in the morning, this is how the story began and though it felt weird but I was anticipating that it would grow into a good plot and there could be some mystery involved too. But it continues as a boring story until you reach at the end of story one. Then the second story starts and I thought it is a different story altogether, the second story of Nandhini an assassin starts quite nicely but then again it ends up as  entangled in that temple slave story, that a manuscript is asked to be retrieved by Nandhini, there is a mystery biker who follows her. In the end her son is kidnapped and she has to kill her boss. Last story is that of Pravalli who is the daughter of Priyambada (temple slave who comes into the mortal realm) to her mother, cursing her for the lie that she has always been telling earlier and that she can’t forgive her for the same. In the end both are caught by Aardya (Priyambada’s friend) and are killed.

Believe me the book/stories are as weird as they sound above and there is absolutely nothing more to the story than what I have written in a few lines above. There is unnecessary detailing on each and every chapter in the book and you would yawn and sigh and sometimes fall asleep (and I am not exaggerating).

I am not sure what was it that the author wanted to convey through this book but it is totally bullshit. The only credit that I can give to him is that he tried to think differently and probably at some point you might anticipate that it can build into a great plot and the writing itself is not too bad. Besides that there is nothing. And I think I wasted few precious hours of my life on this book.

Hopefully I will have better books to read and review going ahead or I could have a Fractured Brain.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


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Review: Blink The Power of Thinking without Thinking

I was tied up pretty much last week hence could not post what I was reading last week, nevertheless I did read a book and a pretty good book.

The book for last week was “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell.

Now I am sure whosoever has read any of the book of Malcolm Gladwell, chances are he/she has become a fan of his book(s).

I remember reading the first book of Gladwell a few years ago (may be 5 years back) titled “The Tipping Point” and what a book it was.

Gladwell brings to us new theories through his books and which I must admit are quite intriguing. Tipping Point was a revelation, it was simply brilliant.

So when I started Blink, I had high hopes from this book too and the book came out true to the expectations.

In the book Gladwell stresses the importance of the decisions that we take in a blink of an eye or to be more precise the impressions that we have about things when we first see something and as he mentions more often than not it turns out to be true. He stresses that sometimes more information leads to wrong decisions and there are moments when you should trust your instincts or the first impression.

He goes on to elaborate that even the first impressions that we have are based on our previous experiences, our environment, our biases, etc. and there are some attributes that we associate with somethings or some people and our judgement could be prejudiced.

He also mentions clearly that some matters need deep analysis and often the decisions we take in a ‘blink’ could turn out to be wrong.

The trick is to identify when to go with your first feel and when to analyse the matters thoroughly. There is no formula to identify it.

Some excellent stories and experiences are used by Gladwell to explain the importance of the ‘blink’ decisions and my favorite story was of Van Riper.

The author succeeds in driving home the points he tries to put across in the beginning. And only a person of Gladwell’s caliber can do that.

It’s an informative theory and yet the book is an interesting and entertaining read (sans the big philosophies, facts and figures) and though a few patches in the book could be termed as dry but overall it’s an excellent book.

I am happy to have read this book and now want less gap between this book and then next one by Gladwell, probably that could be “what the god saw” or the “outliers”.

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Review: Small Wonder the making of nano

It was a winter morning in 2008 as I walked in to my (then) New York office I saw one of the business guy (American) having an animated talk with a bunch of other guys (mostly Indian), who were also working in that office and were from TCS, I asked Hello Tim, whats the big news?

He showed me the New York times of that day which had a story about Tata Nano and he said see you guys have made the world’s cheapest car at $2500. I remembered some talk about such a car from Tata Motors coming up so realized, I said oh right. And then he started reading the features of the car and was visibly happy. And then he turned to the guys from TCS and asked isn’t this company same as the ones you guys come from ‘Tata’ and TCS guys beamed and proudly replied oh yes Tim, it’s from our company only (like there is no difference between TCS and Tata Motors).

Tata Nano garnered that much interest across the globe and people already identify the brand Tata world over so the expectations were all the more increased.

The book this week “Small Wonder the making of the nano” by Philip Chacko, Christabelle Noronha and Sujata Agarwal gives a good insight into the how the nano transformed from a dream of Ratan Tata to a reality. The $2500 car that world has never imagined.

The book talks about how the concept was born in Ratan Tata’s mind, then how it got a tag of 1 lakh, how the team was formed, who all were the main contributors, what all small innovations were done, the issues ranging from a perfect engine to shifting the plant from Singur to Sanand.

The book has Ratan Tata written all over it, If one hasn’t read the book it’s hard for anyone to imagine the amount of involvement of the Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata in the small car project. How he led the development from the front, sometimes acting as a leader, some times as a team member.

The book does a good job in highlighting the contributions of other main members as well such as Ravi Kant and Girish Wagh. It insists that there was no path breaking technology innovation that lead to nano at a price tag of 1 Lakh but small innovations and frugal engineering that lead to Ratan Tata’s promise to be kept.

The writing is lucid and not much technicalities of automobile industry is included which is good from a reader’s perspective. The Singur episode has been described in a non judgmental manner. We can only imagine what it takes to shift a automobile plant from one place to another thousands of miles distant and without producing a single vehicle, Tata Motors employees had to actually do it.

The book is a good read and every one interested in automobile or not should read it. It is as much a book on a small car as it is on human conviction, team work, hard work, commitment, sacrifices, leadership, facing adversities and many more human qualities.

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