Monthly Archives: August 2013

Review: Catch-22

catch22-1Whenever you pickup a classic there are high expectations and classics are supposed to fulfill those expectations and more. Now the book this week “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller is one such classic that everyone of us must have heard about, if not about the classic then at least the phrase itself “Catch-22” has become very popular. The popularity of this phrase is so much that even the building that I stay in has a sign on the entrance that says “Do not park your vehicle at the entrance or you would be caught in a Catch-22 situation”.

So you get what I am trying to say and going with all the craziness I have wanted to get my hands on this book for a while.

Now when I did get to this book I don’t know how to judge this book. Rarely I am unable to finish a book and unfortunately this is one such book, as much as I tried I could only finish half of it and then had to put it down finally. The preface by the author himself raised my expectations even more only to be crushed by the writing.

Now one thing is for sure I am not the only one who couldn’t finish the book (off course I did the research when I couldn’t bear it further), even one of my friend told me she wasn’t able to finish the book a few years back when she started. People have done 30, 60, 80, 100 pages and I did finish half of it so I deserve a pat on my back.

Now coming back to the book, I won’t reject this book as trash, whatever I read it was good. It was good satire (as far as I could tell) set in the time of war. Yossarian the main character (a fighter pilot) is very well defined, he doesn’t want to fly on missions and doesn’t see the point in wasting his life for other people in the name of country. Major cathcart keeps on increasing the flying missions.  Now when I began the book it wasn’t making any sense, the writing style is unusual and it takes sometime to get a hang of it. Even after 30 odd pages it doesn’t make sense and I kept on going as I thought the plot might be building. There are just too many characters (and a chapter dedicated to each one). The underlying theme and the Satire is good and worth a read but after sometime the story goes no where, there was nothing happening, there wasn’t any hope of any change in the story line and it became boring, so boring that it became a real pain to turn a page. And it was then that I lost courage and put it down.

I sincerely hoped that I could finish it but it wasn’t to be. I hope I get a better one next time.

If you have read Catch-22, do tell about your experiences.

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Review: Gone Girl

gonegirlI was craving for a good thriller for sometime and it did come finally. And when there’s a thriller in your hand it rarely takes time to complete it.

For sometime I have been trying to get my hands on “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn but it was never available in my library. I have not really heard a lot but did hear that it was a good book. And off course the title itself is intriguing, sort of inviting you to read it.

The story revolves around Amy and Nick Dunne who married after a few years of courtship in New York City, due to job loss they have to move back to Nick’s home town in Missouri. Amy has been a beautiful and wealthy girl who has a book series “Amazing Amy” running after her name by her Parents. On the fifth wedding anniversary Amy suddenly disappears and the investigation begins in this high-profile case.  The author first deals with Nick’s part of the story where in the beginning he appears to be a town boy who is happy to be back to his hometown but then slowly and gradually secrets start to reveal. And at a point where readers would start to doubt Nick, the author starts with Amy’s side of story. On the jacket as it says “there are two sides to every story…” the book handles both the parts and Flynn does a fantastic job of it.

Initially it did look like a thick book (465 pages) but the story moves fast, keeps you engaged and characters are well drawn. This fast paced thriller is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Why has Amy Disappeared? Is she going to be killed? Has Nick any other  secret? you will try to ask and answer these and more such questions as you go forward with the story. The backdrop of the story a small town and its excitements and rigors are well depicted by the author.  And there are just enough characters and well written too.

I do think that the ending could have been a little shorter nonetheless I ain’t complaining and like it.

In one sentence “A Class Act”

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Review: A Delicate Truth

delicatetruth“A Delicate Truth” by John le Carre is one such book that took me a long time to complete. At the end I wasn’t sure if it was my laziness, my hectic schedule or just the book itself that dragged it for so long.

I picked up the book on a recommendation and in the end I think I would have been better off not reading it. Primarily because I didn’t understand the book entirely.

The book begins quite promisingly with a counter-terror operation named “Wildlife” happening in a British colony of Gibraltar in complete Secrecy in which the defense minister Quinn is leading. For this operation a few mercenaries are hired and an agent of British government Paul is taken onboard to give information from ground zero.

Later in the book Paul comes to know that operation which was considered successful wasn’t and an innocent woman and her child was shot dead. The remaining book deals with how the private corporations and government try to hush the operation information.

Toby Bell, the secretary to minister Quinn is kept out of loop but he does some private recordings of minister’s meetings and start investigating the matter himself only to land in a soup.

Now the first and biggest problem that I faced was that the book is so ‘oddly’ written and disconnected that you are not able to make head and tail of it many times. If you come back to reading it after a couple of days than most of it is lost.  And the second problem is I didn’t understand what was the delicate truth that the book was referring to. Collateral damage in a counter-terrorism operation is an open truth that probably half the world knows about.

I couldn’t connect to any character and by the end of the book there is no difference in a Toby Bell or Sir Christopher. Things happen so oddly and for many actions there is no explanation. Even the end of the book is so confusing that you wouldn’t know if it ended or you are supposed to wait for the next installment.

I feel the author lost the plot somewhere in between and the beginning few pages were the best part of the book for me.

So overall I am happy that it ended and I can move to another book (hopefully interesting).

 

PS: Thanks to MySmartPrice  for sponsoring this book

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