Monthly Archives: July 2017

Book Review: The Third Squad by V. Sanjay Kumar

The Third Squad by V. Sanjay KumarAfter reading many Indian authors now when I pick up a book to read, more often than not my assessment of the book, looking at the cover and excerpt turns out to be true (but some of them surprise me too).

This holds true for The Third Squad as well. The first time I laid my eyes on the book jacket and read the excerpt I kinda knew what was in store and unfortunately it turned out to be true.

Rating

★★ (2 out of 5)

The Storyline

Karan (the protagonist and an orphan)  is an ‘encounter specialist’ in the Third Squad. His handler is Ranvir Pratap. He is hired in police department just because he is a good sharp shooter and hence could be useful for encountering bad-asses from the city. He had a crush on a girl during his college times named Nandini who is his wife now and cares for him a lot.

Then we have a Ranvir Pratap who rules the Third Squad and Tiwari who rules khabri Squad. Third Squad is good at shooting and encountering whereas on the other side, Khabri Squad is good in keeping an eye on all the Khabars prevailing all around the city. Things are always messed up between both the squads. Both the head of the Squads report to Parathasarthy who most of the times gets busy in resolving rivalries between the squads. Mumbai is described vividly and a character in itself.

What I Think

The plot and characters are too confusing and most of the times it is not clear what is happening in the story and why. There are multiple chapters which are elongated beyond means and some seem to have no connection. The book becomes too mundane in between so much so that it will take a lot of efforts to finish it.

The over usage of Hindi words also doesn’t go so well with the story.

Last Words

I think if the story was told in a straightforward manner it would have helped. Too many characters and subplots have spoiled the story and at times you wonder what story was the author trying to tell us or did he get confused himself handling so many characters and plots.

 

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Book Review: Edge of an Era by Carlo Pizzati

Edge of an Era by Carlo PizzatiLet me start by telling you all that it’s a very heavy and intense book and I would humbly concede that there were many parts in the book that I simply didn’t understand due to my lack of geopolitical knowledge (and believe me I have above average knowledge and interest in that but still) and lack of reading of many philosophers and academicians.

Rating

NA

The Storyline

Edge of an Era is more of an essay on the current geopolitical world order and how the recent events in the world has affected the world as of now and how shall it affect the future.

Author Carlo Pizzati interviews three renowned personalities, critical theorist Homi Bhabha, philosopher John Gray and essayist Pankaj Mishra about the return of barbarism, threat to cosmopolitan identity, rise of nationalism, the many failures of globalization, increasing challenges of technocracy and the crisis of elites.

Each present their own views on the situation and how it will affect our lives in future.

Homi Bhaba talks a lot about Security and Migration and failures of Globalization

I particularly liked (and understood) John Gray more and his theory about elites and how they make mistakes. He  quotes Vilfredo Pareto, he said “what happens in history is that elites get tired, they get stupid, they get deluded and they make mistakes. And worse than mistakes, they get attached to their mistakes, deeply attached to them.What happens, then, is that they get pushed out. They can’t change their minds, because they have lost the capacity for adjustment, which is true now….

What I Think

Undoubtedly this is a very heavy book and is not for everybody. If you have good interest (and knowledge) of geopolitics, have heard or read many theorists, philosophers and have views on the world events and world in general then it shall make more sense for you to read this book. Definitely this book shall raise many questions in your head and prod you to look our for answers like it did to me.

Once you go past the heavy (and many unknown words) and concentrate on the gist of the writing you shall be aligned with most of it or at least have views about things like Globalization, Brexit and like.

Last Words

It wouldn’t be fair on my part to rate this book as I simply feel I’m not qualified enough to understand it completely and rate it. However as a young middle class guy who has fair knowledge of geopolitical through NDTV, The Hindu, Al Jazeera, CNN, etc. I can very well say that it’s a well written book and raises burning questions and although I could make sense of only 70-80% of it but it does pushes me to think more on these aspects (which I think would be author’s attempt too), so I would say it’s a job well done.

 

You can buy this book at low price from Juggernaut

 

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