In the era of heros like M.G.R and Sivaji, a director K.Balachandar (and Bharati Rajaalso) was setting trends as a director launching Kamal and Rajini. In era of Kamal and Rajini it was Manirathnam who used these heros too but was a pull factor even behind screens. In era of Ajith and Vijay who would be the one director who will last long with a career as these heros you reckon? I loved Iraivi and so Santhosh Subramanian and despite hating Petai laud him for trying Rajini and mainstream. Who will outlast these heros as directors behind the screens?
Been a while since the last post to post something other than a so called poem. I like stories of detectives solving crimes, hard boiled typical ones. In search of them I stumbled on a few that weren’t typical and yet I didn’t grudge them. When heard of Rowling writing these under a pet name Robert Galbraith, pounced. First one was okay but really couldn’t keep reading subsequent ones for it didn’t impress much. Anyway the books mentioned here aren’t the typical mysteries but very gripping tales with great style and narration.
Secret Place – Tana French
Not so normal family
“RANDY LOVE at your service” is a light and funny read that will carry you from start to finish before you know it. It is more like a fictional memoir than a novel. Randy is a British national and the story is set in urban England. Randy is a handsome youngster without ambition. He hustles his way through odd part time jobs with women hitting hard at him, both old and young. He prefers the young and is put off by the old. The initial exuberance of the novel wanes over time though it is still very much readable.
The careless ease with which the novel moves forward is admirable. Shay Carter’s style of writing is so casual that you feel as if you were conversing with someone in the living room rather than reading a novel. There is no lofty subject dealt in this book and it goes forward dealing with the trivial things of Randy’s life.
Randy hoping for improvement in life takes a full time job as a clerk in a bank opting out of part time jobs. He meets all sorts of odd characters there. There isn’t per se any special story element in the novel. It is just like a casual funny memoir of a person. Randy’s escapades with his friends and with girls are gaily. There are explicit scenes and this book is for adults only. Those who don’t mind a casual read for there is nothing hefty going in the pages.
Randy moves to London and has women troubles as well as lodging troubles. There are too many characters flowing in and out of Randy’s life. All quirky in one way or other. But it doesn’t matter as the novel is solely about Randy and Randy alone. After a while to some the novel might seem to get more repetitive and I particularly didn’t relish the blandness near the end of the novel. But overall it is an easy read that goes seamlessly forward.
The casual style was what I liked most about the book. The lack of a proper storyline or even lack of depth in characterisation made the book less appealing. The whole novel is about the relationship issues of Randy and how he couldn’t commit himself anywhere. He goes on and off with one girl in particular. Whether he will commit himself to her or move away is the issue. But that is a no brainer. If you have ample time on your hands for a casual glance in to the life of an enticing English bloke then you can certainly take up this finely edited book. I will give the book two stars out of four for it didn’t have any distinguishing aspect about it.
Mario Puzo of ‘Godfather’ needs no introduction. The Godfather is a cult classic and the definitive novel that started it all, the dons, the mafia and the underworld. All underworld don movies in Hindi, Tamil and other regional languages derive from this. Nayagan, Baasha, Agneepath, Hum, Deewar to name a few.
In the movie ‘You’ve got mail’ Meg Rayan says to Tom Hanks, ‘What is it about men and the Godfather.’ It is an accepted fact that the power struggles and equations of the Godfather tug at the heartstrings of men just like the romance in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ resonates with women.
If any of the new generation kids or even if some of the older people have not read the Godfather, read it now. It is a very interesting read too not like some of the literary fiction that though nice requires browsing through some really slow pages where there is little happening. Godfather will sail through effortlessly when you read it.
The book is about the Italian Mafia in general and a powerful don Vito Corleone and his son Michael Corleone in particular. It tells how the parallel world of Mafia holds ordinary people like us and how Michael manages to keep his underworld influence snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in a grand climax.
‘The Sicilain’ by Mario Puzo is the story of a Bandit Turi Guiliano and his friend Pisciota living in the mountains of Sicily. All those who loved the Godfather would love this too. It is a story of adventure, bravery and raw betrayals. This is a sort of sequel to the Godfather though the movies have a separate sequel of different sorts. Here Michael Corleone is etched in a tad negative shade. But the book is about the brave Turi Guiliano and his escapades. As I write this I am tempted to lift the book and read it again.
‘The Fortunate Pilgrim’ is a novel by Mario Puzo where his powerful storytelling and style come in to play. But the subject is completely different. I read this long back that little of it is etched in my mind. The novel is about the matriarch of an Italian family and how she holds together a family in crisis.
‘Fools Die’ tells the story of gambling in Las Vegas. Of course it has a lot of underworld to it. It is a fast read and entertaining while you read it.
‘Last Don’ is a take on an aged don kidnapped. It is a tale on how the ancient Sicilian codes of honour like Omertà are dying. ‘Omerta’ is also a gripping novel by Mario Puzo.
These are the complete works of Mario Puzo as far as I can recall. For those of you wondering on how to access these books or any other popular books, there is a web portal called library genesis (libgen.io) from where you can download these books.
This is a heartwarming tale of a man forced in to arranged marriage with a fat girl. There is much strife between the couple. But gradually in the ambience of a small town the protagonist realises the good qualities of his wife and bonds with her. It is definitely a movie worth watching. Most probably wouldn’t have due to the low profile of the movie. It is available on Amazon Prime videos and it is a must watch for Hindi movie lovers.
Hichki is a Rani Mukherjee hindi movie that is available on Amazon Prime videos. Both Amazon and Netflix have below par content and if we don’t separate wheat from chaff it will get boring pretty soon.
This movie is about an aspiring teacher with a facial twitching problem. She lands a job as teacher and then has to win over her students and the school before being able to prove herself. It is a feel good movie very endearing and interesting that I can recommend this movie to all amazon subscribers. There will be subtitles and those who do not know Hindi can enjoy the acclaimed Bollywood movie.
‘Harry potter’ is a must read for every kid and adult of this generation. It is not only a fabulous fantasy series but has rich characters, humour, sentiments and a lot of endearing qualities.
‘Lord of the rings’ and ‘Percy Jackson’ series are also a must read. Though Percy Jackson falls in comparison with Harry Potter.
When it comes to fantasy fiction for adults there is no defeating George RR Martin’s ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ or ‘The Game of thrones’ series.
Suzanne Collins’ ‘Hunger Games’ series and the ‘Divergent’ series are also just fabulous dystopian science fiction fantasy yarns.
I would include George Orwell’s immortal masterpiece ‘1984’ dystopian fantasy novel in this list.
These books are not meant for you to appreciate art and delving deep in to human angst etc. These are all popular bestsellers of the fantasy genre you will enjoy reading late into the night.
And the mountains echoed is a novel by the Famous writer Khaled Hosseini who wrote the acclaimed Kite Runner. This book will fall in the literary fiction genre. There is actually per se not much story and little to no plot in this novel. The story could be summed up thus, a brother and sister separate when they are young and finally meet in their old age. This novel no one would suggest to beginner readers who might not be engrossed by it.
The magic lies in Hosseini’s narrative and way of story telling. The deep characterisations and vivid descriptions hold us in rapture making us turn one page after the other. His story telling style carries us through the book to the very last page.
There is some sort of pace within the scenes without involving the plot, that is the expectation of coming to the next big event or finding out the details of a suspenseful situation. There is no such thing here. The characters are also not out of the world heroes or villains to engross us. But mundane characters living a mundane life style. If you rarely read books hoping to be entertained this is not the book for you. If you are one to read many books and enjoy a leisurely read living with the characters then this book is definitely worth your attention.
Most of the novels mentioned here would have been read by a majority of folks. Yet you might have missed a few and the new and upcoming readers can benefit from this blog.
‘The God Father‘ by Mario Puzo is a cult classic. It is about the underworld or the American Mafia and a Don of old codes and values in a seemingly value less society.
‘The Sicilian’ another novel by Mario Puzo is about an Italian bandit in modern times.
‘The Fortunate Pilgrim’ by Mario Puzo is about a matriarch who steers her family in tough times.
Ayn Rand calls the philosophy objectivism and yet it is nothing varied from capitalism. Her two novels ‘The Fountain Head’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ are eye openers and transform you in to very strong advocates of Capitalism, Individualism and the other tenets like liberty that America stands for.
Jeffrey Archer novels can be picked up with confidence. They not only entertain but are definitive works on certain spheres. They inspire you to reach heights as reached by characters in his novels. ‘Kane and Abel’, ‘Fourth Estate’, ‘First among Equals’ and ‘Shall we tell the President’ are some of his engrossing works.
Sidney Sheldon is another popular author whom we can enjoy with ease. His ‘If tomorrow comes’ and ‘Rage of the Angels’ are some of his noteworthy novels.
Arthur Haley does meticulous research and doesn’t fail to add them all in his novels. His novels can be a means to get useful insider insights in to some niche areas. His ‘Hotel’, ‘Final Diagnosis’, ‘Wheels’, ‘Airport’ and ‘Evening News’ are all capable of transferring us in to the worlds of the businesses.
Irving Wallace writes novels with sensuality and his ‘Seven Minutes’ novel is the definitive novel against censorship.
‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran though a non-fiction work is a classic work with poetic language that delves on life in general.
I’ve made a post Classics Adored earlier that delves on English classic books one should read.
I’ll try to put book reviews of each of these novels in future blog posts. Please add your suggestions in the comments section.
Today, on Valentine’s day, as I was hearing coincidentally the songs of the movie ‘Oru thalai raagam’, that literally means one sided music which is a euphemism for one sided love, the thought of this post, my favourites of romance in movies came about.
The movie ‘Love actually’ a collection of stories of romance that includes a one sided love too is easily the most favourite. The movie titled ‘Valentine’s day’ is also a collection of romance stories that is also equally riveting.
Julia Robert’s ‘Pretty woman’ and ‘Notting Hill’ are both great celebrations of love and romance.
Though the world loved ‘Titanic’ for it’s celebration of romance I loved ‘Brave Heart’ as an expression of love and freedom.
All romantic comedies from ‘Devil wears Prada’ to ’27 dresses’ and ‘2 weeks notice’ to ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’, ‘Jerry McGuire’ etc and from an ‘Affair to Remember’ to ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘Sound of Music’ are all great celebrations of Romance. The ‘Object of my affection’ is also a nice romance movie.
‘Good Will Hunting’ and ‘As Good as it gets’ are also great romantic treatises while dealing with a dark or serious subjects. ‘Gone with the wind’ featuring Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable is a memorable movie of love and romance.
Hundreds of such memorable tributes to romance on celluloid can be cited. Yet I shall end here with a quote from another romantic movie ‘Beau Brummel’,
“It doesn’t matter how or where you end up but what is more important is how you have affected the hearts and souls of those around you.”