Author Archives: Aman(@amanhimself)

About Aman(@amanhimself)

I think no need to know me just from this column, some of you who might know me, knows me, others will get to know from reading my blog! Still.. My first prior field is writing, I am a B.Tech in Computer Engineering. I also designed a few websites (whenever I say that, I found myself grinning), and I love to read! Other fields of interests are football by keeping a track of what's happening in day to day. Rest is all imagination!

BOOK REVIEW: THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

They say, writers should write what they love and Patrick Rothfuss seems to do so. He love stories. Telling them is one thing but to live and tell them is astonishing. And how a writer can live in the stories?… By his imagination. Imagination is infinite. You certainly don’t have to pay for it. It is legal to use. And it’s the best thing a human has got, I believe.  The Name of the Wind . At first, I never wanted to read it. But then, when strongly recommended by one of my friend, I borrowed his copy and read it. Now I can say, I can’t wait to read the second.  The Name of the Wind  introduce us to Kvothe, a figure which is hard to ignore not because he has red hair but because the mysterious intelligence the character has.

At the start level, the book is slow for a few pages, and it took me sometime to adjust. May be I was reading after a long time. But after reading the book, I read the starting few pages again. And I must say the style used by Patrick keeps things as simple as possible and he tries to create an enclosure by his words such that if a reader is immerse in his words, he will find hard to emerge out back to reality. The book, I must say, after reading 50-70 pages is very hard to put down. Though they say, the start and the end defines a book, I must correct them, ‘their’ saying might work for a story or a novella for they are short in length but for 600 plus page novel like The Name of the Wind you need to give it some time and at least 50-70 pages might be sufficient to start being judgmental about the book. Most of the times  this will work for fantasies as they happen to be a bit bulky in the length.

As I said the story will bind you from it roots and you will be immersed in the world of Kvothe. The culture, the geography ,the background of the story and especially my favorite part, the characters, which are developed at such a level that they won’t disappoint the reader. According to one interview, Rothfuss spent 14 years in developing this trilogy and I don’t know the truth, nor am I being judgmental here.

So I would recommend this book, but then you might end up reading the trilogy.

3.5 out of 5 from me.

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BOOK REVIEW: THE BOOK THIEF

The extraordinary New York Times Bestseller for 230 weeks must be on your reading list this year. This book is a treasure, a modern classic I would say. Set during the time of Nazi Germany and World War II, it tells the story about a foster girl, Liesel Meminger with a fine and an extraordinaire narrative by Death. The narration was one of the reasons I picked this book due to the immense curiosity, I can say I am completely satisfied and I have read after along time, a totally satisfying book. It leaves with a mysterious thrill which is hard to define in words and can only be experienced if you read it. The book is very well structured. It seems all perfect due to the intensive narration of the Death’s perspective. Markus Zusak is impressing in this one.

The narrative, Death, in not some kind of boring grim reaper with a scythe. He’s a jolly character, tries to enjoy himself and is always indulged in his work. His role is a strong one, and in some ways he makes himself a slave of humans – dealing with the impact of their wars and atrocities as he is always haunted by humans. A reader’s imagination also has a serious part in coping up with the characters. The other characters of Liesel Meminger, Hans Hubermann, Rudy Steiner, and Max Vandenburg are some perks of the book. Each character has its own story as always. I could not find myself falling for one character ( just like The Great Gatsby) which is a good thing as I could maintain the transparency of my readership towards the book. Though The Book Thief succeeds on the most post-modern of levels, its impact on the reader is as much due to superb old fashioned plot and characterization as anything else. It is, afterall, simply a beautiful and painful story of a young girl as she deals with an important and tragic point in history.

There is no doubt that you are not going to enjoy this story. It is one hell of a story.  The story wraps itself around you. Your mind and your heart will be stolen as it did mine. It won’t disappoint you, that’s for sure.

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BOOK REVIEW: MISTRESS BY JAMES PATTERSON

This was my seventh James Patterson’s book and I would say he writes better when he is not co-authoring. There were times when I read his Alex Cross‘ series or Women’s Mystery Club series and when I read his Private series or the Mistress. The difference would be in front of you. The difference is like between the day and the night. This fact may be true that he has sold more than combining Stephen King, Dan Brown and John Grisham, also, 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds The New York Times record for most bestselling hardcover fiction titles by a single author but books like Mistress, it feels gone are those days when James Patterson was a real Page turner. It is just not his class or I would say, it’s not him. It’s a disgrace the way his books are written nowadays. Mistress being lengthy novel of 448 pages, the plot and the story are acceptable however the way of telling the story, the way of portraying the first person narrative was not good at all. Actually it was pretty bad, no reader would like to read the way this book is written.

In the past, I have always enjoyed Patterson’s books immensely. I used to like his style of short chapters and page turning essence his books had but now it seem, What the hell am I reading? It’s better if I read my textbooks.

After reading 100 pages you would realize that the main character of the book, Ben, might be an interesting character in this psychological thriller but reading further you will realize that before you just had a bad thought. Though I agree, it’s a fast read but I had to force myself to finish it. The character of Ben often goes on and on about mundane facts which have nothing to do at all with the story-line. And due to this he is an annoying character. I am disappointed with this one. Looks like, I’ll have to go back to Alex Cross or Women’s Mystery Club.

I would advise not to buy and waste your money. Either loan it from a library or borrow from the person who has it.

I won’t recommend this one to anyone, and if I do… Dear Devil, I shall rot in hell.

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BOOK REVIEW: THE GREAT GATSBY by F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

The Great Gastby   

I read the book over the last weekend and spent quite a time as its length would not suggest. Some would say its a tragic love story with crime and corrupted minds. But I say its a very close resemblance to Fitzgerald’s own life, especially his struggle for his own love. That is the main theme. The story starts with Nick Carraway’s narration when he visits his cousin, Daisy. Nick, is an exceptionally mild person to the point of being dull. But through this narration framed in the thoughts of an exceedingly dull person Fitzgerald creates characters and lays out scenes that are vivid and bright and engaging.

By coincidence or by luck, Jay Gatsby, the lavish millionaire who throws extravagant parties to celebrate his wealth, is the neighbor of Nick. The story intertwines with Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchanan who is Gatsby’s long lost first love and still the object of his desire, Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan who is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson.

It’s a mild story and the gripping depends all on the reader mind. With insignificant complexity the plot is an impressive display of analysis through rhetoric.

There are some similarities between the author Fitzgerald and the character Gatsby. Both had the opportunities to attend world’s most prestigious universities, Princeton and Oxford, but failed to graduate either of them. Both also attended the army. These are some insignificant similarities, though.

But the analogousness between them is the love of their lives. Both of them fell in love being young and neither of them could provide what their ladies, Zelda and Daisy, wanted. Both of these ladies were highly interested in money, and terminated their relationships. In Gatsby’s case, Daisy promised to wait but instead dated many men and married Tom Buchanan. In Scott’s case, he was engaged to Zelda and he went to New York seeking fortune but his plans took longer than expected. Thus, Zelda broke their engagement. It was not until the first book which made him rich enough to marry Zelda.

Both Daisy and Zelda resemble each other. They both were unloyal to their respective lovers. Gatsby’s struggle to get back his love fully resembles the struggle Scott might have experienced.

But as story needs to have an ending, Fitzgerald wrote down one possibility of his own love life could have ended or in other words the ending.

I quite like the story and the way it is written. It is, no doubt, one of the American Classics.

4.5 out of 5 from me.

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BOOK REVIEW: SET IN DARKNESS by IAN RANKIN

When did I first hear about Ian Rankin. Never, it was just a recommendation by the shopkeeper to whom I usually go for my book-shopping. Maybe he was just trying to earn a little extra for he had only one copy, but I am thankful to him. I still thank him today for making me read well written crime fiction books. Yes, Mr.Rankin know what to write and how, I have read almost half of his John Rebus’ series in past one year and half, and he never gets carried away, never off the mark, the plot would always be good, his protagonist, John Rebus, always satisfying the reader and that’s what makes you a good crime fiction writer. That’s what a reader would love to read. That’s what I love to read. And not only the plot is great, it’s simple and very imaginable. Mr. Rankin knows the trick of immersing the reader steadily in the deep criminal world of Edinburgh. Set in Darkness was not only my first book of John Rebus but also my only key to enter his world.

set indarknesThe inspector Rebus’ series shows  remarkable purview of the darker side to humanity. Rebus is a dedicated Scottish policeman, streetwise, methodical and persistent. But like all those he encounters, his has demons of his own to battle: a failed marriage, loneliness, alcoholism.

The novel opens with the discovery of a body buried in Queensbury House, an old historic building being renovated to accommodate the Scottish parliament. Without any clues to the identity of the deceased, this case takes a low priority until a second murder occurs on the very same site. Roddy Grieve, a wealthy and ambitious Labour Party candidate for the legislature, is found bludgeoned to death, and Rebus is assigned to assist Derek Linford in this higher profile murder. Linford has ambitions of his own within Scottish
law enforcement; and, as you might suspect, he and Rebus are opposite ends of the compass. Tactless, pompous and the golden boy of the police department hierarchy, Linford is placed in charge of the investigation, which he is obviously too inexperienced to handle. Rebus, on the other hand, organizes an efficient team of detectives and begins a methodic search for a motive that would bind these murders together. When the apparent suicide of a homeless man with an amazingly large bank account falls in the lap of his former disciple, Siobahn Clarke, she finds herself partnered once again with Rebus.

The main ideology of the author is to show duality of the city of Edinburgh through Rebus’s character and perspective: a quiet and peaceful city during daytime, but a dark and turbulent city during night time. He clearly relates his first two novels Knots & Crosses and Hide & Seek, to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde just to create a modernized version of the classic.

Grounded in the traditional method of skillful plotting, Mr.Rankin leads readers in several directions at once. He offers up any number of suspects and  also tosses in a series of rape cases.

As if this novel didn’t have enough twists already, a villain from a previous Rebus novel, re-enters the inspector’s life, jeopardizing the dangerous investigation. Juggling three cases, appeasing his superiors, protecting Siobahn and watching his own back make Set in Darkness electrified with suspense. With Rankin’s superb characterizations and historic backdrops, this masterful writer takes his place alongside the best in the genre of crime fiction today.

Anyone who wants to have a satisfied feeling of reading a crime fiction, I mean good crime fiction, go for it. 4/5 for me, what about you?

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