Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Twice Upon A Time by Payal Kapadia

Standard

Reading level: 9+ years
Formats: Paperback / Kindle Edition
Publisher: Puffin
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143333321
ISBN-13: 978-0143333326
ASIN: B07MF18MFT

Bestselling school adventure series Horrid High, author Payal Kapadia is once again seen doing what she best at i.e. churning out a bestseller. In ‘Twice Upon A Time’ the 2013 Crossword Book Award winning author for Children’s Writing brings together two children opposite in nature, outlook and social standing to take the readers on a hilarious yet eye opening ride, a ride packed with witty moments and lots of action too. Myths are busted; faces revealed and the so-called upper class snobs stands exposed. Lessons are also learnt.

Princess Keya of Pompuspur ( ‘Pom-puhs-poor’) true to the qualities of a real princess , is lady-like that’s till the bug called ‘tween’ strikes her, and then all hell breaks loose. The entire Surya Mahal shivers, King Ferrlip becomes jittery till the final blow knocks him off. Princess Keya fed up with the pretensions expected of her, decides to quit. But is it that easy? ……Enter Nyla a tomboy, a willing replacement for Keya. But the T&C attached to the task is not that easy. Princess Keya sets out to train and tame Nyla. That’s when all the action begins. The girls discover their inner strengths and learn to overcome their weaknesses. Actions and dramas aplenty follow, and finally after exercising the reader’s cheek bones the final moment descends, a moment of suspense. What happens?……Well, I’ll leave it to you the reader to discover the climax. 🙂

A thorough entertainer, ‘Twice Upon A Time’ scores a perfect five on the characterization front. The characters each one of them be it the insignificant ones like royal window-boy an Lady La-Di-Dah of the Society of Snobs or the central ones like Princess Keya and Nyla are so well- etched out that you can’t help but visualize them, and this is what exactly works for the story. Along with adding life to the scenes they invite the reader to get fully involved in the story.

Dotted with some truly wonderful illustrations by Sandhya Prabhat, ‘Twice Upon A Time’ is a reflection on that phase called childhood, a phase replete with innocence, tantrums and mischief.

VERDICT

An engaging one, there’s no doubt that ‘Twice Upon A Time’ is sure to regale young readers. However it is to be noted that the book has the potential to tickle the child in an adult too. It reminds one that the child in an adult can never die; at the most it’s there somewhere deep in sleep like the dragon in the story, waiting to be drawn out. Tickle it, draw it out from the deep slumber it’s in, and see the magical effect it has on your attitude, your demeanor.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon (Paperback) II Amazon (Kindle Edition)

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Advertisements

Book Review: We Women Wonder by Inderpreet Uppal

Standard

 
 

 

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 3165 KB
Print Length: 98 pages
ASIN: B07NGPJYST


 
 

A whirlwind tour of the emotions swamping every woman, ‘We Women Wonder’ addresses the dreams, desires, struggles and triumphs of a gender often neglected, taken for granted and wronged in 26 short, yet engaging articles. Written as part of the April A-Z challenge a few years back by the author, the articles see her laying out her outlook on the life of women, their strengths, their weaknesses as well as their lack of will at times, in an engaging style. Prompting and prodding, she asks some pertinent questions of her readers with the aim of making them aware of not only the Durga within them, but also the Kaikeyi hidden deep in a recess from which she steps out when felt challenged or inferior.

The subject of each chapter is complimented by a quote from a well- known figure, by way of summing up the topic dealt within. Anecdotes/ incidents from the author’s own life and experiences tend to lighten the mood at times. But what actually makes the read interesting is the way it connects with reality. Lucky are those that don’t have to experience many of the odd situations/ feelings expressed within the pages of the book, and I must admit I am one of them. Right from childhood till this day I’ve been surrounded by people who have only supported me, helped me discover myself and cheered me for each success that came my way. Yet, I can relate to the anguish shared by the author in respect of the plight/ the lack of confidence in majority women, because I’ve seen it happening around me in my neighborhood and at times at the work front, and I’ve always felt that somehow we the women are to be blamed. Our meekness is taken for weakness, and therefore we are prone to be trampled upon. However bare your fangs or growl like a tigress and see how opposition to your genuine, well-intended opinions/ proposals melt away. We blame men and the patriarchal nature of our society for the many ills confronting women, yet when opportunity knocks our door, when these very men are ready to support us, we often shy away. Ironic! Isn’t it?

A well- articulated read, ‘We Women Wonder’ will see you smile, gnash your teeth and at times also see you drift off into another world, a world of memories of days gone by. It will make you ponder on lost opportunities, prompt you to take care of yourself, as well as believe in the strength of your children and the man of the house especially when it comes to taking care of the home and hearth in your absence. It will make you realize that you’ve unnecessarily been fretting and fuming over trivial things, wringing your hands for the wrong reasons, and having an inflated ego at times which can cause more harm than good. In short, the book exposes the enigma called WOMAN. 🙂


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in I Amazon.com

 
 

Play the game of Rafflecopter
With Love from Santa Giveaway 


This Tour is Hosted by 

We Promote So That You Can Write 

Book Review: Room 11 by Mari Reiza

Standard

Formats available: Kindle/ Paperback Edition
File Size: 304 KB
Print Length: 174 pages
Publisher: mari.reiza (9 March 2017)
ASIN: B06XJ3X7JZ
ISBN-10: 099563176X
ISBN-13: 978-0995631762

 
 

A read fraught with ambiguity, Room 11 reflects an unconventional style of writing that may not be every reader’s cup of tea. Now when I say that, I mean that while some may take an instant liking to the style of writing, there may be many others who may find it quite tedious. For me what worked was the plot, and what did not work was the style. It was monotonous thereby compelling me to put the book down several times.

Coming to the story-line. I must admit that it is a promising one. Here author Mari Reiza explores the different faces of love. Narrated by two women a nurse from Ghana and a woman deep in coma, Room 11 sees a lot of activity both on the mental and physical front. Here emotions take the forefront while logic often takes a backseat. Not ready to take his wife as good as dead, a man sits by her side day –in, day-out, singing and attending to every little detail of her well-being right from taking care of her hair to her nails. Impressed by his devotion, the Ghanaian nurse allotted to Room 11 slowly relives her past and finds herself drawn to the man. Her obsession with him reaches a point where she searches for signs of love in every little action of his, be it a smile or a caring pat on the shoulder. While the seasons change outside and hope is slowly giving way to other emotions, the woman deep in coma struggles in another world, a world where frustration encases her. Here three different worlds collide with each other in one way or the other sending the affected reeling through a storm of emotions laden with hope, anger, delusion, obsession, guilt, sacrifice, resignation and eventually forgiveness. Finally when the storm settles down, each re-emerges stronger from their separate tragedies.
 
 

VERDICT

A book with a promising plot, that could do with a re- look in terms of style to keep the reader hooked.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon (Kindle edition) // Amazon (Paperback Edition)

Received a copy of the Kindle edition of the book courtesy b00kr3vi3ws

Book Review: The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

Standard

 
 

 
 

Author: Robin Sharma
Publisher: Jaico Books
Genre: Self- Help

For the early riser Robin Sharma’s latest offering ‘The 5 AM Club’ may seem to be what one would call ‘old wine in new bottle.’ But then we have to remember that not all human beings are the same, nor do they follow a similar routine. So, let’s assume that this book is for those who find it difficult to follow the age-old adage ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’ To them this book is indeed a treasure house of some wonderful techniques.

Spun in crisp and lucid language ‘The 5 AM Club’ articulates the benefits that accrue on rising early in a relatable manner. It aims at making one aware of that one extra hour that can make a career, sets the mood for an invigorating day, helps the mind plan and relax, as well as sees the individual sail on the crest of good health. Set in motion by the Spellbinder who incidentally happens to be our protagonist Mr Riley’s Guru, the lessons, the techniques and the benefits accruing of the same, are worth reading and putting into practice. While the Spellbinder sets the ball in motion, it is actually his shishya Mr. Riley who takes it forward by imparting the lessons he learnt on his way to success, to his protégés an artist in search of fame, and an entrepreneur on the brink of losing out the business she has built over the years to unscrupulous investors. The first seven chapters see the stage being set for the final showdown that takes place from Chapter Eight onward. The upside of the background buildup is that it holds the one who loves fiction and a good story, spell-bound. It is engaging and tickles the curiosity. However the very same setting can prove a big hindrance to the one who is uninterested in fiction and has picked up the book with a purely educative interest. Why so?…… 75 pages and that too with around 32 lines each is enough to test the patience of one who wishes to save every precious minute. The number of pages dedicated to the background setting can be unsettling for them.

Dotted with infographics to help the reader better understand the techniques, the book has some wonderful insights into the life of a few legendary figures and their path to success. Replete with quotable quotes and game- changing formulas, there are a few twists too that are sure to entertain the one looking for a good story along-with life changing lessons.

Well, like Robin says, ´”Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end,” so too is this book. However do note that while the beginning tends the test one’s patience, the middle offers mid blowing techniques that are not hard to put into practice. The end of course is gorgeous because you’ve not only accomplished a near herculean task of covering seventeen chapters spread over 314 pages, which I’m sure is mind- boggling considering that this is a book that belongs to the Self- Help Genre, but also because the takeaway is great . Personally speaking though I loved the build-up and the twists and turns, I feel that lesser pages packed with just the right kind of information would have worked wonders for this book.

In a nutshell

The book is all about discipline and the path to elevating one’s life. That one extra hour in the morning is not only the key to success, but also your pill to good health. So, ‘Own your morning, elevate your life.’


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ amazon.in

Review Copy : Courtesy Jaico Publishing House

Book Review: The Heist Artist by Vish Dhamija

Standard

 
 

 
 
• Format: Paperback/ Kindle
• Publisher: HarperCollins India; 1 edition (5 February 2019)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 9353026024
• ISBN-13: 978-9353026028


 
 

A life fraught with risks yet rewarding, is what Vagh Pratap Singh aka The Captain, is leading. A conman to the world, the protagonist of ‘The Heist Artist’ is a man of multiple talents endowed with both intelligence and acumen required to outwit his opponents. A master disguiser, he takes his job seriously and thus plans meticulously before executing the work he is commissioned for. Now in the fortieth year of his life, he looks forward to taking retirement but not before making sufficient money to enable him sail through rest of his life smoothly. That’s when he strikes the jackpot….or is it just another dream, a dream that may never see the light of day?…..’The Heist Artist’ has the answers.

Slow at first, the book picks up pace somewhere near the middle and then races on at breakneck speed only to stop to deliver a climax that will leave the reader whistling with amazement. One of the highlights of a good thriller is the ability of the author to dish out a phenomenal climax, one that his/ her readers don’t see coming. On this point Vish Dhamija scores a perfect five.

The plot is interesting and intriguing and has plenty of cat and mouse game going on that helps to keep the reader on the edge. The twists, the turns and the hurdles in between don’t allow you to keep it down. Characters are well articulated and play their role to perfection in taking the story forward.

A tinge of romance, plenty of action and adequate measure of suspense is how I’ll sum up Vish Dhamija’s ‘The Heist Artist’.

While the plot was excellent, characterization good and pace okay, the area of editing calls for a relook. I’m sure that a fresh round of editing will take care of the minor glitches that come to light at places like an irregular pace and repetition of sentences and paragraphs here and there which in fact could be the result of faulty proofreading at the printing stage.
 
 
Interested? Take a look at the blurb HERE
 
 

VERDICT

Overall an easy read, one that you can take up on a lazy afternoon to reinvigorate you this one scores a three on a scale of five.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ amazon.in
 
 

Disclaimer

Received a copy of the book from Writersmelon as part of their Book Review Programme, in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed here are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner.

Book Review: The Adventures of Biplob The BumbleBee (Vol. 1) by Abhishek Talwar

Standard

 
 

Author: Abhishek Talwar
Illustrator: Sonal Goyal

Reading level: 6+ years
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Puffin (28 February 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143446991
ISBN-13: 978-0143446996
 
 

An eye- catching cover design supported by amazing content, ‘The Adventures of Biplob The Bumblebee’ takes us not only on a tour of Farmer Balram’s colorful garden but also imparts some serious lessons in an interesting manner. While ‘Flying Pollen’ aims at introducing the little one to the process of pollination, ‘Biplob the Water Farmer’ introduces them to the importance of water conservation and its means by way of water harvesting. ‘Biplob Saves The Day’ addresses every horticulturists concern the aphid attack on young plants and ways and means of thwarting the same.

Narrated in an engaging manner, the stories are not only educative but entertaining too and are conceptualized to prod the little ones to think, explore and to some extent even be creative. Replete with positive emotions like empathy, care, love and helping mentality, the book takes care of the development of the moral side of a child’s character too.

The illustrations are not only colourful and eye catching, but help take the story forward thereby adding value to the contents. The finesse with which they are done needs special mention.

Overall a truly amazing book, ‘The Adventures of Biplob The BumbleBee’ has the power to transport both young and old alike to another world, a world truly vibrant, the world of bees and flowers. Though amazon site mentions the reading level as 6+, I personally feel that children even younger to the said age group can be introduced to the stories in the book. Yes, they may not be able to read it on their own, but they are sure to appreciate it. Waiting eagerly for the next in the series.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Review – Fun with Maths by Sonia Mehta

Standard

 
 

The brain child of one who loves sparking off the creative side of the little ones, ‘Fun with Maths’ is a set of six brilliantly conceptualized books, each packed with puzzles, fun activities, games and mazes. These books target the 7+ age group.

Mathematics as we all know can be interesting and invigorating if taught well, but…. if the it’s dished out half-halfheartedly or without being creative, it tends to be boring and at times may even make the little mind want to distance itself from its ‘drudgery’. So what does ‘Fun with Maths’ hold for the inquisitive one? Does it make the subject interesting? Well here is what I felt about the series :
 

Math ‘O’Art

Draw, solve and colour is the theme of this book, that aims at tickling the creative side of the little ones, and help them nurture their inquisitiveness by looking around and finding answers to things they may have overlooked all along, like the size of their shoes. The fun activities packed within the pages are set to test their numerical ability, and prod them to search for hidden messages as well as images. Here mathematics paves the way for art, and art leads to answers.

The pages a riot of colours, shapes and pictures, is sure to interest not only the young mind, but also the teacher within every adult who happens to lay his / her hands on it. It’s sure to up the interest of the ones who are prone to shy away from the world of numbers and bind them in its (world of mathematics) charm.
 

Math ‘a’ Doku

The book is packed with unique and challenging sudoku puzzles that are ready to tickle the brain cells, and help them climb out of their slumber. Aimed at making young minds apply logical reasoning skills, Math ‘a’ Doku has a variety of Sudoku puzzles that range from the regular number ones to picture ones, simple to complex. The picture Sudoku puzzles have at their core letters, shapes, colours and themes. Now isn’t that interesting?

Here children are allowed to splash in colours, make music, explore directions other than the four known ones, etc,. etc,…..

The book truly has a way to testing a child’s cognitive ability in an easy and fun way.

Math ‘o’ Logic

The world of shapes is incredible, and Math ‘o’ Logic draws the one taking up the activities packed within its pages, into a world replete with some amazing activities and insights. Shapes, pictures and mind benders challenge the logical self, and fun tangram shapes hiding within themselves a host of possibilities, add a twist to riddle the one ready to take up the challenge. Truly invigorating, Math ‘o’ Logic is sure to spice up one’s mathematical skills.
 

Math ‘a’ Maze

True to its name and tagline- ‘Solve the sums, and the path you’ll know. Build your maths skills as you go!’- Math ‘a’ Maze is replete with mazes of different shapes, sizes, colours and themes. Apart from prodding the young mind to search for a solution out of the maze, it also helps them recognize differences, match similarities, understand odd and even numbers, hone up their addition and subtracting skills, follow suggested definite patterns and much more. The maze make complex mathematical principles look easy and fun. Colourful pages add to the charm and magic of this book.
 

Math ‘o’ Play

Replete with fun maths games, Math ‘o’ Fun aims at making children understand the basic concepts of maths through games. For the game (study) to begin, the players need to keep some things ready like a pair of dice, pack of cards, beads, dominoes tiles and of course some paper and pencils. Unique and creative it not only keeps the players engaged, but also tickles their brain cells and challenges them to play with speed and precision in order to win. Here apart from addition and subtraction, one needs to be ready to face multiplication and division challenges too as well as prepare histograms and graphs. But…… rest assured they will not leave the young one trembling. Instead, they will help them build up their confidence.

Math ‘a’ Stick

‘Mix them up, move them around, make your maths skill really sound.’ So what is it that you need to mix and move around? Just as the name suggests, this book offers some interesting activities that are to be played with matchsticks, ice-cream sticks and toothpicks. Wow! Now isn’t that amazing? Maths concepts are made easy and relatable in a fun way.

The activities in Math ‘a’ Stick challenge the young mind to shift sticks to make various shapes, create designs, transform shapes, fill in blanks, measure perimeter of various shapes, etc., etc., In short the book is fun unlimited.
 

VERDICT

‘Fun with Maths’ series, lives up to its name. Apart from helping young minds to explore basic concepts of maths, the book also ensures enough entertainment to keep them engaged and thinking. While hints help them through, the colours and concepts keep them glued. The Math-o-Bot Challenge that pops up time and again in each book adds flavor (excitement) to the game that is undertaken via the activities in the book. They are like the ‘Queen’ in the game of Carrom. You win it and you can’t help but jump up in joy.


***************************************************************************************

The entire series is available @ Amazon

THE AUTHOR

SONIA MEHTA

Sonia Mehta is a children’s writer who believes that sparking off a child’s imagination opens up a world of adventure. She has been writing for children for over two decades. Her body of work is wide-ranging-she created one of India’s first dedicated children’s newspaper sections; conceptualized the Cadbury Bournvita Quiz Contest for TV; and has written books, songs, poems and stories for leading publishers in India, several African nations, the USA and the UK.

She lives in Mumbai and runs Quadrum Solutions, a content company she co-founded. She is also the co-founder of PodSquad, a retail children’s edutainment brand that firmly believes that children learn best when they are having fun.

Most days, Sonia can be found pounding away at her computer-when she is not playing with her dachshunds, the two little loves of her life.

***************************************************************************************

Disclaimer

The entire series was provided via Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Review: Dance With Me by P G Van

Standard

 
 


Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1197 KB
Print Length: 219 pages
ASIN: B07N5DNJ6N


 
 

Racy and sweet, ‘Dance with Me” by P G Van is not just a story of passion or steamy romance. In fact it is much more. It has at its core yearnings of the shy, the one always looked down upon, to bloom and blossom as well as make a niche for the self. However the path from being an introvert to an extrovert is not easy given that Suhana (the protagonist) is media shy, and has all along kept herself in the shadows. What happens when she is suddenly thrown into the limelight thanks to a viral video of her private dance moves? How does she deal with the sudden intrusion into her private space?…………The answers to these and much more, can be had in this light-hearted love story.

Well-articulated and engaging, ‘Dance with Me’ takes the reader on a ride fraught with contradictory emotions seasoned with a dash of suspense. The mother in Suhana while battling with the heart break awarded by her ex-husband, refuses to let hatred overshadow her emotions for him, and instead time and again reminds her son that whatever he may have been, however he may have treated her, he is still his father and common courtesy demands he respect him. Difficult for the embittered, yet easy for the one who was orphaned young, a person who has all along yearned not for riches but for just love and relationships (read family).

Vivid with imagery and an easy one to connect with, ‘Dance with Me’ is also a tale of giving life a second chance, a chance to leave behind the past and accept the future with open arms, and forgiving the truly repentant. When Samyan her elderly neighbor’s son offers Suhana happiness and security, the scars of the past seem to fade away until…………that fateful day when she discovers something that topples her world upside down, and leaves her suspicious and angry. What follows is a tale of twists and turns interesting.
 

VERDICT

A tale with a lot of positive messages, ‘Dance with Me’is a smooth ride (read) that will leave the reader smiling. Not a tear will be shed, only light will spread. 🙂

Visit Goodreads HERE, for the blurb.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ amazon.in
 
 
Play the game of Raffelcopter
With Love from Santa Giveaway



Book Review: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm

Standard


The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm
Tales from Alagaësia : Volume 1 – ERAGON
By
Christopher Paolini

Reading level: 10 – 16 years
Available Formats: Kindle/Audiobook/Hardcover/Paperback
Publisher: Penguin
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0241392365
ISBN-13: 978-0241392362

 
 

BLURB

A wanderer and a cursed child.
Spells and magic.
And dragons, of course.

Welcome back to the world of Alagaësia.

It’s been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home
to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless
sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding
dragon eggs and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision
from
the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors and an exciting Urgal legend offer a
much-needed distraction and a new perspective.

This volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with
scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. Included is an excerpt from the
memoir of the unforgettable witch and fortune-teller Angela the herbalist, penned
by Angela Paolini, the inspiration for the character, herself!
Relish the incomparable imagination of Christopher Paolini in this thrilling new
collection of stories based in the world of the Inheritance Cycle.
 
 

MY TAKE

Three stories with three chapters each, The Fork, the Witch, and the worm offers lessons in warmth, strength and resilience apart from making one acutely aware of the fact that we all have limitations, but what really matters is how you look at them and try to overcome them to the best possible extent.

Eragon, the young Dragon Rider burdened with a sea of tasks that never seem to finish, finds himself in an unenviable position. Apart from setting up a new and safe haven for the Dragon Riders and dragons, it’s up to him to co-ordinate the tasks assigned to the belligerent Urgals and haughty elves apart from keeping an eye on the unhatched dragon eggs. What follows is a vision from the Eldunari, unexpected visitors in the form of Angela the witch and Elva the cursed as well as an exciting, action-packed legend from the land of Horned, the Urgals. All these offer the young Eragon a new outlook and infuse energy into his weary being. But………it is the final news that actually buoys his spirits. To know the story of The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm as well as the climax that I’ve just made a mention of, you will have to pick this one up.

High on emotions and sane advice, The Fork is the story of Murtagh and a small girl Essie. Murtagh’s encounter with his foes in the inn in a small town serves as an eye-opener not only for Esse the little one, but for Eragon too. It serves to tell them that however unsavory it may seem, sometimes one needs to stand up and fight instead of backing off and taking flight.

The Witch sees Christopher Paolini’s sister, Angela Paolini pen the story of Angela the herbalist and Elva the cursed one. Sprinkled with drops of humour at times, this one offers the reader an insight into the pain and suffering of a cursed child and her path to being healed, and in turn healing others. Here the power of love and warmth as well as the belief in one’s powers make the story special.

The Worm is the story of the fiery Worm of Kulkaras, and Ilgra the Annointed a young Urgal. Narrated by the Urgals to Eragon, this one is a story of unwavering determination and resilience along with also serving as a reminder to all that not all wars can be won, some may see you dance in glee, but some may continue to prick at the nape of your neck. However, what’s important is that you learn to accept the truth and continue to live. Sobering yet sane, the three stories conveyed to Eragon and through him to the readers, by the Eldunari, Angela the herbalist and the Urgals of Eragon’s stronghold offer vital lessons to both the young and old alike.

The style, pace, and characterization, all complement the stories while the language transports the reader right into Eragon’s new homeland and from there to the places where the three stories take place. This is the power of Christopher Paolini’s pen and words. They are strong enough to conjure up a vivid imagery of the scene of action.
 
 

VERDICT

A wonderful book that transports you to a new world, a world of fantasy, but one that is as realistic as the human one.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ amazon.in

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner.

Book Review: The Panchateertha Part 1

Standard

 
 


Author: Rajiv Mittal
Format: Paperback/ Kindle Edition
ASIN: B07KSBFTTS

BLURB

The Panchatheertha (five pilgrimages) Part 1 is a facetious, satirical revision of sections 1 & 2 of The Panchatantra, the masterpiece Vishnu Sharma wrote between 1200 BCE to 300 CE. The stories are primarily about statecraft and full of wisdom and morals. Despite that, youngsters found them very entertaining. In the tales, animals act and speak on behalf of human beings. The series begins with a parent story that unfolds story after story; each strung to the other by a narrator.

Vishnu Sharma’s reincarnation Shiva Varma has, in this redraft, revived the ancient Indian tradition of parampara (continuation of knowledge from one guru to the next). In his excitement, he forgot the younger age group of his shishyas (students). His characters now try to explain the motives for their actions, also express their feelings; something The Panchatantra had cleverly avoided doing. Within its pages, animals are still made to think and behave like human beings but have not otherwise been harmed in any way.

The Panchatheertha was considered lost but the discovery of two altered strategies ‘The Loss of Friends’ and ‘Gaining Friends’ should create hope within the large and growing community that has had considerable success with the first and complete failure with the second. Those wanting to meet Shiva Varma are hereby informed he dislikes economists, preferring astrology. He is in samadhi, (seclusion / deep meditation) and not in hiding.

There are many intriguing characters not known to Vishnu Sharma in this adaptation; from a sex consultant plying his trade in the locality Ajilundpenodhoka in district Makasam… to a devadasi (courtesan) wanting to conduct the temple prayers because she is bored… to Sage Narada Muni!

Bibliophiles are urged to read the original Panchatantra (which Shiva Varma did consider including as an appendix), to truly appreciate the extent to which history gets distorted when it is made to explain itself. Historically, the appendix has been viewed as a vestigial organ with no real function. This is why Shiva Varma chose not to include it… or so he claims.

MY TAKE

Satirical gems that talk of gain and loss, ‘The Panchateertha Part 1’ has at its core characters from the world of humans? Nay! Here animals take center-stage, to enlighten mankind represented by the three dumb sons of King Amarasakti of Mahilaropyam in the south of India. What follows is a satirical take on modern day men and their ways in the form of short – stories. Though the characters that form a part of the stories are from the animal kingdom, the truth is that they represent each virtue, each vile in us human beings. Situations, characters, emotions and conversations all remind us of someone or some incident around us and this is where the author scores points. The hue of emotions displayed here is staggering. The satire too pendulates between intense, subtle and dry at times.

While the Panchatantra was written with the aim of imparting moral lessons to the young, guide them through the dark as well as lighted tunnels of life, The Panchateertha looks more to regaling the adult, give them food for thought and help them see through deceit and deception, as well as pick their way through the maze of life.

While the plot and the research that has gone into the making of this book are truly remarkable and worth mentioning, it’s the characterization that left me confounded at times. Somewhere I found them lacking in depth. It could be that too much was happening between the pages of the book numbering 352 in all, and that too, too fast. It also could be that the number of characters added to the confusion and the inability to connect to them at times, that did not work for me. Further, the transition from one story to another was at times a little rough and bumpy, thus calling for a short break. But……………inspite of the above, I’ll categorize this book as one that needs to be read and pondered upon. Satire aside, the book has something to offer each one of us on life and its vagaries.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ amazon.in