Finally after about 8 unsuccessful attempts to continue, I went up to the library and returned “Midnight’s Children”. Poorer by 25 bucks -15 for the book and a 10 rupee fine on it for retaining it for over a month. And an nth time realization that God, during the creation process successfully installed “Passion for Books” but forgot to apply the “Intellectual Capacity” patch on it.
As a rule, it takes mammoth effort for me to sit thro books that have won the Booker Prize and the likes. Midnight’s Children actually fared better than the rest of the lot – I compulsively read about 100 pages – but finally could take no more about nose itches and loony wives! It gets on my nerves when books just refuse to “move” and rant on and on about ridiculous details. I mean, writing without ridiculous details would be banal, but I think it’s the full stop that makes all the difference. Ok, DO NOT read that sentence again! I don think I know what I meant either! Anyway, Inheritance of Loss, The God of Small Things, Atlas Shrugged and In a Free State are some of the other books that met with a similar fate. I don’t know what was it about these books that froze my page turning activity – they just failed to hold my interest. And yeah, Lord of the Rings is on the list too! Yes, I know this is the point where I get written off as a person without taste! :(But in my defense, I started LOTR after reading ALL of Harry Potter and completed awed by J K Rowling’s magic weave. It was fresh, right on your face and made you part of that world. LOTR was far too elaborative and somehow failed to charm!
The White Tiger is next on my to-read list and my past record tells me that its fate is going to be no different, but having gotten hold of the book(no offence S :)), I might as well do it justice and give it a fair try. Apart from my past track record, Adiga himself is partly the reason for my step-motherly enthusiasm for White Tiger – if you’ve read Between the Assassinations, you’ll know what am talking about. I fought my strongest urge to throw it away, thinking it‘ll start making sense at SOME point, but it simply refused to oblige till the very damned end! Ugh!
The Pavithra Booker Prize undoubtedly goes to the Kite Runner! Man! What a book. And what amazing characterization. I smiled, grinned, loved, hated and cried along with each character. The absolutely non -judgmental way of translating emotions into words – I am sure it is going to remain my favorite book for a long long time! A Thousand Splendid Suns is not too far behind either – you should give it to the man for throwing those graphic, heart rending descriptions right on your face and doing something to your very core! I think there is something about the whole Taliban regime and their atrocities in Afghanistan -the oppression and terror – It repulses and fascinates at the same time!
Over the years, I’ve had various “time and age specific” favorite books – like Enid Blyton till class seven, Nancy Drew in Class Seven and Eight, Jeffrey Archer and Robin Cook in Class Ten and Sidney Sheldon and the likes for a couple of years after that (yes, I did think Nothing Lasts for Ever and Tell Me Your Dreams were amongst the finest pieces of fiction written – ever! :)), Dan Brown more recently and Rohinton Mistry off late. But then, there are a few books/authors which could not possibly bore me to the slightest even if I read them a thousand times over till the age of sixty. Evergreen favorites. R K Narayan sits right on top of this list. I could read Swami and Friends any number of times and still guffaw (mentally) at every tiny snippet of the book and continue to be amazed at the genius of the man who strikes a chord with every reader. I would honestly be offended if somebody disliked RKN. Sharing the honors with RKN on this list would be Enid Blyton (I still own a few books of the Five Find Outer s series and trust me, the last time I read one of those books was not too long ago! :D),Johanna Spyri’s Heidi, Mario Puzo’s Godfather, Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage, Jeffrey Archer’s Kane and Abel and Prodigal Daughter, C Rajaji’s Mahabharata, the two books by Khaled Hosseini, all of Erich Segal – whew! The list is getting pretty long, and I’m sure I have missed out quite a few already!
Starting off with “Three Men in a Boat” now – vaguely remember having read an extract of this book in Class 7 non-detail :D. Wishing I had the hard copy – will have to do with the e-book for the time being – only that can pass off as the Struts Survival Guide in office! 😛
PS: With the successful completion of this post, I cross my own milestone that my earlier blog witnessed 😛