Book Review : The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher

Book Review : The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher

I was lucky enough to sit for one of Philip Hensher's sessions at JLF otherwise I would have completely missed out on this writing. It's full of flavour, details and you really feel part of the story. Review The Northern Clemency chronicles the lives of a few families in a Sheffield neighbourhood through 20 years. It's a testament to just how much economic, cultural changes bring about startling changes of it's own within a community. There's initially a lot of mystery about the Grover family which resolves quickly and it's really the people…Read more
Book Review : The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck

Book Review : The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck

I first read The Moon is Down over a year ago and something about it's simplicity in tackling such a profound subject was very moving. The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck tells the story of village being invaded and it's effects on the everyday lives of the people. Put in such plain terms, it almost feels like a text-book but it is much more faceted and colourful. It has humour, it has personalities and above all it shows human frailty and integrity.   Review The book starts of with amusing seemingly ordinary…Read more
Taming the Gods by Ian Buruma

Taming the Gods by Ian Buruma

I ventured into non-fiction not too long ago but this is one of the first political-religious books I bought. I heard Ian Buruma speak at Jaipur Literature festival and was very interested in reading this one in particular. He talks about how religion helped form civilizations and also broke them up. And today, we come at a stage where we hold democracy on a pedestal and as an 'ideal' way to govern. It's interesting to read how religion comes into play in all of this. Summary The book goes at length to describe…Read more
The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad

The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad

I've read a lot of books between October and now but I decided to finally sit down and write a review. Writing a review is almost like reading it again because I go through all the highlights in my mind; what I should include, what I shouldn't, would this be a spoiler? The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad is a brilliant book with a gripping story about a boy residing in the mountain tribes of Central Asia between Afganistan and Pakistan. Ahmad himself, belonging to one of these tribes had a deep connection…Read more
Smiley’s People by John Le Carre

Smiley’s People by John Le Carre

Smiley's People is one of the best written by Le Carre. You see the final end to the Smiley-Karla fight. It's without noise and grandeur but very smart and brilliantly pieced together. Summary Following the trail of a murdered ex-informant, Smiley uncovers that there's a lot more to the mystery. Smiley, now back from retirement (again) is forced to revisit old collegues and old enemies to find out what really happened. Review Ah... it's brilliant. For Smiley-Karla fans, it doesn't get better than this. You get "closure" in this book. It's written really…Read more
Three Plays by Ayn Rand

Three Plays by Ayn Rand

Last month I picked up Three Plays by Ayn Rand. It's a collection of 3 plays . They belong to the crime, law and social scenes. Summary The three plays are : Night of January 16th - crime drama set in court Ideal - Also a mystery and crime drama about an actress on the run who is charged with murder Think Twice - a murder mystery Review I somehow felt that 16th January was too predictable. Ideal had a great story and so much variety in all the different chracters. Kay Gonda…Read more
Secret Pilgrim by John le Carre

Secret Pilgrim by John le Carre

The Secret Pilgrim is a very different Le Carre novel in comparison to the others. It potrays the memoirs of Ned and in the process it's a collection of his experiences being a spy. Summary : Through Ned's memories, the book gives a good view of the Circus atmosphere post-Haydon. The Cold War is over but Ned recalls his missions and experiences right from the beginning of his career till his retirement. Review : This wasn't the best novel. I start was great but somewhere in between it lost the thread that kept…Read more
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre

  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was the second Le Carre novel I read. As the title suggests, the story is a cold war spy tale about a double agent in the ¬†seemingly ¬†incorruptible British Intelligence. Summary : The protagonist is George Smiley a veteran officer and the Chief or Control's right hand man. He is brought back on a last mission after a monotonous retirement; finding the mole. The suspects are 4 of the top officials who could be working for Moscow, each aptly named tinker, tailor, soldier and so on. Smiley has…Read more