Survival of the… BADDEST

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2005) 2.5/5 MAYBE Thriller Rs.128 (Bookchor.in) Cormac McCarthy [4.13/115322 ratings Goodreads]


Review #436 (Book Review #136) :

51 days 309 pgs. Completed yet another book, my 2nd read of Cormac McCarthy, 1st being ‘The Road’. This book named NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, and I’m sure you all are aware of a movie by this name.

Well as I’ve read somewhere this was first written directly as a screenplay for the movie, and then later converted into a novel as well. Well it does seems to me like that. The writing style was very different and very confusing to even a practiced reader like me. It was written in a combo of 1st person and 3rd person. 1st person was written in italics. Its very hard for you to grasp who is talking now or to whom this ‘he’ or ‘she’ is referring to. Story / screenplay, whatever you want to call it, was good. Here’s the story-:

There’s a drug deal which goes wrong and one fine morning one guy Llewelyn Moss found some dead mexicans at the desert at US mexican border, and he found some money, which he tool. There’s Anton Chigurh who was sent to retrieve the money back and then there’s a sheriff Ed Tom Bell who is following the drug trail. Who got whom and how is this story is all about.

His other book was very slow but still it was more understandable but this book got me a lot confused while reading. Not only the above problem of understanding the character but the language usage also make me more confused, the old american western style is used, since the story belongs to that era and area. Direct dialogues can take a toll on you and even 300 odd pages looks hard to complete. Still if you love reading good and hard books, and like McCarthy, you can go with this one. The characters are not well developed which I found is the style of McCarthy, he wanted you to go with the flow to understand his characters. The film adaptation was better and released in 2007, I have already seen the movie. I rate this book 2.5/5

GRuchirG (Jee Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

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Origin.. of LIFE!!

ORIGIN (2017) 3.5/5 YES Sci-fi Thriller Rs.68 (Amazon Kindle) Dan Brown [3.84/78178 ratings Goodreads]

Review #435 (Book Review #135) :

The top 3 writers in my all-time fiction novel list are Michael Crichton, Matthew Reilly and Dan Brown in no particular order. MC gave many scifi techno thrillers with the amazing Jurassic Park. MR gave many action packed thriller but for me his Jack West Jr series make me his fan. Dan Brown on other hand has written many historical thrillers and scifi thrillers, and it is his book which is on my No.1 All time Fiction book list THE DA VINCI CODE, which inspired me in the first place to start reading, it was one of the first books I’ve ever read. Today, I can say that I’ve read all of DB’s novels, however there are still few books remaining for the other 2 writers. Here’s my review of his latest book ORIGIN, which belongs to his famous character ROBERT LANGDON series (#5) but again a standalone novel and was first published in 2017.

The story starts with a computer scientist and futurist Edmond Kirsch explaining the 3 religious leaders about his new discovery which can shook the very base of all the religions of the world, and he told them that in some time he will be going public. But at the public event which held in Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, he got killed in the midst of his presentation, thus raising many suspicions on the religious leaders. And in this chaos, Robert Langdon (Kirsh’s friend & mentor) got entangled alongwith the future queen of spain Ambra Vidal (also the curator of the museum) and have to run from the location to avoid capture by spanish royal guards. His aim is only to bring the truth to the world which Kirsch promised. And then the wild chase begins.

The starting of the book is exciting and give its readers a thought, and they got engaged with the plot. At the point of presentation, when the character Kirsch was about to reveal his secret, he got killed, from then on, writer was able to maintain the suspense which is required to hold the reader till the end of the book. Language is easy, and explanations of locations is as vivid as it can be, just like the trademark Brown. The secret which was revealed let readers feel that they’re not fooled into reading the novel, it was worthy of the book, and I somehow think this book is much better than Brown’s last novels. As even goodreads site reveals the same, till now out of 5 Robert Langdon books from Brown, The lost symbol was the weakest, don’t ask me the best, you already know it. And the secret which was revealed was not the last secret, there was one more twist hidden which got revealed right in the last of the book, and it was more stunning, and left reader bedazzled. Actually that last secret justifies the thought Brown put through this book, Even one of the finding of the book does shows the current sad state of affairs the common people are falling into.

But somehow the length of the book can deter some of the non-serious readers, and the wait for the final secret could take a toll on some readers, the writer has waited a little too long, and it could make the reader feel that the secret was not worthy of the wait.

This book can be read atleast once as this is one of the better books written, and a must for a DB fan. I recommend it with a rating of 3.5/5

GRuchirG.

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

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Sharpen the teeths boy!!

DRAGON TEETH (2017) 2.5/5 MAYBE Thriller/Adventure Rs.228 (Amazon.in) Michael Crichton [3.75/12012 ratings Goodreads]

Review #434 (Book Review #134) :

Completed the latest book of Michael Crichton which was published posthumously and said as one of his unpublished work which was in 2017 arranged and got published with the help of his wife. As per the bibliography mentioned on wikipedia, this novel was #28 in the fiction category, previous to this came ‘Micro’ & ‘Pirate Latitudes’ both again published posthumously and completed by someone else, I’ve read them both, till now I’ve read total of 14 books written by him including this one. and I’m a fan of him.

DRAGON TEETH is a somewhat fictionalized story of 2 real time paleontologist Marsh & Cope during 1800s whose enmity was very famous at that time and they both always tried to get as much fossil bones as they can and try to prove their superiority over each other. It’s a story of one such expedition told by the eyes of a fictional character Johnson when he accompanies first Marsh and then Cope in their one expedition due west america when it was infested heavily by american-indian wars.

Some of the events are real while many are fictionalized so as to add adventurous feel to the novel. Though I can’t comment on reality of book as who had written it or is it completed by someone else, but somehow it look odd as a MC’s work, because I have read a lot of his novels and all his novels had lots of science words and hard facts involved, this seems a leisure writing, as the language was pretty easy unlike many of his novels. Though the book is good if you consider a backyard adventure read a good read, as it will certainly pass your time.

But still this book can be given a miss if you want, and you can comcentrate on many other novels written by him, for a MC fan like me, go for it. I rate 2.5/5

GRuchirG (“Jee” Ruchir “Ji”)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

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China.. by Train!!

RIDING THE IRON ROOSTER (1989) 3.5/5 YES Travelogue Rs.78 (Bookchor.com) Paul Theroux [4.01/7150 ratings Goodreads]

Review #433 (Book Review #133) :

And after 86 long days, finally completed a big book RIDING THE IRON ROOSTER written by a well-known traveller and writer Paul Theroux. This was my 2nd read of him, I have read his other book THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAAR long back, which was about his travels in India.

This book was about his travels in China which he did during the 80s. This book was first published in 1989 and won Thomas Cook Travel book award. Paul Theroux is better known as a travel writer and he born in US in 1941. He published his first ever book WALDO in 1967 and his last work is DEEP SOUTH (Source: Wikipedia)

This book contains his travels through Chinese mainland. He travelled for 1 year in China, starting his journey through the train Trans siberian express from Europe and travelling all though the vast mainlands of Russia, Mongolia and then each and every part of China, he took trains and travelled tha vast expanse of China during summer and winter. He travelled vast plateaus, deserts and snow covered cities and towns as well in his year long journey.

His book contains lots of political views, discussions, his personal views and many chinese commoners views. It was highly concentrated on the communist Mao Zedong’s happenings, thought and what people thought of his long cultural revolution period. The book ends in beaitiful Tibet.

I bought a second-hand copy, having 486 pgs in total. Well the book was a good read, but I found the writer a nagging person, even in his 1st book (which I read and based on India) he was always complaining about the locations and trains and people, here too he continued the same, he himself was a nagging person and he complained about others being bad. After reading 2 books from him I have my own perception of his character, and it seems for him he is the best (or maybe his race) but all others are lesses individuals. This was the only negative I found after reading 2 books of him. But if you ignore his self-boasting views, this book was a good read. The 1st one (TGRB) can be ignored though. You may ask me, when I already knew that his travelogues contains many complaints, why did I bought another one, that is because I love trains and train readings always entice me.

And he had given vivid descriptions of the train he boarded, the sceneries, the change in landscapes and the people, his fellow travellers and outsiders (though with a nagging attitude) so I recommend the book with rating 3.5/5. I too wanted to go by train on these routes and I am very enticed by the train Trans-siberian!!

GRuchirG. (“Jee” Ruchir “Ji”)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

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The thrill you never get.

POUND OF FLESH (2016) 1/5 NO Crime Thriller Rs.0 (Amazon Kindle Unlimited) Mukul Deva [3.80/70 ratings Goodreads]


Review #432 (Book Review #132) :(Book Review #132) :

Finally after so many days completed my 3rd ever read of a novel from Mukul Deva, and also 3rd read of kindle unlimited free trial period. Now I want some rest guys!

POF is story of an ex-cop Ravinder Gill and his family. His wife and one daughter is no more in this world and he now lives with his another daughter Jasmine in his Delhi farmhouse. One fine day Jasmine’s foreign friend Pamela got kidnapped from Delhi Airport, and then the frenzied search started.

These kinds of thrillers are quite common, in print, and in video media, for someone again to try the same plot, he have to be on the edge to gave that maximum adrenaline rush to their readers / viewers. But Mukul Deva failed here miserably. This is the most boring book I’ve read in quite some time. Ideally I never bought the book just by looking at it, I got this free and since I have read 2 other decent thrillers from him, so I tried this one, but I fall flat on my face.

Till 70% of the book there was no action, no thrill to say the least, it looks like I am reading about some regular family’s daily happenings, such boring incidents, boring and helpless characters. The theme is okay, about human trafficking and organ gambling but there was no thrill in reading. Even the case seems pretty bland, every other person connected, and too easy to just call off the kidnapping. The real life in the novel came at the end pages, but too late too little. Even in the climax part, author triesnto create a scene/dilemma like Kaante/ reservoir dogs movie, but you know that to reach those last pages, one has to go through too much of torture of reading.

Reg. the book, I got it for free but I took more than 12 days to complete this 377 pgs ebook. Language is easy, but book not recommended at all. I rate 1/5.

GRuchirG.

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

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CURSE. ….to be continued

HARAPPA: CURSE OF THE BLOOD RIVER (2017) 3.5/5 YES Mythical Thriller Fiction Rs.0 (Amazon Kindle Unlimited) Vineet Bajpai [4.09/891 ratings Goodreads]

Review #431 (Book Review #131) :

So, one more feast of mine on free trial of amazon unlimited is over, completed 1st read of a new-breed Indian writer Vineet Bajpai, named HARAPPA CURSE OF THE BLOOD RIVER.

Let us check the author first: He is an entreprenur, 39 yrs of age at the time of publishing this book. Created 2 companies, was youngest CEO of another, also written 3 inspirational management books as well.

Now, let us concentrate on the story. Vidyut Shastri is an entrepreneur and owner of a digital security company in Delhi and lives with his girlfriend Damini and there’s a secret attached to him and his life, he was never supposed to come to Varanasi due to a curse, but sudden turn of events led him to visit his only blood-relationship his grandfather Dwarka Shastri in Varanasi, the holiest and mythical city of India. And in the alternate timeline, there’s a preist named Vivasan Pujari who is the head of ancient civilization of Harappa in 1700 BCE, who is a half human half god, and his life is going to be upside down. How will the two timelines meet and how they’re related and what happens next is the crux of this mythological-thriller story.

Well this story is nicely framed, I thought at the time of starting that I may not like it, but it impressed me, and I enjoyed it. Yes, this story has lot of cons, maybe more than pros, but it entertains me, and I was stuck to the pages for more details on ongoing events. This story is written in 2 timelines, much like the famous book ‘Chanakya’s Chant’ written by a famous thriller writer Ashwin Sanghi. Here too the writer was able to take reader’s attention in both the timelines, however many times you may fail, if one version becomes more interesting than the other, and one can stop reading in middle if one part seems boring.

The characters are well etched and everyone get ample space, the plot seems known but interesting, english is pretty decent. It took me 9 days to finish this 282 pgs book. But there are lot of negatives involved – 1. he acknowledged some authors of this genre like Dan Brown, it seems he got inspired, and looks like it 2. he tries harder in starting to create an excitement in story 3. he falters in beginning, at one moment 1 person is shown negative, another moment positive, also some mistake is there in relationship identification amongst 2 characters, earlier A->B is brother-in-law and in next chapter B->A is brother-in-law, a huge mistake. Some more similar kind of error made in timeline description and sentence repeatation.

4. one more thing I hated here is the style of speech, 2 different girls from different background was given the same style of speech, adding a ‘yaa‘ in between, it’s not that common yaa 5. one of the penultimate climax involves sword fight between lots of guys and in a busy crowd, but no one else was aware of the commotion happening, it’s not easy to hide a big fight, come on guys 6. Dwarka Shastri’s character was able to read mind thoughts of everyone else, even able to sense danger, but is not able to read a particular character’s thought-process why?

But still the novel is interesting and a nice read for a journey or any time. But the story is not complete, ended abruptly, waiting for 2nd part now. I rate 3.5/5

GRuchirG.

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

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Trek in the beauty of Himalayas!!

THE LAND OF FLYING LAMAS (2013) 3.5/5 YES Travelogue Rs.0 (Amazon Kindle Unlimited) Gaurav Punj [3.52/158 ratings Goodreads]

Review #430 (Book Review #130) :

256 pages, and as per kindle 3hrs 38 min is typical time to complete it (if you read non stop) but I completed in 5 days at the speed of 51 pgs/day is not a bad speed at all, I present you my review of another travelogue I read THE LAND OF FLYING LAMAS by GAURAV PUNJ.

Its a travelogue of trekking in Himalayas and as per the writer, he covered the other himalaya. Meaning, not the himalaya where everybody goes or trek, but the lesser known high or trans himalayas. His book contains 10 stories, prologue, epilogue and appendix. He covers lesser-known treks in Kashmir, Ladakh, Kulu, Spiti, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Arunachal & Uttarakhand. It has a foreword by Harish Kapadia who is a Himalayan mountaineer and an appendix having some details related to treks like what is altitude sickness, what diets to follow, written by Rujuta Diwekar, a nutrician expert, also wife of the writer.

Now something about the author himself, Gaurav Punj, who, as per the book, studied Master of Engineering in california, and worked in a corporate, finally giving up his job, came back to his Himalayan root and started a trek company CWH (Connect With Himalaya).

Now about the book, this book is a really good book, and while reading you feel more and more to leave this book and instead go on a himalayan trek as shown and explained in the book, it is that mesmerizing. Why I was not there? The book is written in the same way like the writer is directly talking to us and not writing a book. He use direct dialogues here and there, the co-trekkers experiences, used lot of Hindi words, as it is the natural language for him to speak. The book follows a structure, i.e. each story aka chapter is divided into parts, like the setting, the stage, the cast & the act. Plus he has also given some local references for readers if they want to pursue that trek. Information and enjoyment wise the book is really good.

Now, let’s discuss some of the negative points of the book. The book has some wonderful colored photos which he or his fellow-trekkers clicked en route, but all the photos are published at one place while references given throughout the book, e.g., this is the place, refer to page xx for the photo. This style really annoys me as a reader, I think as a reader one may not just go back and forth to relate the setting with the photograph and its really time consuming and difficult, the photos should appear right there where the setting was mentioned in the book, it helps the readers relating to it, get more feel of the thing he’s reading, plus save a lot of refernces and statements, a lot of statements wasted in references. The english used is elementary level, well that’s good in some part, as you don’t need much vocab to understand it, but for more-literates out there, they may not like the so-easy english language studded with hindi words, plus 2 – 3 statements looked like incomplete. Plus 2 of the stories seems just like filling pages, nothing much detail or interesting thing shared.

I got this book from Kindle Unlimited plan so it didnt cost me a dime, plus currently I am on a 30 days free trial plan, so i can’t complain as to what I get to read. Still I think Amazon has quite a limited collection in unlimited plan, plus the books are not that known as well. Coming back to book, I will rate it a 3.5/5. Do check it out of you want to read or go on a Himalayan trek.

GRuchirG. (Jee Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

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