Ok.. I need to go to a rehab to get over my “laziness” & “binge watching” addiction. Literally, I haven’t written about the books I have read and I haven’t read any new book, despite having one to read. But then Meister Eckhart said, “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” So I have begun again, albeit on Sunday evening. Perfect. 🙂
My second book of this year was Chetan Bhagat’s “The Girl in Room 105”. Chetan is not on my list of authors I would want to read again. I have read one and that is enough for me but I couldn’t say no when the book was offered. I respect the person who offered me the book. I don’t want to dwell in the plot much. The book narrates story of how the “protagonist” uncovers the murder of “the Girl”, who happens to be his forlorn lover and he is unable to overcome his love for her.
Too much twists and turns doesn’t always make an awesome thriller, especially when you end up comparing them with John Grisham, Vince Flynn, and so on. I do not have any affinity for any of the characters as they were not developed at all. Each of the characters maintained their stoic expressions throughout. “Girl’s” character is supposed to be complex, like an onion, one needs to peel layer by layer to understand completely. On the contrary, the “Girl’s” character became a caricature of sorts. “Protagonist’s” character is equally pathetic. At no point of time did the protagonist transcend from being fool to a wise, but rather becomes “logical analyst”, who lands up a high paying job with a cyber security firm. Same is the case with other characters. There were attempts to create a substance but each one of them turned shallow. I am very much disappointed by the “protagonist”, who was madly in love with “the girl” ends up “unloving her” after becoming a “logical analyst”. Humans are all fallible and everyone has to fight their own demons and the book makes no attempt at showing the conflict of each of the characters that were few. I would love a story written about those who fight their demons and lose everything and yet do not stop loving “the one person they loved”, who turned out to be the demon. I finished the book in my usual time. Read the book if you have nothing else to do.
My third book of this year was “The Fox” by Frederick Forsyth. The story can be summed up as the final battles fought by two master spys, one serving Britain and one serving Russia, for 17 year old boy suffering from a severe case of Asperger’s syndrome and yet is genius with computer to an extent that he can break into worlds most sophisticated, protected networks. There is trade-craft involved and battles test the wits, common sense, and innate wisdom & knowledge acquired over years of experience of the spys and their men.
After a long time I have read Frederick Forsyth and I concur with Daily Mail whose review was “The master of the modern espionage novel returns . . . this is Forsyth at his spellbinding best.”. Frederick is an English author and I am already in awe of English authors. I have no qualms in admitting I am biased towards English and American authors. Frederick was an air force pilot and a journalist, so the level of detailing was great. I have already written earlier about Frederick, when I read “Fist of God”. Frederick follows the same structure. Layers of the job that certain characters do are explained in layered manner, i.e., as and when required. This time I felt the characters have been give some emotions beyond the normal “Fredrick style of narration”. Probably the central figure was a 17 year teenager suffering from Asperger’s syndrome with a “blisteringly brilliant mind”. He needs to be taken care while being used against enemies. His family needs to be protected. In dealing so, conscience needs to be answered. Sir Adrian Weston is not some cold calculative intelligence officer. He is a person of brain with a heart. The way he handles his job of protecting the boy and family, emotionally and otherwise, gives a glimpse into emotions of his character. Sometimes conclusions to certain characters get missed out to make way for the “story” and “prominent characters”. But in this book, i felt like each character got its own conclusion, no matter how small. Overall, the book is pacy and thrilling. Happy reading.