Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Magician's Nephew

Book Review: “The Magician’s Nephew”

Author: C.S. Lewis

Language: English

Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Literature

Pages: 220

Cost: 125 Rs.

Publisher: Harper Collins

First Published in India: 2006

“The Magician’s Nephew” is a part of very popular book series “The Chronicles of Narnia” written by C.S. Lewis. It is in the genre of other book series like ‘Lord of the Ring’ and ‘Harry Potter’. Basically the book is written for children. Although it is a children’s literature I was very much interested in reading this book for various reasons. There are some movies already made on this book series and they are quite well made. So I was curious to read the original draft of the story. I always do that. If I watch a movie which is based on any book, I try to find the book and read it and vice versa of course. And other reason is I always loved children’s literature. I grown up reading it, comic books, magic and magicians, other supernatural world, heroes with supernatural powers, bunch villains with evil ideas, animals with man’s head or vice versa, all these adventures fantasies fascinates me. And they still do, I can’t help it. After all these comic books and children’s books create avid passionate reader out of me. Today I can’t sleep without reading something every day.

Now many of us already watch the movies based on the world of Narnia. So it won’t be as adventures or fascinating for the people who already watch the movie. It is also less adventures due to the fact this is first book in the 7 book series of “The Chronicle of Narnia”. So real action does not start with this book, it only prepares you for what’s coming next. As matter of fact books tells the story of how the world of Narnia is born. This part of series explains how the Lion called ‘Aslan’ creates a new world altogether with his singing. Yes it is too fantastic too believe for adults. The talking animals, another magical world and on top of that singing Lion can be little too much to believe. But isn’t it great imagination by writer? I look at it as I would look at paintings. Just get absorb in artist’s imaginations.

There are 7 books in the series of “The Chronicles of Narnia” and they should be read in following order as suggested by author,

· The Magician’s Nephew

· The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

· The Horse and His Boy

· Prince Caspian

· The Voyage of the Dawn Trader

· The Silver Chair

· The Last Battle

If I have to rate this book, I will give it good 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Makhalashi" - Book Review

Book Review: “Makhalashi”

Author: Shirish Kanekar

Language: Marathi

Genre: Comedy

Pages: 163

Cost: 125 Rs.

Publisher: Utkarsh Prakashan

First Published: July 1998

Shirish Kanekar is well known Journalist, critic, writer, performer and standup comedian at least in Maharashtra. He did his journalism with the newspapers like ‘Indian Express’, ‘Free Press Journal’ and others. He also wrote columns in Marathi newspapers like ‘Loksatta’, ‘Maharashtra Times’, ‘Lokmat’ and many others for years. He has good hold on Politics, Cricket, and Cinema in India. So whatever he writes is based on politics, cricket or films. He has more than 30 books published on his name. Comedy is his genre. He also does standup comedy shows like ‘Mazi Filmbazi’, ‘Phatkebaji’, and ‘kanekari’. He is in fact one of the pioneers of standup comedy in India. And today’s so called standup comedians bombarding TVs with their cheap and vulgar jokes. These guys should watch CDs of his shows and try to learn the art of standup comedy.

As for this book, it is compilation of various articles of Shirish Kanekar’s published in various newspapers in 90’s. So people who are followers of his articles find it familiar. In fact the book is compiled from the articles already published in books like “Chahatalki”, “Irsalaki” and “Chaplusaki”. Most of the articles in the book are based on politics, film, and cricket scene of late 1990 in India. So if you are not aware of the situations and people of that era the book is referring to, then it will be hard for you to enjoy the book. But if you know it then the book will be really humorous.

Shirish Kanekar has his unique style of writing and humor. You will find him humorously critical about almost everything. But if you have already read some of his books earlier, you will find him predictable and repetitive. If I have to rate this book I will give it 5 out of 10.