Saturday, 4 July 2009

And then Zillionbig(AHEM Me) decided to write a book review!!!!!!


As promised in my previous post, I am all set to write my first Book review. But the problem is I haven’t even completed half of the book. I am stuck at page number 19 since two days. It’s become nothing less than an ordeal in itself.

Why is this happening to me, considering reading was the second innate thing for me, after breathing, until few year ago. Which is the last book I read and when? I think the last book I read was some biography on Richard Branson called-lose your virginity, or something like that, which I don’t remember. I finished the book in a day, owing to it being as juicy as a Jackie Collins Novel.That was almost 3 months ago.

There was a time when I couldn’t breathe without books. Public libraries and pavements selling pirated books were my hotspots. That was before I was addicted to Internet. Internet has changed everything for me. But it has not changed my fondness for shopping for books. I still like to hold a book in my hand and appreciate a well printedoutbook, if not for anything least for its aesthetic appeal.

The main reason why I write this is a sense of inferiority complex that has stemmed after reading several blog profiles. I have come across profiles by bloggers who are as little as 16 or 18 and their favorite books include such classics as ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE, LIFE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, The FOUNTAINHEAD etc. To be honest I bought ONE HUNDRED…. Soon after I started working, that’s around 8 years now, but never once completed more than 100 pages of it. It’s such an intricate tale with highly complex interwoven characters which I found extremely difficult to pace along with the narration. In plain language I found it extremely boring to my thriller addicted mind.

That also makes me wonder what I was when at 16 or 18.I was this lad who had his arteries overflowing with high amounts of testosterone. The only books I preferred were the ones which described atleast a tinge of physical relationship between two lovers. My friends had a collection of magazines which included DEBONAIR,FANTASY and we read FEMINA and WOMAN’S ERA more than our Maths or Physics text books. And now after several years, when I read of young lads of the same age, having read these classics, I wonder if I was much more naïve and dim-witted than is normally permissible. Said that, I was also this guy who chased anything in a woman’s cloth. My heart would melt like cubes of butter put on a hot pan at the sight of a pretty woman and had many a tale to tell about the failed attempts at wooing girls. I was even nicknamed CHOCOLATE since I spent more pocket money on buying chocolates for girls than my father spent on petrol for his scooter. Click here to read a sample chapter on that.

My first foray into serious literature was reading ‘Midnights children’ when at college. The book had me change my reading preferences. I decided to read the book simply because my roommate Rahul read it and braged how much he liked it and how he thought Rushdie was the best of the writers. Having had a bloated ego, I decide to read it and flaunt myself about my familiarity with world’s best work of literature. But started reading and I was transformed. I genuinely read it because it captivated me and transformed me to the world of magic realism. Rushdie’s books do command attention and careful reading, but if you can focus, you reap rich dividend. Written in prose so inexpressibly striking and captivating that I found myself holding my breath unwillingly countless number of times.

It was also a realization that serious literature can also be exciting and I longed for reading several classics, which otherwise I thought looked best inside a book case. I was hooked to reading. Another book which made me realize the worthiness of literature was reading V.S Naipaul; his classic “A house for Mr. Biswas.”. I don’t know how many would agree with me, but its one of the best books I have read so far. It's easy to empathize with Mr. Biswas, the protagonist of the book, for he is a character of the most universal sort .The character was more like me, a symbol of the emancipation of controlled people, yearning for freedom to be himself.

Another book that enthralled me was The black book, by Orhan pamuk. It’s a translation from the original in Turkish, but the content of the book is universal. The black book is about searching - search for identity in a culture which is at the fringes of the western world, search of a loved one, search of oneself, search for meaning in life, search for the core of a city which does not reveal itself at first sight. The first I heard of Pamuk was after winning the Nobel Prize but I am extremely glad that I bought the book. It took unusually long for me to finish reading this book, but it was a highly rewarding experience.

Having mentioned Naipaul, I must tell you that I am currently reading his not so famous ; GUERILLAS, and I was planning to come with my version of the review. I guess it would take another week for me to finish the book.

If you are wondering why suddenly I have comeup with this post about books; its out of a feeling that I have been writing self degrading posts lately. But to tell you frankly I write such posts where I laugh about myself not because I have insecurities about me. I laugh at myself because I have this cocky confidence, which makes me believe that I am as good as any of “the best”, if not the best and nothing can injure that belief in me.

I have bunged myself away from a fragile ego.

Ciao all..( and wait for my review)


p.S: Please wait for my book review. Thats the next post.

38 comments:

The abstract scientist said...

Hey ZB,
No doubt about what you have said in the last paragraph. Everyone knows that only strong people can take jokes and criticism. You are one.
The fact about 16 year olds reading classics sounds over rated for me and I don't believe them. I used to be a much better liar when I was 16, 17 and I have terribly slowed down with time. People say that I have become less smarter now. Well, religion and spirituality has made me a dumb ass.

Nice post man, looking forward to your review.

Have a great weekend.
JJ

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Hey thanks AS. i shall write it in a weeks time. Take care:))

Zeba Talkhani said...

Waiting for the review. And this is so weird but i seem to be going through the same phase right now. have lots and lots of unread books at home and i still keep buying more books. Now mom had banned me from buying books this vacation! I have read the first few chapters of all i think. I have been trying to finish Brida from god knows when. I FINALLY finished Brick lane and the Budda of suburbia (I think that was the name). Kiran Desai's Inheritance of loss is something i am never going to finish. I KNOW IT!! Now i am just going to stick to a few girly, light hearted books for a while!!

Good luck with the review!!

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Zeba: Very true, we have that phase when we want to read some good book, but just cant keep ourselves from the drag.

BTW Brida(if its by p.Coelho) is a very boring book. I read two of his book (Alchemist and veronica decides to die and now this one) and have stopped from reading any further. I find him repetitive...Heard Z\ahir is good.
thanks:))

AnjuGandhi said...

Books are my favourite time pass. but not the heavy intellectual types.
light reading which relaxes me.not the ones which leave a heavy feeling behind.
at times to sound impressive and not to be treated as old fashined or lagging behind I do read books which are recommended by others ( and supposed to be best sellers and high profile ones) so taht i can also boost that i have read
i liked your reflections as always
u have a way with words

sujata said...

Way to go Zillionbig!! love the confidence! sure it was just chocolates or did you sing the hit hindi songs as well?

Rahul Anand said...

There are many books which I could not finish because I felt I do not fit into that 'genre', but others would have absolutely loved the book.

I feel Midnight's Children is still one of the greatest books I have read, but some people I know read the first few pages and were ticked off. :-)

rahul s said...

I am a new kid in the reading world...never bothered to read a book till last year..But day by day I am becoming a voracious reader..
and thanks for the list of the great books...i am gonna read all of them..
:-p.

Gymnast said...

I've always been a book lover , and choose books which keep me interested.
I enjoyed reading "one hundred years of solitude" , "Fountainhead " and "love in the time of cholera"...but almost all of them only after i started college.

This post shows how genuine a person you are. Loved the confidence and waiting for the review!

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Anju-Hey thanks, that was too encouraging.

@rahul: I know what you r talking about. i have about 100 books in my collection but would have read about half of them. MC is THE best.:))

@Rahul S: Thanks read them, quite nice books they are.

@Gymnast: Wow, glad to note that you have read both the marquez books. You are indeed an avid reader. My next book is gonu be 100 years. I think i am meture enough now.And thanks for liking this post.:))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Sujata: Thanks, it was more of chocolate and yes even Hindi films helped, but not the songs. If i sing they would ask me to sit with a harmonium somewhere in the railway platform.:))

Nona said...

Looking forward to your review.

Todate, I have finished "The fountainhead"! I have seen the movie and loved Gary Cooper as Howard Roark. Recently, I finished "Atlas Shrugged". I really work hard to achieve it after two failed attempts - one in reading the book and the other hearing the audio CD. :) I browsed through "One hundred years of solitude" and put you it off to another year. :)

Debonair.. aaah. wonderful yesteryears. Are they still in circulation?

Aparna said...

Are you sure those 16 or 17 year olds were telling the truth? I have always been a book addict but I never read those books when I was that young. Sidney Sheldon was the preferred author. Till now, I haven't been able to read a single Paulo Coelho book, not even the Alchemist.
Good luck with the review. Will pick it up if you recommend it.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Nona: I havent read The Fountainhead, but heard a lot about it. yes i have read Wuthering Heights and its an amazing book.
Did you know Heath ledger was named after the main character Heathcliff?Its an amazing book.Im would like to watch the movie too, but i couldn't find it here.Its a very old movie.

@Aparna:Yes, i have come across blog profiles which says Fav books of 16-17 year olds which i mentioned. And these books are such complicated ones, i at 30 cant figure out the plot, imagine kids doing it. I have finished reading all sidney sheldon, sad. Nothing left.

try Alchemist, its a very easy read.and an excellent book. very inspiring. Loved it.Thanks:))

Dhanya said...

You're going to write a book review ? That's great ZB. Looking forward for that. I don't read as much as I used to before. But I do love reading Paulo Coelho's books if in case I get my hands on em...

Reading is a dying hobby surely...

Zeba Talkhani said...

I felt the same!! Zahir is good. But then again, you will find that repetitive as well!!!

extremity said...

hey ! som1 to grieve wth u:)but u seem much enduring than me:P i too startd readng one hundred years but som 2-3 pages,i shut it and nvr opend again.im also in a way addicted to thrillers. and love in the time of cholera,not to mention.i really really wish i cud read them somday just to knw y world glorify it and is listed in many 'my favrt books'.

extremity said...

and so honest writing.Great !
cheerio !!

GAURAV said...

nice writting....superb

Gayathri said...

hey that was way too good..frankly,i came to read this post yday,and pushed it away coz i wasn't in a mood to get bored with book reviews..but this was too interesting to be resisted..
and yeah,im exactly the way u told urself..the kind who loves buying books(pirated of course!),for the aesthetic joy..but honestly,im a slow reader :D..
btw,were u seriously saying Midnight's children was good?i tried reading and left it in some 2-3 pages coz i just couldnt focus..i thot he was simply blabbering some bullshits.. my ignorance,may be,.
reply k,i usually come back to see ur response to my comments :D..

Gayathri said...

i'd let a comment on 'what a guy wants'..just in case u overlook them..

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@gay3:Thanks gay3. Midnights children is an amazing book. But its not an easy read. Rushdie is a master writer no doubt. His writing has to be approached in a different way. I read the book in two parts. First part was to just read it, without much depth into the content, to understand the plot. Once I knew the plot, then I read again to marvel the beauty of his writing.
His writing falls under the genre REALISM ( something like a Satyajit ray movie, its like showing a Rajanikanth fan pather panchali and wait for the reaction) and further he adds element of paranormal or magic to it in between the story, which can confuse the reader. Its called MAGIC REALISM.It requires a lot of focus and patience, but if you can pass through first 100 pages, you will not put the book aside. I am telling you from my experience.

Also it’s a lot allegorical. So a bit of history of Post Independent India would help. Ciao, happy reading.

Babli said...

Great.I appreciate for the nice post and also you have decided for writing the book review.Keep it up!Hats off to you for your brilliant thinking and also for your hard work and efforts.

ZiLliOnBiG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZiLliOnBiG said...

thanks a ton....Dhanya, Zeba, Extremity, GAURAV, BABLI and GAYTHRI.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

Dear All

Please tell me know how my new template is. Did you like it, or should i stick to the old one?

The Panorama said...

Nice post, Zillionbig. I have that problem too. I finally read a book which I started in february. By the time I finsihed it I had forgotten a bit the beginning.

By the way, those youngsters may be writing the truth. I read a lot of heavy books as as a teen:)

Deepika Gupta said...

Know what.... i always wanted to be a good reader but somehow i always lose interest...
Novels i've completed reading till now are love stories... rest are all half read.... but yess... just like you i too love spending money on books.... i have a good collection outta which i read very few ones :))
Nice to read your viewpoint... Its appreciable that you read so many books.. :)

numerounity said...

What a review zillion ji…while there are many books but no review…lolz…lets see what u choose to review on…

BTW, me too a fan of “the fountainhead”. And bought it when I was in class 12th …hahahaa…

Smita said...

When I see the profiles which u r talking about then I sometimes feel that it is fashionable to drop names if big books!!!! :D

What say???

Nice post this was!! I guess all we readers have a story to tell about how we started reading!!!

Waiting for the book review :)

ajji said...

you have a gift for writing -- you will do very well as a full timer -- all the best god bless you

hary!! said...

Hey ZB, i have so many books and yet to start readin...readers block :D ? anyways... ll read once yu give me a review(hopefully!)

anamika said...

Who so ever read books some where in there heart they want to read all the books of well known author and which are best seller...but after reading all sidney sheldon,Harry potter,khalid hussain and many more I still feel there is so much to read but it do require effort to read.Once the pace is lost it does take time in coming back.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

Thank you all for reading and commenting. :)))

Swatantra said...

Books take us to the different world. The last book i read in single sitting was amazing..

Wish you a happy reading.. The new look on the blog is good.. Put some picture of anu..

ZiLliOnBiG said...

Thanks Swantantra. Glad to hear that you liked the new look. Yes, i will be putting. :))

Bindhu Unny said...

How's it progressing? Have a happy review!
Liked the openness in your post.
:-)

wandering thoughts said...

hi, sarita here... will come back for a detailed reading