Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Thirteenth Day by Aditya Iyengar

The Thirteenth Day by Aditya Iyengar


Publisher                 Rupa Publications India
ISBN-10                 8129134756
Number of Pages         260 Pages
Publication Year         2015 June
Language                 English
ISBN-13                 9788129134752

It is about the 18 day Mahabharat war and told as POV of the characters.

The book is about war and mind games spanning on a period of 3 nights and 3 days and starting on the 13th day of the Kurukshetra war. It starts with Yudhisthira and his claim for the throne, his POV is introspective and how history has betrayed him. How he has never got the hero status and how he has been in the shadows of Bhima and Arjun.

The second POV is that of Radheya better known and also at times misjudged 'Karna'. This POV is rough-edged and is mainstream considering Karna had played a very important role throughout Mahabharat.

The third POV is that of Abhimanyu, who is young and impatient and the actions from Abhimanyu decide the fate of the Kurukshetra war.

Throughout the book 'Dharma' or moral is notably avoided, it does good and gives in a different insight of how characters were during the war times. How war affects minds of the most Royal blood and even a peasant soldier. Also no sentiments have been attached in the POV's, the hero worshiped Karna and Abhimanyu are shown and written without emotion and it does seem to affect the pace of the story. Sentiments have been cut down to bare minimum and the most emotional part of the book is at a death of an Elephant.

Iyengar’s novel tells the account from Mahabharat as a sparer version and Godless too. Iyengar’s knowledge of Mahabharat is seen with varying degrees of understanding to the characters and the attention to details given in combat situations.

The book ends abruptly but does leave a mark on you and it feels so matter of fact tone. You do understand it should end and it does.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Hedon by Priyanka Mookerjee

Hedon by Priyanka Mookerjee

Book Details

Publisher            Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN-10            0143425951
Number of Pages            312 Pages
Publication Year            2016
Language            English
ISBN-13            9780143425953

Let me start by saying Hedon is a book with freshness and a different perspective with added romantic fiction. It gives perspective about age and culture and how 2 people come together based on mails, small talks and meets.

Based in Kolkata and US about 2 socially privileged people Tara Mullick and Jay Dhillon, Hedon gives an account how they become friends and then lovers despite the age difference and the cultural boundaries. Hedon also shows different facets of friendship between Tara, Cookie and Button. The friendship is shown with chemistry and creative writing can be noticed very vividly.

The narration of the the story is simple but being a fresh aspect of writing you may get mixed up between characters. The curves of every character is poetic and has many nostalgic effects while being engrossed in the book. It does make you go back to school, to your young age and also to the life which you may have left behind. The start of the book seems very normal but by the end of it the book comes close to reality and it does touch base on appeal to teenagers about life experiences.

Hedon has poetic touch and it appeals to the poet in us. 2 of the best examples are "Scars, brutal and red" and "Locked away, unexpressed". No words at play but simple poetic touch and one feels connected.

Hedon is simple and mixed with romance and chemistry of friends.