Monday, June 6, 2016

Book I picked in India May 2016 and WHY

Zac O Yeah's  (1)Mr.Majestic and (2)Hero for hire ...because it is crime fiction set in Bengaluru my hometown ! The books are pretty good too!
I just finished both books. The books have had me in splits! I hope people get to read it especially Bangaloreans.

Nilanjan Chowdhury's the case of the secretive sister.....because the story is set in Bangalore my hometown! This book too is funny and a delightful read. I would recommend you to read it.

Ibne-Safi's Poisoned arrow, Smoke water, Doctor Dread, The laughing corpse...I searched for these books because Ibne-Safi's the  most prolific Pakistani crime fiction writer in Urdu and I was curious about his books. I could get only four of the 8 books, translated to English. Another fascinating aspect is that this writer suffered from either schizophrenia or depression! His books were written in time of India's and Pakistan's formation. And since then to now, he is still the most prolific writer!
I finished the first book i.e. Poisoned arrow. It is different from most crime fiction I have read. I am not sure if I like it.  I do know that it was written in the early 50s, written in Urdu and translated to English, I do know the culture was different then...especially the 'tehn-prevailing' attitude toward women..

Manohar Malgonkar's The garland keepers and Spy in amber....There is plenty of crime fiction in English from Indian writers post 2000 but Manohar is one of the few crime fiction writers of an earlier era.  I wanted to check out what Indian crime fiction of the pre-2000 are like and so bought these two books. Finished both books i.e.  Spy in amber and The garland keepers. Enjoyed both books . However, when compared to the western writers of such plots, this reads simple and linear.

S.Hussain Zaidi's Dongri to Dubai and Mafia queens of Mumbai...I want to understand the reality of crime in India and so I got these two non-fiction crime books.

Sudhir Kakkar The crimson throne...because I am into psychoanalytic stuff  by this writer

Vivek Shanbhag's Ghachar Ghochar.......This is a classic which everyone from Bangalore, India or anywhere...should read(This is an English translation). This is one of the best books I read in recent times.

S.L.Byrappa's Aavarana (English translation)...Byrappa is considered one of the best Kannada writers and so I got this English translation of one of his books

Sagar Vinod's A Plague of love rats ...my cousin's son is the author! So I got it.

T.S.Pillai's Chemmeen  English translation...got  this book as it's  a classic(why do I have this urge to buy a book if it's labelled a classic and then, not read them? Whom am I trying to impress?)

R.K.Narayan's Salt and Sawdust...because I like his writing style and his novels

Roopa Swaminathan's Stardust (The book is about her interviews of people  in the Indian film world  such as extras, fans, dancers,lightboys, etc)...because I am curious about the Indian film world

Srinath Perur's If it's Monday, it must be Madurai...a delightful read !  essays about the author's travels.. bought this after reading the rave reviews and not at all disappointed!

John Lang's wanderings in India...as I am curious about life in India in those days

Simon Quinn's Human Factor...Bought it as I am a fan of Martin Cruz Smith and I assumed Simon Quinn was his pseudonym.

Reverence for life by Alert Schweitzer...because I  cant resist buying Russian classics---though I can easily resist reading them!

Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy ...

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Poor people and The gambler...

Mikhail Bulgakov's A young doctor's notebook

Marquis De Sade's Incest...because of morbid curiosity and  also because it's short. I finished this book today July 24 2016. I loved the style of writing, the excellent knowledge of human behaviour and the debate/talk of the chief protagonist/villain.  My comment about this book is ( I have posted on amazon) God has given creativity even to bad people....This book would not be possible if creativity was restricted by the bounds of morality. But again, would it be such a great loss to literature if this book dint happen? Would lives be lost if this book remained unwritten? I do know that several victims of marquis de sade suffered and this book is to some extent a consequence of those people's sufferings.

Dr.Vineet Aggarwal's The legend of Parashuram...because I cannot resist Indian mythology and also because I have lost 2-3 volumes of Munshi's Bhagawan Parashurama

K.M.Munshi's Stories of Vikramaditya and Prithvi Vallabh_As a teenager, I had read the stories of Vikramaditya(the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan publication...same as this one) over and over again! I was addicted to them & wonder why those unreal stories held me in such a thrall! I still remember the dozens of wives he married in the book, the dozens of time he cut off his head and offered it to Kali, the heart of the demon hidden in the parrot and only killing the parrot would kill the demon!

V.A.K.Ayer's The untold stories of Bhoja

Balwant Gargi's the naked triangle...I found it in my home

I searched his and low for Brian Stoddart's 3 books of crime fiction set in British India. (1.The Madras Miasma; 2. The Palampur Predicament and 3. Straits Settlement)Disappointingly,  none of the Bangalore book stores had these books! The sellers had not even heard of them. I know I can buy it on Amazon but I think this is one series which should be marketed in India, as there will be many eager buyers. For example, The Madras Miasma would sell like hot cakes in Chennai if it's brought to the Chennai book stores. The reviews for these books has been very very positive and I am buying them soon.

..............
Forced to visit Bangalore again in September 2016 due to a tragedy.
Books I bought then:
Anitha Nair's second Borei Gowda detective novel, Chain of custody. Finished reading it and enjoyed it. It's better than the first in some ways for me.
The untouchable
Indian customs and traditions
Richard Burtons' Vikramaditya and the vampire









2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cannot wait to read all these books!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the positive comments on my Le Fanu novels, really appreciate that. If you do not yet have the books let me know at b.stoddart@bigpond.com Happy reading