Archive for the ‘Classic’ Category

CarmillaCarmilla is a pre-Dracula vampire tale first published in 1872. I was excited to finally read the story that is really the grandmother of the vampire tale. This is a very important book in a historic sense because it was published 25 years before than Dracula. Also, it presented lesbian situations, it was a pioneer book in two subjects- Vampires and Lesbian literature.

The story opens on a young woman, Laura, living with her  father in an isolated Austrian village. A carriage accident forces a matronly women to ask Laura’s father to care for her daughter for a few weeks while she continues her urgent journey. Carmilla is a beautiful girl who is left by her mother starts staying with them, soon Laura notices some attraction between them beyond friendship one can never explain it but only feel. She becomes weak day by day and unnatural deaths around the village speciously goes high.

You can never compare this to modern Vampire novels because it was written centuries back and I think we should appreciate the author for his creativity and imagination which inspired others to write about vampires. My rating: 3 out of 5. It is a must read book if you are a vampire fiction fan.

 

Perfume“He who ruled scent ruled the hearts of men.”

There are good books, bad books, interesting books and boring books. But there is also another category that’s unique books, it may be bad or good.  This books is chilling tale of murder, something similar to ”The silence of the lambs”. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is  the great German classic of the 1980s. Few years back when the movie adaption of this novel was on TV I couldn’t watch it thinking it is again another boring story. But now after reading the book I really want to watch the movie.

This book is about Jean Baptiste Grenouille, a orphan born with no scent. No one can smell him as his body does not have any kind of scent. But he is gifted, he can smell anything from far places and store it in his memory and produce it later and feel it for himself. He has the capacity to differentiate and name the scents in one particular scent. But people think he is evil or some kind of bad curse becuase he doesn’t smell,which is the basic thing about humans. His childhood as a tanner, perfumer allows him to learn so many things but he wants to do more. He first murders a red head girl, attracted by her smell. He can remember and re smell it forever but he can’t possess the smell. For that he finds out easy way of storing their smell. From there his murderous journey starts…..

This book is totally unique from the beginning. There is no reason why Grenouille was born without any scent, was he a part of evil? But best part of this book is you get into  Grenouille’s characters and you start imaginary smelling whatever mentioned in the book. Like you can smell river, sweat, sea, air, even you can imagine smelling some perfume from your own imagination. It is a wonderful but cold blooded murder tale of a non scented person in search of scent.

The ExorcistI have never read a story like this before!  Its chilling and frightening.  Its been a long time I have read some real horror after Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This book is horrifying tale of week mind and demon. If you believe there is god, there is also demon for sure. There is always fight between good and evil. But for winning the evil there is always been sacrifices. Inspired by a reported case of exorcism of a child in 1949, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, published in 1971, is a novel about demonic terror.

 The story starts with the introduction of divorced and well-known actress, Chris McNeil and her daughter, Regan. Regan is taken over by an ancient demon that starts making frightening noises and weird actions as Regan shows psychological and physical change  acts of violence, outbursts, and precocious sexuality  for which neither doctors nor psychologists can’t explain. But they all  think that its becuase of parents divorce, she is taking things to heart. But in spite of all examinations and medicines for days no one knows whats wrong with Regan.

Mean while Jesuit priest and psychologist Damien Karrass is suffering inside. He has lost his faith, and he feels he can no longer minister to other troubled priests in the Order. And he also blames himself for the death of his mother which happened when he was not around. There is been a murder in actress’s house and police are suspicious about a lot of people.

More than horror its shocker. You will be really shocked by the way this story goes on. The actions and activities of possessed Regan, the war inside   Damien Karras’s mind about believing it as demon or psychic disorder is brilliant. I haven’t watched the movie adaption of this book. But I have watched a Bollywood movie which was based on this book.

It is a good read if you are a fan of horror novels . My rating:  4 out pf 5. I recommend this book to only those who can handle reading some real good horror books, otherwise it is really disturbing!

The Godfather‘Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than the government. It is almost the equal of family”- Don Corleone

”The God Father” is a classic of underworld mafia. I don’t know what to say about this book. It is excellent,well written nothing can be compared to this. This is epic!  This book started my long running obsession with Mafia.I haven’t watched the movie yet, I heard it is good too.

Everyone already knows the general plot of the Godfather so I am not going to drag it. Its about a man with power and a clear motive, Don Vito Corleone, totally love him. Sonny, Michael, Vito, Lucca Brazzi, Peter Clemenza were also great. This book is a moving puzzle. You are so confused about who is back biting who. Puzo’s novel brings to life the Corleone family and their tradition.

The Godfather is, in many ways, not just a novel – it is an experience. If you haven’t read it please read it. I am planning to watch the movie soon to give it some extra effect. My rating is 4 out of 5. I wanted to give 5 but then in some places I felt the story is been dragged too much!

Some Dashing dialogues from the book:

  • I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
  • “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold.”
  • “Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.”
  • “The man with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun.”
  • Italians have a little joke, that the world is so hard a man must have two fathers to look after him, and that’s why they have godfathers.”

The Liar of the white wormBeing a Bram Stoker’s Dracula fan how can I leave this book unread. But now I wish I could have just left it untouched. This was written one year before Stoker’s death. This is a weird book, With a strange set of characters that get involved in dangerous adventures and later talk about it as nothing happened at all. There is a total lack of feeling or emotion between the characters.

Adam Salton comes from Austria to meet his uncle where he finds strange pale, white lady- Arabella March, coldblooded monster dwelling in the bowls of earth. There are two lovely ladies who have some supernatural powers, to whom evil Edgar Caswall developes attraction for and ends up with hypnotic battles. In strange way animals are dying and children are getting bitten by something. Adam Salton discovers some white snake like monster who is responsible for this and developes passion for snake-killing mongooses.

This is a little strange book filled with all supernatural powers. I was expecting this book to be like Dracula but from the starting it was strange! But wanted to read it because Bram Stoker is the author. My rating is 1 out of 5.

The Silence of the LambsIt is a classic thriller, I watched the movie before I read this book, in a way it spoiled the suspense but it was a good read, I can say I liked it  better than the movie. After reading the book I came to know that it is second book in ”Hannibal Lecter” series. I don’t know how well these series are related with each other but I am surely going to read the remaining books in this series.

Hannibal Lecter is a psychologist but he is in jail because of few murder cases. Clarice Starling is main character of the book who is trainee at FBI but she has chosen to work on a series case of serial killer known as ”Buffalo Bill” whose identity is unknown to everyone.  His speaciality is to kill the girls and then skin them and throw them in water. Clarice Starling has to take information from Hannibal Lecter because he know him  when he was working as a doctor. But Hannibal Lecter loves to play games and act smart. But he agrees to talk to only Clarice Starling. Will she be able to take the information from him? Who is this Buffalo Bill and what is he up to by killing all these ladies?

This book is seriously disturbing so I don’t recommend this book to young adults. Readers will have fun guessing the clues given by Dr. Hannibal Lecter. This is a wonderful book for thriller fans.

The Picture of Dorian GrayI was attracted by the book title. It sounds like classics. But when I sat to read this I found it ridiculously boring. The story doesn’t start till 100 pages. It is very interesting story but the writing style makes it boring to read!

A beautiful yet naive young Dorian Gray poses for a portrait and silently wishes for his youth forever, but that is granted to him now. His portrait ages and takes all his sins and grows ugly but he looks the same. People are scared of him because he walks and sleeps with sins. Be careful what you wish for,especially when the picture doesn’t just age, but reflects your decisions and innermost desires. The book flowed seamlessly, except for those never-ending pages that list Dorian’s material collections, from beginning to end and his interest in learning new things from all over the world.

It could have been better if there were no boring stuff and never ending paragraphs which doesn’t take the story anywhere. My ratings are 2 out of 5. People who like classics can read this on their own risk. There are  movie adaptions : The Picture of  Dorian Gray (1945) and Dorian Gray (2009). I would like to watch the movie sometime.

It had been a busy week, new job, lots of travelling to reach office and come back home and a long ride with fun camping at Musandam Peninsula on Thursday and Friday due to Eid holidays! Didn’t get time to even touch a book 😦  But I have to review a lot of books, which are long back read and waiting to be reviewed.
Books can be disappointing.  You expect so much and when you start reading you cant wait to quit reading is what I call dissapointment in case of books. I faced it when I read Interview with the Vampire by Anna Rice.I picked this book because it is well known Vampire series and had good ratings. I was excited to see 10 books in the Vampire chronicle series, but when I finished reading the first book I was wondering what can be there in 9 more books! Slow moving stories are not my type, may be it is a good book but I found it less interesting.

It is bit hard to review because it is a  milestone in fantasy genre but development of characters are very poor. I was waiting  for something exciting to come but nothing happened till the end. There is a vampire giving an interview to a mortal “boy”, telling his life story, about his life before he turned into a vampire and after he turned into a vampire. Throughout the life he struggled to understand the meaning of  life but failed to do so till the end. You may ask me why he is giving this interview, I am clueless why this boy sat all night listening to this vampire’s boring life history! This vampire called Louis is the narrator here, he tells the boy how he was turned into a vampire  by a jerk called Lestat ( who continued to be a jerk till the end, I think the second book is about him, may be he gives his interview 🙂 ) There is a mortal child turned into vampire by Lestat and she is destined to stay young forever, this two doesn’t like Lestat ( remember he is a jerk 🙂 ) and wants to get their freedom and find more of their kind. 

This is the first vampire book I finished reading with sheer determination rather than enjoyment. I prefer romantic, kissing vampires who fall in love with human or witch, than boring, jerkfaced vampires. My rating is 1 out of 5. 

A Christmas CarolI have heard a lot about A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, I wanted to read and see it myself. A Christmas Carol is one of the great works of English literature, and it is well known throughout the world.This is such a classic tale, more than a story it is a lesson that everyone should learn.

Scrooge is a selfish and rude man who don’t believe in charity and hates Christmas. But when he meets his old long dead partner and 3 ghosts his view about everything changes. Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come will teach him a lesson which is important for everyone. I believe even a person who belongs to other religion can  read this book. The message is very strong and essential part of life. When you learn to help others you will find your life complete and fulfilling.

Pride and PrejudiceI have always wanted to read this book, a true classic. Jane Austen is one of the great masters of the English language, and its one of her masterpieces. I enjoyed the book. It was wonderful feeling to read such an old book. Even though I took many days to read this book, I liked it.

I like almost all characters here, especially headstrong Elizabeth and proud Mr. Darcy. They make a good pair together. When the wealthy Mr. Bingley moves to Netherfeld Mrs. Bennet is  certain he will marry one of her girls: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine, or Lydia. And so one of the greatest love stories ever told begins. More than anything I liked the way author described the society through out the story.

I faced difficulty to understand the heavy English language ( I am so used to simple novels.. I should read classics more often to get a grip on language). While reading sometimes I used audio books too.One thing I noticed is author never describes about places and the interior of houses a lot, it would have been more helpful to know the things from olden days better. But I would surely read more classics it makes me happy.

I am planning to watch movies based on the novel. There are many, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice gets a Bollywood treatment and its called  Bride and prejudice starring Aishwarya Rai  and Martin Henderson.