books i read recently...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Portrait of Dorian Gray .

- Oscar Wilde

This book has to be rated as one of the best books i ever read . Its the only novel length story written by Oscar Wilde. heez regarded as one of the great aneasthetists... i dont have a clear idea what that actually means but , his books have always been delightful to read ... esp his stories the most celebrated ones being " The happy prince " , " The selfish giant " and the nightingale and the rose goes the list.

its generally considered that the name of oscar wilde is associated with decadence , partly because of his avante garde and flamboyant lifestyle . in the later stages of his life he apparently fell into bad company and was charged with some scandal and lead a pathetic life which finally led to his end .

dorian gray is a seventeen year old of noble household who's very popular for his looks , he is the central character around whom the whole story revolves . dorian in his early days is very pure at heart and very youthful . he is rather innocent about ways of life and thus attracts anyone coming into contact with him . one of his friends is by name Basil , who is a very successful painter and takes delight in company of dorain gray and paints his portraits .

another character is lord Henry wotton . he is a true blue cynic who always looks at the negative points in life and talks about everyones faults and retorts at everything said . his dialougues are derisive and on most accounts derogatory .
but his dialougues area such that we can find humor in his mockery . oscar wilde has written some very famous dialouges through henry wottons speech .

few famous one s been " its good to discover america and would have been better not to have discovered it "
" women are just a decorative sex , thay actually have nothing to say. they only say it beautifully . they represent the triumph of matter over mind just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals " ....

and ,many more ...

Dorian is impressed in the very first meeting with henry wotton and is drawn in his company just because of the way henry speaks . he frequents theatre and luncheons with him and slowly Henry grows over Dorian's mind and is influenced in his decisions by him in every way .
and henry praises dorian for his charming looks and they talk while basil is painting dorian 's portrait.

then dorian says that it would be wonderful if the portrait is affected by the changes in his age and instead of him he portrait becomes old gradually .

dorian the falls in love with one girl who is a theatre artist , and one day when he arranges for basil and Henry to see her play , and that particular day she plays her part miserably and
Dorian is disgusted by her and because of this the girl commits suicide.
but because of henry's counsel he becomes heartless and proceeds with his life as if nothing happened .
the next day he discovers that there are few changes in the appearances in his portrait, and he gradually realise that what he said just as a whimsical fancy has actually turned true and its the portrait thats suffering the changes for his deeds.

due to this he becomes more carefree and indulges in all forms of luxuries and vaguearies. he is addicted to all concivable vices and slowly becomes infamous because of his practices and that never seems to show any signs of aging. Then one unfortunate day he even murders his close friend Basil .
then slowly his conscience gets the better of him and he loses his peace of mins and gradually becomes lonely and henry wotton remains his only true friend and finally one day when he's unable to bear the looks of the portriat he decides to destroy it and the minute he stabs it he falls dead .the servatns of the house find an ugly man full of wrinkles over his face and gruesome to look at , when they check his rings they discover its their master - Dorian gray !

the story shows how when men fall into bad company , can ruin their lives and how easily one is influenced by evil company . it also shows the decadence of a man's life when he becomes a slave of the senses and loses judgement of good and bad. how one must never want someone else to bear the consequences of his actions , that one in the end has to reap the result of his misdeeds.

more than the actual story its what is more appealing is the writing style of oscar wilde which is radcally different to the ones i have read till now , and his comments about things in general. being written in early 1900's in britain the style is a little archaic and a bit difficult to read but once u get used to it it's a breeze .

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

- by Richard Bach

it is touted as one of the most inspirational books ever written . i started the book with a skeptical view, but was soon bowled over by the content and its simplicity . its a story about the human potential, about how our apprehensions and inhibitions stop us from achieving the true purpose of our life , about how one should never get discouraged by what chickenlittle say....

it is the story of an ordinary sea gull which becomes extra ordinary just because of its clear thinking and realising the purpose of tis living. its the story of jonathan livingstone seagull.

ordinary sea gulls are just concerned with acquiring food for the day and they hover over the fishing boats or the sea shore looking for dead fish or crumbs of bread. jonathan is vexed up with this and starts practising flight and heez thrilled by how much more there is to life than mere hunting for food . he learns the nuances of flying and breaks the record for fastest flight bya seagull and just when he thinks his folks will congratulate him and seek advice on his return hees shuned and ridiculed , finally hees declared an outcast by an elder who mentions that the main concern of a seagull is to find food and live as long as one can( a very sarcastic mention by the author about how ppl live...)

finally he keeps doing what he loves and he finds a like minded crowd but since he wants to give back to the flock he came from he goes back and inspires few other seagulls to lie for perfection .....

the story wonderfully states how one should realise the actual means and purpose of living and not just mere existence.

it also shows how ppl will shun you whenever you try a path which is not ordinary and mundane, they will even try to pull you down, but glory is in sticking to what one reallyy wants for one self and not just that but practising and finally achieving what you want......

as goes ..." i took the road less travelled and it made all the difference" ...

its a short sweet and of coz very inspiring book . go for it once.

Friday, October 27, 2006

the catcher in the rye....

by J.D Salinger

it is a different book .

according to wikipedia its the 13th most controversial book ever written ....
it takes you on a wild ride , the main character is of Holden Caulfield ... he is a teenager who's just been kicked out of the school , well actually he had been kicked out of many schools lately .
he tends to see the world in a strange way and the writings tend to emphasise the phase when teenagers are on the threshold of adulthood and are not quite comfartable with it...

Holden considers that children are innocent and pure whereas adults are wicked and full of nothing but vices , he wants to protect the kids from all the evil in the world.. thats how the name comes.... " the catcher in the rye " he wants to protect the children who are playing in the fields and save them from falling over the cliff...

its so symbolic ... that children are unaware of the dangers that are beyond the fields of rye ....and he wants to protect them . when his sister pheobe says " what do you actually want to do ?"

he says " i just want to be the catcher in the rye " ...... it comes from one of his favourite songs
" when a body catch a body coming through the rye "

the wghole book runs randomly .... long conversations spring from mundane things and still they are incredibly interestingly told , mostly because of the stinging sarcasm in his statements they are funny!!

as you come t the end of the book you are left with a strange feeling .....jd salinger ti seems has never commented on this book of his......well its a must read , atleast for gives a lot of insight into teens minds for once... the uncertainity , the confusion, and a lot of feelings

really a different book... go for it

Friday, October 20, 2006


-by Steven D. Levitt,Stephen J. Dubner.

somtimes you better be wary of the two terms bestseller and classic ....

starts off well but as the writer proudly announces that there is no unifying theme in freakonomics .
it covers various topics which range from surprising to boring but stop a step before being informative .

the first anecdote about how incentives can actually act as deterrents taking the example of israeli day care center is an interesting read. then he mentions about how the legalisation of abortions has caused the drop in the crime rate in america in the late 90's . he also briefly mentions about the dictator in romania to explain the context in a better , well this is the only chapter in which he has done some justice to the book .
though its a surprising account , he kinda stretches it too long and finishes just before u r tired of it and about to chuck the book away.

the last chapter is about how black the black names are and how white the white names are .... hell who gives a damn anyway ..... certainly a wasted research and a drag .

read it if u have nothing better to , not a pathbreaking book , though his narrative is a bit different.

the second best seller in non fiction rite now.... hmm.....

Friday, October 13, 2006

o... jerusalem!

this is undoubtedly one of the best non fiction books i ever read.
written by Dominique lapierre and Larry collins.

since they are journalists they have given what appeared to be an unbiased account of the happenings. the chapters are as detailed as they are moving. u cant but help admire the israeli determination and how they were ready to " CLING ONTO JERUSALEM WITH THEIR TEETH" . they were ready to lay down their lives .

David Ben Gurion was the father of the movement. without him it would not have been possible . he was a man with atmost determination and most importantly vision. they built a nation right out of the scratch , they were prepared to go on a war with the regular armies of the arab nations . the story of how they procured their first heavy artillery and their first air planes which laid the foundations of the israeli air force.

as it goes without the need to mention , without the help of the american jews ,
perhaps all this would not have been possible, Golda meir , who is a woman with unbelievable confidence and courage took upon her responsibility to raise 5 millin dollars and ends up collecting 25 million with which the weapons and thier spare parts were purchased.

few excerpts from the book :

young people and teenagers were employed to deliver the messages between the camps , once when the arab armies were shell ing a girl was caught ina mortar attack and her hand was blown apart. yet she caried on and reached the office with the message and her right hand .after she deliverd the message she said" now get me a doctor"

the israeli were troubled by the egyptian aircraft , so ...
once an israeli aircraft was on reconnaisance , they were over the cairo airport. but unable to trace the city since it was blacked out. they contacted teh A.T.C and asked for permission to land saying they had a cargo to unload. and the A.T.C switched on the lights on the runway . the aircraft deliverd the CARGO of 200 lbs weapons on the airport and destroyed it so bad that no more aircraft could take off for weeks from there.

all in all its a worth reading book.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

love story , doctors - erich segal

as usual erich segal is in his impeccable form ,
love story--------->>>>

is one of the sweetest stories i have read till now, the dialogues between oliver barrett and jenny in the book were amazing . segal haas a certain style of writing , when the story is continuing smoothly , all of sudden he changes the complete scenario with a single sentence and sets a new pace for the story. it is one of the rare stories that brought tears to my eyes . it is full of emotions and at the end of the story u cant but feel sorry for the sweet girl and the boy.

although its revealed in the beginning of the story that the girl dies in the end, the story is truly gripping , the very first line of the story" what do u say about a girl who used to love mozart....." is undescribable........thru the story u slip into fancyign for a girl like jenny , her wit and loving nature just makes her a perfect match , i wish i meet sm1 like her..........hehe


after reading love story i cudnt stop without reading another book of eric segal . the way he handles the characters is amazing . its a story about few doctors who happen to study in the harvard med school . the 2 characters laura and barney share a special relationship and the story revolves around their begins with their childhood in a small town and about how they grow up ....

the intro line to harvard med school" there were people , some were brilliant bordering on genius and , some were genius bordering on madness" perhaps the most fitting description possible.

it shows various aspects of life and as a sub story is about the character bennett landsmann who is a negro but is adopted by jewish parents , he says the jews call him a black and the blacks call him a jew. the story of his foster parents and his father is really touching. then there are stories about other doctors one who believes in euthanasia and few others with some grey and white shades...

an absolutely must go for read . looking forward to read ' the class ' now. this man eric segal truly has a 'class'.


this blog is not just the reviews of the books or articles iread recently , but about what i think about them or what impressed me the most about them , i will start with the books which i read previously but have influenced me the most......