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Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success

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Book is an easy read and presents convincing arguments in favour of rigourous, motivated, driven, focussed and purposeful practice to achieve success in ANY field by ANYONE. Later half of book meanders off from original thesis somewhat but connects in the end.
Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less

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It's a very insipid book, as far as revenge thriller story goes. It's author's first and favourite book, so I gave it a try - and it's quick read no doubt - but immaturity of writing reflects. Story is patchy, schemes just okay. Worst thing is characterization. You supposedly have four smart people who not only want revenge but will cook up huge plans, break laws, and take efforts to take it, but very same people were stupider than average Joe when they lost money. Similarly you have a global mastermind who plays stock market to his advantage and then just signs a cash check in the name of university chancellor without question. Harping on "no a penny more" was getting irritating in the end. Last share of $250k was not even winning from scheme, but voluntary gift by Harvey to his daughter. Parts of stories are left hanging, such as detective who was investigating stock market scam and fate of fall-guy David.
Roots

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‘Roots’ is not a well written book, grammatically speaking, but if that doesn't distract you too much, then you will be amazed at unputdownable story that ‘Roots’ is. Book is not really literary and is action packed with events and dialogues. What I found fascinating here was first three-hundred pages of life in native Africa and details around practice cock fighting. Other overarching themes on life of slavery, abuse by whites and history of US from eyes of the people at bottom of totem pole were also interesting. It's a good read to provide deep empathetic view behind barbaric practice of slavery without becoming too sad and yet tugging at right places and times. There are certain accusations that story may not be as factual as author claims it be (he references himself towards the end) but that shouldn't distract from primary motive of depicting life of black people in America before and after capture. It will be difficult to see a white and black person again in same way after reading this book.
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

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Atul Gawande has knack of writing good medical narraitves and those are only parts which carry this book. Premise - that checklists are useful in all kind of complex tasks - isn't bad but there only so much one can write on such a simple subject. Author does a good job of it and it's a light easy read. However from the idea point of view, well, a paragraph would have sufficed. Rest is mere evidence. Further, examples of real checklists, the meat of the book, was obvious miss.
The Man with Two Left Feet, and Other Stories

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I picked up this classic from P G Wodehouse purely based on his authorship and he has stood true to his reputation. Book is collection of interesting, humorous and sensitive stories from various angles - all somehow connected to theatrical circle. BILL THE BLOODHOUND is by far the most hilarious story in the collection where a below-average detective falls in love with a drama girl. MIXER stories are unique by nature of being narrated from point of view of a dog. AT GEISENHEIMER is very sensitive and has good climax. SEA OF TROUBLES had good start but frizzled end. And titled story MAN WITH TWO LEFT FEET is romantic with sensitive end.
The Importance of Being Earnest

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This merely 60 page comedy of errors had me chuckling quite a few times and was finished in one sitting. Book is full of quotable quotes which themselves are insight into timeless nature of humour (just like recently red Three Men in a Boat).
1984

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1984 portrays a world so impossible and unrealistic in current era, yet so vivid and imaginable still, that it sends the chill down the spine even in relatively thin narrative with just handful of characters and minimal action. Not only as a thesis against extreme totalitarianism, this classic novels also raises many interesting questions about philosophy and nature of reality. It is evident that there is no happy ending, but perhaps that is pre-destined as much as rest of the story. Author takes extreme pain to detail the possible world so that it becomes almost real in front of the reader, including a detailed appendix on then used language.
Three Men in a Boat

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If you'd imagined Victorian era classic would be un-relatable to reader of 21st century, you'd be very wrong. Three Men in a Boat is immensely funny, laugh out loud humourous book of three extremely lazy and good for nothing men's journey along the river. Narrative is characterized by expansive digressions which feel all too familiar. It's salute to author's writing (not at all difficult to read) or human nature, that what was funny 100 years ago is still the same today. Recommended read among humour books.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Huck Finn had burden of being a Classic before I even started reading. Book opens extremely well with hilarious first chapter. After that, first hundred pages, while fast paced and interesting, felt point less as there didn't seem to be any direction to narrative. Once 'King' and 'Duke' characters arrived, story, while still meandering, became exceedingly funny and engaging. Last narrative on freedom of Jim was perhaps a bit stretched yet nonetheless funny. Book ended with nagging feeling of the point of it all. But perhaps that is what is intended because book isn't like other literature where character development and scene depiction takes up lot of word count. Story is very fast moving, full of dialogues, full of action, and really hilarious in parts. In that sense book has quality amenable to children's reading and is adaptable to any movie with minimal tweaking. In the end, book leaves you with wanting more. Though I am little nonplussed by implication by some critics on multi-layered meanings of this book, since I found book to be very straight forward with little scope of ambiguity or multiple interpretation.
Les grandes espérances

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Great Expectations is a good book, but not awesome. Story is reasonably fast moving even though language is flowery and dialogues are noteworthy. There is undercurrent of humour and irony in whole narrative though never really explicit. Characters are engaging and some are even haunting too. That said, it always remains a mystery why this is considered popular classic and not others. There is not much substance to story but whole lot of emotional content without being melodramatic. Overall, I am glad that I read this, though I wouldn't have missed anything if I didn't.
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