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Friday, 29 June 2018

Book Review: La Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes

One anonymous author pulled the trigger on such a high. It's magic. It’s known as the first picaresque novel from history and this one is the influential work of modern literature ‘La Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes.' This novella was published in Spain in 1554, in Spanish literature of the golden age, by an unknown author in the form of the first-person narrator.  

This is the tale of one poor boy from the little village of Spain who gives extremely influential to the western literature. Writer dragged his sufferance and beautifully splashed them into the pages. I read the whole novella straight through, not because of its short size, but because it has a life on it. The author and the character are still unknown to us, but the work is widely known to the world. You will be amazed when you come to know that Cervantes and the other renowned authors trail their story on it. Everyone gets inspiration from this work.

This is the story of Lazaro da Tormes, her mother calls him Lazarillo, which means little Lazaro which is written in the first person. The story is significant soever we can't put away until you finished it.

The novella starts with “well! Your honor must know…” that means narrator going to express the truth of his life. He tells everything about his life which was pathetic and clumsy.

“How many there are in the world who run from others because they do not see themselves in them,” the narrator tells his inferiority to your Excellency. 

Many critics believe that picaresque genre started from this novella. Generally, picaresque is an anti-hero who grows on the wrong side of the society. It follows the path of realism and this novella is the example of the first picaresque adopted writing. At that time the popular theme was knighted, heroic characters and noble man, but this one has a poor boy who struggled to live with deception and crime. The writer’s intention is to unveil the hypocrisy of that Spanish time. This writing was banned at that time of publication.

In the first chapter ‘parentage of Lazaro and the reason for his surname’ writer tried to foreshadow his deprived life ahead. He was born on the bank of the Tormes river from where he gets his surname. The whole novella divided into seven chapters, each chapter devoted to one master of the protagonist. He is an anti-hero. He is not a good human, yet he is mysteriously profound. His willingness to survive depends on various deceptions, and trickery.

Another popular example of the picaresque novel is Mark Twain's The Adventure of Huckleberry Fin, Voltaire’s Candide.

5 stars out of 5

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Book Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

 Okay, let’s start this way!

Who is this old man, why he climbed out of the window and where he gets disappeared? I am talking about the book 'The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared'. It is a bestselling breezy book which gives you loads of laugh but believe me it's not worthy of any serious reader, so how did I come across with this comic book?

The interesting thing is that the book has quite a long title. I wager you won't find any book’s title longer than this. The title itself gives us the plain idea about the pulp of the book.

The story starts at Allan Karlsson's old age home. He escaped before the very same day of his hundred-year birthday party from his ground-floor room's window. Now he is about to start his adventures. They start with the stealing the suitcase. Quite funny, huh? Hundred-year-old man who steals the suitcase.

When it first published in 2009, in Sweden, by Jonas Jonasson, it became the bestselling book. After being published in English, the hype of the book is mounted and became world bestseller.

I went through many rave reviews before starting this fun piece. Many people found this man called Allan same as Forrest Gump, but I have a different prospect. He is not even in the last toe of Forrest Gump.

In an interview with Angela Lenin, Jonas said “I had a bit of Allan in me. When I was a young man I never worried about anything. I lost it by working too hard and through my marital troubles, but I then used him in an extreme way to create the book.”

The funny parts are where he meets with few historical figures such as Richard Nixon, Kim II Sung, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, which is a lot absurd thing, but the story has been said in a confident way. Somewhere it reminds me of Sancho Panza, a good comical character in the famous literary work. The structure of this book is, it has a two time-line, one is present time, hundred years of age, and the other one is a past time of Allan’s life. Every alternative chapter describes Allan’s past life.

A centenarian Allan Karlsson is best for explosive materials which were the main reason for every leader from 20th centuries who met with him. Besides, he meets with drug lords and thieves who make the story even funnier. Anyway, at some point, past-stories become the main story.

Aye, I am giving this book 2 stars out of five.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Book Review: The Prophet

My rating 5 Out of 5

Every time when I take a peaceful amble into my room full of books, one book would be able to capture my attention. It was published in 1923, written by Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet. It is the best-known creation by the author so far. Once he was asked how he came to write it? 'Did I write it?' he replied. 'it wrote me'.

I have scad collection of classic literature, among them, The Prophet is giving out a bright light. What has it hidden inside that lured me to read for the umpteenth time? The answer is simple, the book has enveloped tons of philosophical kinds of kinds of stuff. This masterpiece has been translated into more than twenty languages and sold a million copies. And the book alone is spreading good fragments into my reading room for a long time.

This book has several topics of human life- birth, death, marriage, love, children, work, giving, eating and drinking, joy and sorrow etc. Somewhat we can call it a spiritual poetic essay. It has the power to penetrate your soul deep inside. The book starts with Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who had waited twelve years for his ship to come back to take him to his birth-place.
It was published in 1923 but still, relevant to our lives and has a sheer beauty in every page. Almustafa speaks to the people of Orphalese, about every day's topic of life and gives them hope. Each time when I sit on my favorite couch to read this blissful piece, it gives me goosebumps.

On the introduction page of the 2002 edition of penguin classic, it says, "...Gibran was later to claim that he first dreamt of the book when he was a child in Lebanon. Later he was to say that he kept the finished manuscript for four years before delivering it to the publisher, because 'I wanted to be very sure that every word of it was the very best I had to offer.' He said" 
I recommend this book to everyone.

Book Review: The Diary of a Young Girl

My rating 3 out of 5  
I came to know that we are the same creatures, Annie. You are running away or hiding from death and I am pretending to be alive.  We are scared, Annie. You are hiding & scribbling. I am locking away myself in a dungeon and reading an ambitious girl like you.

“It seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.” But your personal diary is being read and is still begin published enthusiastically in the whole wide world.

I kind of swayed away from your secret diary. At that time, you were a thirteen-year-old confused young lady, but your words were determined and faithful. I am going to toss this not-witty remarks because of I Fell in love with that overconfident, happy-go-lucky little girl. Oh, self-centered ambitious girl, you have done the scintillating job. She wrote somewhere "Paper has more patience than people."… I thought of this saying on one of those days when I was feeling a little depressed.” I am shedding true compliments, her courageous diary is so much vivid, simple and full of hope. When I was rattling through page by page, it felt like I was there with Annie, discovering Annex. Her writing is much akin to live with them together. She perfectly went down to every detail of the situation that gave me a terrible spasm.

“It’s just that I’d like to feel that Father really loves me, not because I’m his child, but because I’m me, Anne.” You could find such conceited words all over her diary. After falling in love with Peter, she made the words even sweeter and delicate. I am too smug.

The diary of a young girl is a true diary of Annie Mary Frank. During the second world war, her family went on hiding in Amsterdam from Hitler's wrong treatment. Whilst there, she wrote her diary starting from her 13th birthday on June 12, 1942. This diary has a story of two years of hiding in secret of eight people.

She was looking forward to freedom, but unfortunately, her diary ends on 1st August 1944, that must be a horrible day for her family. Notwithstanding, she wrote every belittle thing that happened in the Secret Annex. I found her enthusiastic, talkative and inquisitive and, most importantly, she was beautifully selfish. In such a tender age, she wrote subtly and gave every detail of the hiding place perfectly. If she would have been alive from that onslaught, she would write more fascinating stuff.

When I finished reading this self-important diary of yours, I was overwhelmed. I went to the world-wide-web and fumbled everything under Annie Frank. It’s silly!

Friday, 8 June 2018

Book Review: Don Quixote Of La Mancha

A few months ago, I had bumped with 17th centuries’ writer Miguel De Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote. It is the most influential literary work ever, published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615. It is widely believed that the novel is the foundation of the modern western literature. Nearly three and a half good month I exiled myself to conclude the tale of ‘Don Quixote of De La Mancha’. During my whole staunchly reading, thousand pages metafiction never exhausted my mind.

Cervantes’ wings of imagination are highly profound. The characters, twisty plot, comical Sancho Panza’s radical logic, stories of enchantments are quintessential and ubiquitous. I wager, I will never find another Sancho or Don Quixote in any form. Research shows us that the Don Quixote is tantamount to bible and Homer’s epic. Its opening sentence somewhat succumbed me “somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and an ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing” and enthusiastic remained to the end.

As we already know he spent five years as slaves in Turkish pirates in Algeria which help him to engender this meticulous artistry. Don Quixote’s death is not merely fictional, it’s a tragic end for an authentic (must be) reader.

In the first part of the novel, Don Quixote went on the second adventure with his squire Sancho Panza. Sancho Panza’s nonsensical adage gives us most pleasure and Don Quixote’s adhering to his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso give our sorrows and wet eyes at the same time. After many comical adventures, he returns home. In the second part of the novel, he leaves the house again for third and last adventures (sally) with his squire and his horse Rocinante. This is the tale of two comical characters who never split for a second, this is the story of friendship and honesty between a master and his servants.

Don Quixote won my heart with his intelligent and some foolish speech and on the other hand, Sancho wafts my heart away with his simplicity and terrific humor.

 Simply, Cervantes scribbled uber nonsense in an astonishing way.

My Rating 5 Out Of 5