Monthly Archives: January 2016

Book Review- Cat’s Cradle

Cat’s Cradle is definitely one of the most creative books I have read so far. Not just creative, it is humorous and uses major Satire in its plot. I haven’t read any other Kurt Vonnegut book. Slaughter Five is on my To read list but I won’t be picking it up anytime soon. But Cat’s cradle is something everyone should try.

The guy just created a new religion out of nothing!!

cats-cradle

Kurt Vonnegut mixes science with the new religion Bokononism in a beautiful way. I have read a short story by him once- 2BR02B which equally amazed me. Kurt has a nice blend of science fiction with a human touch to it. Stories like these cannot be just an inspiration from real world.

What I really liked about Cat’s cradle was that it was well structured. We know from the first page that the protagonist is conducting a research for his book on what happened in the lives of important people on the day atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. However, we are also told in the same chapter that he did not finish the book because he later realized the purpose of his life and move towards Bokonon and Bokoninism. Every chapter progressed constructively and it kept you hooked to the plot.

This book again, like Old Man and Sea wasn’t quotable- you didn’t have lines that floored you, except a few. One that i remember is ” Peculiar Travel suggestion are dancing lessons from God”. It wasn’t about philosophy anyways. It was more of a satire on humanity in general. Creation of Ice-9 , how we in general trade it for personal favors or how unreasonable we are and all of this was interweaved with some or the other character.

The end is like a parallel world- destruction of the human race because Bokonon feels humans are so stupid that it is better to freeze everything with Ice-Nine and laugh at the God who created us.

Even if a genre like this doesn’t interest you, I would recommend read 2BR02B first, and if you happen to like it, give Cat’s cradle a shot. It is a book not every reader will enjoy. A typical Chetan Bhagat/ love story reader may not appreciate the creativity.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review- The Old Man and the Sea

It is always disappointing when you have written an entire review and as a last step, click on something to upload the book cover pic and the entire thing just vanishes!! 😦

Anyways, I’ll retype everything. I really wanted to have at least one post on the first day of the year to keep the ball rolling on the other days!

I’ll start with Happy New year 2016!! Last year was when I started my blog and I have been very lazy with it. I hardly write a few book/ movie reviews, started a crappy Daily Quote series, posted a travelogue and that is all. I read more than 25 books in one year but haven’t reviewed all. There were days when I saw back to back movies but I didn’t review any of them. Same is the case with my almost dormant Zomato account.

Well, I am here to change things my friends! Starting with this book review of Old man and the sea.

Old man and the sea

This book is a short story by Ernest Hemingway and was published in 1950s. It won Pulitzer and was one of the major reasons why Hemingway won Nobel for Literature. It is a very short book, probably can be finished in a single sitting. Books like this, Animal Farm or The great Gatsby makes me wonder how a book so small as these can be so profound. It amazes me that when I sit to write something, it takes me 3 lines to make a point when these authors will probably use just half a line.

The book is about Santiago- or the Old Man who is a fisherman consider unlucky as he hadn’t caught a fish in 84 days! The story is about his sailing trip on the 85th day and if the day changes things for him.

While Santiago is the main protagonist, we sure have others playing an important role- The beautiful Marlin with the fighting spirit of a competent adversary for Santiago, Manolin- The young boy who is like a son to Santiago and who is shown to have the innocence and compassion which most of the others lose in the process of “growing up”. While the relation between Manolin and Santiago constituted hardly 5% of the plot; it however was the best for me. The discussion about football player Joe, the faith and confidence in each other- the relation was something each of us share with someone at least once in our lifetime.

The story, the end can have multiple interpretations, multiple lessons that we learn. Times when we tire our or burn out completely in order to accomplish something only to end up with nothing. But does it really mean we are left with nothing at all?

When Santiago tries to catch the fish, all he thinks of his how others will feel when they see how big a fish he’s caught. Or how much money it’ll fetch or how many people it could feed.

The struggle for so many days practically ends up to nothing, or that’s what we feel. Sometimes the fact that we struggle itself earns us respect and value even if that doesn’t get us money or livelihood.

I do not have any lines or quotes from this book. The story was fiction plus philosophy and was really profound but you never find something that you would want to quote. This is something I had heard about Hemingway even before. His writing style is very unique and simple. There is nothing flowery and yet it connects with you somewhere.

I recommend this book to anyone who genuinely enjoys reading quality books!