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Friday, August 05, 2011

July Reading

 

An excellent month for reading it was … the count is 18 stories … which is a mix of the regular 3I, Feluda and Sherlock stories along with 2 novels as well as 6 short stories which are part of a 12-story collection. It was a month of reading of different varieties/genres as well as something that doesn't fit any genre at all. It can be readily assigned to the genre "Have your Head spun around" !!

 

1. Cheap at Half the Price (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

This was a kind of reading test-drive for me. Read the story and decide whether I would read the other 11. The title of the book was interesting. The story turned out to be good and it also gave me a déjà vu feeling as if I had read this story in some form at some other place.

 

2. Feluda: The Mystery of the Elephant God by Satyajit Ray

A very good one wherein Feluda is pitted against an adversary he is delighted to meet; someone who really challenges his intellect and becomes an adversary to reappear in later stories too. Another interesting aspect of the story was that when the story begins, it talks about a 'Machchli Baba (Fish Saint)' who is called Ebony Baba also because of his smooth and very dark skin.

 

3. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This particular story involved a treasure hunt kind of mystery for Sherlocks Holmes' to solve. Sherlock unlocks a code which generations from the family never suspected to be a code at all. A butler n the family cracks the code and reached the treasure only to realize that he needs a companion to go about getting the treasure out.

The person dies in the process and Sherlock can only guess what could have happened in the final moments of the person's life. A mystery is solved although the murderer cannot be pin pointed nor located.

 

4. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Coughing Dragon by Nick West

A dragon is sighted and some dogs go missing. The 3 investigators are requested to investigate. They end up in a cave which leads to another cave which has some very peculiar features. It was an interesting read and although we know that the Dragon cannot be real, it is nice to read the story as it evolves and mysteries are explained … including the missing dogs.

 

5. Feluda: The Bandits of Bombay by Satyajit Ray

This one was a nice mix with all the makings of a Bollywood Masala Movie … in fact it actually had a movie being made in the story J and that too on the novel written by Jatayu !!

 

6. Dougie Mortimer's Right Arm (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

I picked up another story from the 12 Red Herrings after reading the "Cheaper at Half the Price" earlier this month. This one was an 'OK' … not very interesting. The element of suspense was there but the climax was not a strong one.

 

7. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Reigate Puzzle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This story has Sherlock making several deductions from a scrap of paper which was torn from a larger note. It barely has 7-8 words and Sherlock draws out not only the deductions but also solves the case. The skill of handwriting analysis comes in handy and becomes the key to unlocking the case.

 

8. God's Debris by Scott Adams

This one was a real head spinner. I posted an exclusive blog-post on this book alone. It really is a book meant for people who enjoy their brain-matter being spun around in their heads.

 

9. Timeo Danaos  (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

It was a short story about a man who boasts a lot and is ultimately fooled to some extent by another guy. It is sarcastic in the sense that our primary protagonist keeps talking about being an entrepreneur at heart but is fooled by one who really is.

 

10. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Crooked Man by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

An interesting story with a murder where a strange animal is a companion to the murder. Sherlock uses this usual power of observation, footprint analysis, crime-scene study to make his deductions. Anti-climactic though, the murder turns out to be something else and the case is closed without the murderer (which Sherlock had already identified but not revealed)

 

11. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Flaming Footprints by M V Carrey

The story doesn't really start with the flaming footprints. It starts actually with an interesting character called The Potter who lives in Rocky Beach (and visits the Jones Salvage Yard) at the beginning of the book and then … disappears … while a host of other characters appear in Rocky Beach in and around his house on the very same day. The story takes some twists and turns and there are historical events (almost 400 years old) that influence the mystery. Except for the lack of a romantic angle, the story could have well been considered for a movie too J (this is discussed in the final conversation between Alfred Hitchcock and the 3 boys)

 

12. An Eye for an Eye (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

This one was another short and interesting one. A lady pleads not-guilty for her husband's murder charge claiming that she was blind and hospitalized at the time of death. The story is about the defense lawyer working out the best possible way to 'save' her in spite of his doubts regarding her innocence.

 

13. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Resident Patient by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Yet another story where Sherlock is not really successful in catching the culprit as he is a bit late to anticipate the exact crime
But the highlight of the story is not the crime but a small incident right at start of the story. Watson is seated in the room and Sherlock Holmes deduces his entire chain of thoughts by looking at him and his expressions (the movement of his eyebrows and other little expressions that appear on his face).
It is these smaller incidents which dazzles the reader and makes them a fan of Sherlock rather than the cases themselves.

 

14. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

A long pending novel

It had been on the reading list for quite some time now … almost more than a year and somehow it always managed to slip in priority. I decided to tackle this before another year slipped by.  

It was a very good one. It came as a breeze of cool air that smells fresh and refreshes the mind and the soul. It was funny, witty and made me smile while I read it.

 

15. Feluda: The Mystery of the Walking Dead by Satyajit Ray

This story had a very interesting character who breaks all bonds with Modern life. No electricity in the house, no car, no modern gadgetry or electronic equipment. His house and his life reflect life as it was about 100 years ago … and Feluda is brought into the picture because his son fears that someone wants to kill him. Interesting!

 

16. You'll Never Live to Regret it (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

I picked up another story from the 12 Red Herrings after reading the "Cheaper at Half the Price" earlier this month. This one was an 'OK' … not very interesting. The element of suspense was there but the climax was not a strong one.

 

17. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This one wasn't as much a detective kind of thing. It served as an introduction to Sherlock's Brother Mycroft who is seemingly far more sharper than Sherlock but at the same time equally far more lazier; which is the reason he is not using his 'skills' as a career. The mystery is not worth talking about.

Interestingly, I did remember a scene of this story where the interpreter is having a conversation with a person and he slips in extra questions without the knowledge of his employer. Mycroft is introduced and his power of deduction is highlighted by his deductions about an individual's profession, marital status, number of children etc just by looking at him.  

 

18. Never Stop on the Motorway (from Twelve Red Herrings) by Jeffrey Archer

I picked up another story from the 12 Red Herrings after reading the "Cheaper at Half the Price" earlier this month. This one was an 'OK' … not very interesting. The element of suspense was there but the climax was not a strong one.

 

Series Completion Score (as of 31st July 2011):  

Three Investigators     15 out of 35

Feluda                         13 out of 35

Sherlock Holmes         24 out of 56

12 Red Herrings          06 out of 12

Total                           58 out of 138

1 comment:

  1. I believe, you are a voracious reader.
    'Read, read, read
    to feed ur need;
    knowledge is the need indeed'

    From:sriramnivas.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete