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Monday, June 04, 2012

May Reading – Part 2

Continued from previous post ... 

 

11. The Mayan Prophecy by Steve Alten

21st December 2012 being the date when the Mayan Calendar had predicted the end-of-the-world; I think I should be reading some novels on the Mayan end-of-the-world theme … at least this year.

This novel begins with a paranoid convict who is actually a patient but has ended up in jail. A new intern assigned to him begins her journey of sorting out fact from paranoia. She not only begins to believe in him but also listens to his pleas and helps him escape from the prison.

Together they explore the depths of the ocean and discover an alien ship which is sending out WMD's to different locations in the world; disturbing world peace. Each nation suspecting the other of a nuclear testing/strike leading to the situation of World War 3 … with a point in the story when thousands (literally) Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles are heading towards their targets with ETA of a few minutes

It is an interesting mixing mythology, history, technology, fantasy and science fiction … all in a single package. It is not the best of the genre that I have read but decent enough to make me order another book from the Mayan trilogy so that I can complete the trilogy this year itself - the story being a mix of mythology and sci-fi

 Dunno if it was a coincidence but the book had 666 pages in total J

 

12. Sherlock Misadventures: The Great Pegram Mystery by Robert Barr 

So this becomes my first non-Conan Sherlockian story. The Misadventures is a collection of 33 stories written by a wide range of authors (including some well known names) with characters inspired by Sherlock Holmes. In these stories we will read about numerous characters with names sounding like Sherlock Holmes … which in this first story is Sherlaw Kombs and Whatson.

The Great Pegram Mystery is about a man who was found dead in a train with a bullet hole in his head. Curiously, he had withdrawn some cash earlier that evening and was found in a train which was not en route his destination. Sherlaw Kombs solves the mystery and correctly finds the murder weapon with unerring accuracy BUT … all his conclusions are pretty much wrong.

 

13. Khagam by Satyajit Ray

A story of a man who kills a snake which is in the protection and care of a sage and suffers the consequences of a silent curse by the sage; an interesting tale with an element of horror and weird and magical   

 

14. Sherlock Misadventures: Holmlock Shears Arrives Too Late by Maurice Leblanc 

In this second story from the Misadventures written by Maurice Leblac; a famous thief steals from a wealthy man who has already informed his friends (and the thief) that he suspecting a theft in his house by this famous thief and he has requested Holmlock Shears to look into the case. The theft would happen by the use of underground pathways and hidden passages; the key to which has been stolen from his house and from the public library (the key hidden in the structural maps of the mansion).

The theft occurs and the stolen goods arrive back at the mansion the very next day even before Holmlock arrives. Never the less, he solves the riddle of the secret passage. Interesting part is that on the way to the mansion, Holmlock has a chance encounter with the thief … who displays his expertise and sheer ingenuity in a very peculiar but interesting fashion.

 

15. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of Wandering Caveman - by M V Carrey

A story with an interesting cast of characters and the discovery of the fossilized bones of prehistoric man which promises to bring a fresh new lease to the economy of the small town as the owner of the land on which the fossils were discovered plans to commercialize the opportunity. The 3 investigators take up the case on themselves as the watchman reports seeing a caveman and the bones are stolen.

 

16. Sherlock Exploits: The Adventure of the Seven Clocks by Adrian Doyle & John Carr

With this story, I began reading the 'Exploits of Sherlock Holmes' series written by the youngest son of Conan Doyle … Adrian Doyle along with another author John Carr. They wrote 6 stories together and then another set of 6 were written by Jr. Doyle alone.

The Adventure of the Seven Clocks is about a man who is practically terrified of clocks; so much so that he goes about 2 of them in public. He smashes those clocks which don't even belong to him. Based on the information gathered from his client, who is a lady who has her affections for the terrified youth; and on tid bits of news and information from newspapers; Sherlock Holmes makes his expert deductions and solves the case.

The writing style of Canon Doyle was preserved in this story written by Jr. Doyle and Carr. It was nice to read Sherlock Holmes again.

 

17. Anath Babu's Terror by Satyajit Ray

Anath Babu is a man interested in spirits, ghosts, supernatural and paranormal. He has wandered all across the country staying in haunted houses to experience the paranormal and meet the 'ghosts' but according to his own admission, he has been lucky only on 2 occasions and too more of a kind of feeling rather than an actual ghost or spirit; nothing conclusive. This story is about his third and conclusive encounter of a different kind. Pun intended.

 

18. Sherlock Misadventures: The Adventure of the Clothes-Line by Carolyn Wells  

Imagine Holmes and the likes of his kind getting together to deduce from a curious incident of a lady hanging from the clothes line. It becomes a free for all brainstorming sessions with each participant proposing interesting possibilities and logic behind the hanging lady.

 

19. The Small World of Sadananda by Satyajit Ray

This is a story of a teenager (he is just thirteen) and his own personal private small world of Ants. He has a connection with them. He feels connection with them. The story is about this very connection.

 

20. Sherlock Misadventures: The Unique Hamlet by Vincent Starrett  

A precious priceless original Shakespearean manuscript kind of book studded with precious stones is stolen when loaned by the owner to his friend while the friend was taking the book between their homes which are a few minutes walking distance. The thieves are the very guard who were sent along with him. Holmes deduces the finds the mastermind behind the plan. This story also draws inspiration from the famous 'dog' from Sherlock Holmes original stories which did not bark or do anything unusual; which Sherlock found pretty unusual.

 

To be continued …

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