Thursday, July 05, 2012

June Reading – Part 1


After an astounding April and May, I was expecting June to be a slower month since I did not have much of travel and I even had a career transit happening. I moved from Fujitsu Consulting India to KPMG India … a change of job, a change of work location, a change of work profile … and the biggest of all … a potential career shift. The transit from Fujitsu to KPMG may well prove to be a career defining moment J  

I began June reading with the Traveler Magazine followed by a Jeffrey Archer novel. I also read a new concept Digi-Novel by 'CSI' Creator and BlogAdda gave me another book to review – The Clockwork Man. Between them, I continued reading several of the stories from Sherlock Holmes Exploits and Misadventures stories along with a couple of Satyajit Ray stories and 2 of the Three Investigators.

New author this month: Plenty. William Jablonski with his 'Clockwork Man' and Anthony Zuiker (with Duane Swierczynski) with their Digi-novel 'Dark Prophecy'; I also discovered Philip K Dick and read 3 of his short stories that were converted into Hollywood movies. Also, the third edition of the Mysterious Traveler Magazine had another set of 6 short stories by 6 different lesser known (literally unknown) authors and the Sherlock Holmes Misadventures were by different authors again, notably by the likes of Ellery Queen and Mark Twain.  

A fantastic reading score of 25 for this month; considering the change in my travel time of about 20-25 minutes in local trains (where I didn't even get to open the book at times since I travel during peak hours in the rush direction). And once again the post is split into 3 parts.


1-6. The Mysterious Traveler Magazine - May 2006 edition (6 short stories)

I picked up another edition of MTM which had another set of 6 interesting stories themed on Ghosts. They were interesting read.

The Macabre - Incident at Warren Pass by Mark West

A tale of horror where a man is trying to figure out what the hell is happening with the help of an old man. The climax is pretty interesting as the tables turn.  

Crime - The Broker by William A. Hall

No horror. No Ghosts. Just a regular American bar where people come to play pool, snooker, poker and while some enjoy the game, others enjoy the exchange of money on the outcome of the game. But what happens when greed grips you and you have no money to pay. What would you do? Would you even murder? … But that is not even the interesting part of the story !!!   

Strange Stories - The Attic by Chris Burdett

A story about a man who is afraid of visiting his friend's new house's attic after a horror filled ghostly experience he had in his youthful days. He describes his experience to his friends …  

Suspense - Fair and Square by Fenna Geelhoed  

Imagine a door-to-door salesman knocking at your door claiming that he deals with soles and he is ready to take your old soles and repair them and give it to someone else. You think it is a joke (who deals with soles?) and dismiss that guy unceremoniously.

Later in the middle of the night, you wake up hearing some commotion on the street and you find that salesman back at your steps asking again for your sole. And suddenly you realize that when you thought he meant 'sole' he was actually talking about your 'soul'. Now THAT makes it a pretty interesting read.

Mystery – The Big Fix by Pauline C. Smith

A private investigator is approached to find why a ethical celebrated boxer is going to engage in match-fixing, he is amused. When his most reliable information source keeps mum and even asks him to back off from the case; he is surprised and want to dig deeper. The case becomes murky as high profile political people are involved and shots are fired.  

Short Shocker - Special Delivery by the Mysterious Traveler

An insight into the thoughts of a man who is playing the role of a Sniper … perched atop a tall building waiting for his 'victim' so that he can shoot him. He is also aware that there is another person who is about to kill the victim and that as soon as she does it, she would be under a hail of bullets. He loves the girl and has to decide what to do next.


7. As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer 

This one was lying with me since a long time but the small font size was a put off for me. Reading the fine print while travelling was difficult and hence I was postponing the reading of this one. I have read Jeffrey Archer before; short stories as well as long novels but never quite became a 'fan' of his writing.  

It was a fantastic story of an enterprising man who starts from his grandfather's fruits and vegetables barrow and build his business empire besides serving in war. The story gets pretty complex as characters get involved and they play important roles in carrying the story forward. The story itself is very interesting with twists and turns; where the author mutes some of the conversations to create an element of suspense.

The way the whole novel is written is pretty interesting. The story is narrated from different people's perspective with some chapters written in first person. This means that the story goes back and forth often repeating events since they get narrated again by a different person … different perspective. Each person looks at an event with a different perspective.

Small print size and about 500 pages; this was a really really long novel; probably the longest that I would read in a long time. Absolutely loved reading it


8. Sherlock Misadventures: The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore by Ellery Queen 

A man steps out of his house, looks at the sky, has an inkling that it would rain, steps back inside to grab his umbrella …. And promptly disappears (almost as if he never existed). A mention of such an unsolved case exists in the original stories. History repeats itself when the grandson of the disappeared man does the same thing … right in front of the eyes of police who are waiting outside to grab him and throw him into prison. Ellery Queen solves the case lying on the bed (down with cold) giving instructions to his Inspector Father.


To Be Continued …

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