Monday, October 08, 2012

September Reading – Part 1

September was a month dominated by new Indian Authors; unlike any other month of the year. The novels of the month were 'Fractured Legend' by Kranthi Askani (Book Review Program of BlogAdda), 'The Krishna Key' by Ashwin Sanghi and 'Untruly Yours' by Smita Shetty. Fractured Legend and Untruly Yours were both short novels (under 200 pages) while the Krishna Key was around 475 pages.  
Amongst the regular short novels/ novellas, I read 2 short novels by ACD and PKD - a Dr. Challenger one titled 'Poison Belt' by Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Ubik' by Philip K Dick; and one novella from the Three Investigators series. 
Amongst the short story regulars I had 6 by Philip K. Dick, 5 by Arthur Conan Doyle, 3 from the Misadventure series and 2 from the Exploits series of Sherlock Holmes along with 2 shorts by Ashok Banker (yet another new author for me) and 6 from Mystery Traveler series – total 24
New authors this month: 3 of the Indian authored novels I read this month were by 'new' authors - Ashwin Sanghi, Kranthi Askani and Smita Shetty. I also picked up short stories by Ashok Banker who has been in my sights for quite some time now. I will be picking up his novel later.
This month has a good reading score of 30 – a good mix of novels (long and short), novellas, short stories and non-fiction reading.

1. Short Novel: Fractured Legend by Kranti Askani
It's been some time since I received a book from BlogAdda for review (the last one was Clockwork Man in June). So when this one came up, it was a pleasant surprise.
The novel is about 3 women. A statue who can become a lady (flesh and blood) in the night leaves her life of confinement within the temple and goes out in the world of humans. The second is a professional assassin who is forced to flee with her son. The third is a lady writing a long letter to her Mom with pain in her heart. The 3 stories merge in the end.  
The writing style is extremely descriptive and there is a lack of plot / story line to hold you to the novel. I am not really going to recommend this to you unless you enjoy reading descriptive writing where the author would painstakingly describe each and everything in the scene (including bystanders and their activities and the weather and the streets which have no bearing on the story). If you enjoy that … well … this is for you.
I would personally never recommend this book to anyone … I struggled to complete it. 
Full review posted last month.

2-7. The Mysterious Traveler Magazine - Oct 2008 edition (6 short stories)
Picked up yet another edition of MTM with 6 interesting short stories by little known authors along the theme of Halloween …
The Macabre - The Returning by Darrell Pitt
People always respect the dead … as long as they don't come back from the dead. If they do, they fear them, they dread them, and they no longer want them around. So what happens when the dead returns to normal life … How much do we value life?
Suspense - A Halloween Story - William A. Hall
A young kid gets mesmerized by a new girl in his class. He feels the irresistible pull towards her and her house to which he is invited. In the class also, the whole world disappears and he can only see her and nothing else. Such are the signs of falling in love. The girl though has other designs on her mind.
Strange Stories - Edna by Christopher Burdett
A man who now lives alone after his wife passed away has nothing to do except snoop on the neighbors. He finds his immediate missing from action and speculates if she is gone away or dead inside the house. He opens up her mailbox and checks her mail to receive a shock of his life.  
Crime - Let's Make A Deal by Lanny Gilbert
We have often heard of stories where people make a deal with the Devil to get what they desire in exchange for their soul. A sportsman is advised the same and is told that it is a sure shot route to success but he is determined not to trade his soul. The Devil is facing many such 'enlightened' souls who don't want to readily trade their soul and is now forced to resort to different and dishonest means of trading souls.
Mystery - Gramma & the Movie Boy by Christopher Burdett
Grandma begins to tell a 'real' story from her childhood when she went to see a movie with her dad and found that a boy had escaped from the movie. She describes her encounter with the screen-boy.
Short Shocker - Dance Macabre by 'the Mysterious Traveler'
A very short story about a kid who is going around collecting Halloween and encounters a whole bunch of skeletons who gobble up all his treats and follow him to his house.

8. ACD Shorts: Borrowed Scenes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The story made no head or tail to me. It went completely over my head. I can hardly write anything about it.

9. PKD Shorts: The Father Thing by Philip K Dick

A little boy sees his father talking to his father. No, he wasn't talking to himself. He was talking to another person who was exactly like his own father. After some time, his father joins him at the dinner table and he realizes that he is not his father but someone else or something else. He refers to him as the Father-Thing. And the horror has just begun …
He discovers his father … remnants of the fragments of his skin. He ropes in help from his school bully to fight the father-thing only to discover that the father-thing is not alone and will soon be joined by other 'things' … namely the mother-thing and the himself-thing …

10. Short Novel: Untruly Yours by Smita Shetty
Untruly Yours is the debut novel by Smita Shetty and she wrote to me with a request of book review. For me, this came as a pleasant surprise (book review request by author and that too for her debut novel). I accepted; with an additional motivation that it was a chic-lit and it would be a different experience reading a chic-lit.
It was a good nice light read. I would readily recommend this to anyone looking for an enjoyable light read on a Sunday afternoon. I wish the author would have not restricted to 150 pages … she sure had a nicely laid out situation/plot which could have had some more interesting incidents and introspections. I would have loved to read some more.
Full review posted last month. 

To Be Continued …

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