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Friday, December 07, 2012

November Reading – Part 3

 

Continued from previous post …

 

11. Novel: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (The new Sherlock Holmes Novel)

 

It was delightful news to hear that someone 'officially' got the endorsement / permission to write a Sherlock Holmes novel. Antony Horowitz has done a good job of writing a full length gripping Sherlock Holmes novel keeping the original essence of Conan Doyle writing intact and in fact delivered more than a regular Sherlock Holmes story.

It was nice to see all the usual characters of Sherlock Holmes stories play a role in this novel – Sherlock Holmes and Watson (of course), their landlady, the Baker Street Irregulars, Mycroft, Lestrade, Watson's Wife … with each given a significant space in the novel.

A simple case leads to a larger and more dangerous case which poses a threat to Sherlock's life. It's like a major case cocooned inside a smaller one. It was a very good novel to read and I enjoyed it. I would certainly recommend it to any Sherlock Holmes fan out there

Full review posted last month.

 

12. PKD Shorts: Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K Dick

 

A group of men encounter a strange creature during their regular rounds of animal buying for consumption. The creature is large and has the potential to serve as a good quantity of food. 

Trouble starts when the creature begins to talk to the humans and not just talks, but talks of philosophy and 'talking as a better option than eating him up'. He seems to have some kind of strange hypnotizing power too which he hardly uses on the humans.

The captain of the space-ship/air-craft is hell bent on cutting the creature up for consumption and that is exactly what he ends up doing … but in vain. The creature continues to talk of philosophy.

 

13. ACD Shorts: The Jew's Breastplate by Arthur Conan Doyle

 

What kind of a thief loosens some precious stones (4 out of 12) from their gold settings and DOES NOT steal them? What if he returns and does the same to another 4 from the remaining 8 … again only loosening them but not stealing them? Curious … isn't it?

And what if this situation is presented to the curator of the museum immediately after he has taken charge? AND he has already received a warning that the singular night guard is not enough to take care of the security of the museum. Such are the curious settings in which this story is based. Of course, all's well that  ends well !!

 

14. PKD Shorts: The Gun by Philip K Dick

 

A very interesting premise with an equally interesting climax

What if a particular toy you brought home for your kid had a hidden agenda and was part of a huge conspiracy against the human race. So when a toy conspires against the human race using the kids as the innocently strategic partner in their world domination plans … who would come to rescue?

 

15. Novel: The Edge of the Machete by Abhisar Sharma

 

This was the second one that came from Blog Adda for review this month. Reading this one reminded me of Robert Ludlum novels since this had elements of CIA operatives, international espionage and touches of middle-eastern and Russian groups that are involved in international terrorism with a plot that has global implications. Abhisar's story is set against the backdrop of the Afghanistan-Pakistan (AfPak) region with characters belonging to several militant groups from the region as well as the protagonist coming in from the CIA.

The story has brutal executions and horrible tortures described so this one is not for the faint-hearted. Abhisar has been successful in weaving a nice story with some interesting characters whose personality grows with the novel and you discover them throughout the novel. As the novel ended, the climax gives me a feeling that Abhisar has a Jason Bourne like character in his hand and it would be a pity if he doesn't write more on this character which can open up several possibilities of interesting plots.

Full review posted last month.

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I mostly read while travelling but off late my work is encroaching on my travel time. Phone calls, emails (on Blackberry), laptop working, reading documents, preparing for meetings … all these are encroaching on my 'reading time' during my daily commute as well as the domestic flight travels that I keep making. And I fear this encroachment will only keep increasing. The heavy dip in reading score is also due to this encroachment besides the reasons quoted above (4 novels in a month)

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