Stories about novel

Did ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’ deserve the Man Booker Prize?

Richard Flanagan’s scintillating novel and winner of the coveted Man Booker Prize this year, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, is a classic love-war saga. Like any other brilliant work of war fiction, it manages to pull at every string in your heart and leaves no stone unturned doing so. However, camouflaged under the profound, morbid and harrowing depictions of war, lies a love story that is both ambiguous and lackadaisical. While trying to merge two extremely impactful themes of love and war, Flanagan makes the cut, very scarcely, to do justice to only one of them. Hence, although Flanagan’s novel is very ...

Read Full Post

Jodi Picoult’s ‘Handle with Care’: Would you tell your daughter you didn’t want her?

While browsing through the fiction section of a local bookstore, I came across Jodi Picoult’s ‘Handle with Care’. After ‘My Sister’s Keeper’, which was adapted as an award winning motion picture, Picoult has given us another brilliant contemporary novel. Similar to her previous work, her new narrative also focuses on an ethical medical dilemma. What intrigued me to pick up this book was the subtitle, which read, “To save your daughter you must tell the world you wish she’d never been born.” As I pondered over the conflicting statement, I walked over to the counter to pay for the book – I ...

Read Full Post

Hercules: Out with the demigods and in with the mortals

Director Brett Ratner, who has previously directed the Rush Hour trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Horrible Bosses, brings Hercules, an action-packed movie with Greek muscles written all over it. Pumping the action in the lead role is former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who is seen clad in leather attire while swinging his swords and clubs at his enemies with Greek conviction. Unlike the Greek mythology, where Hercules is the son of Zeus, the movie doesn’t bode that connection as this time the story is somewhat different. Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) is the leader of the mercenaries and although he is regarded as the demigod son ...

Read Full Post

The Fault in Our Stars: Completely faultless

Based on John Green’s bestselling fiction novel of the same name, The Fault in Our Stars is profoundly a sweet, romantic, sensible, expressive drama expressed with warmth, poignancy and humour. It will definitely inspire you to contemplate and not give in to the grief and misery of your misfortune. The title of both, the book and the movie, has been taken from Shakespeare’s famous play ‘Julius Caesar’ where the character Caesar says, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” It is a heart-wrenching love story of two attractive, quick-witted and lively teenagers with dissimilar types of cancer who share their personal ...

Read Full Post

Today, I make peace with the media

I wrote a blog for this section a few weeks ago, in which I called the independent media, “Inane, unethical, disgusting and disastrous” It was, and still is, a terrible oversight on my part, an unkind act if you will. I do apologise. I was being a schmuck and it took me a while to decide if I should clear the air. I am acerbic and I can be thoughtless and cruel at times. Even though this description – disgusting and so on – holds true in some cases, it certainly doesn’t apply to everyone. Media in Pakistan is under attack from all sides. ...

Read Full Post

The Cuckoo’s Calling: Good under Robert Galbraith, excellent under JK Rowling

The Cuckoo’s Calling by author Robert Galbraith was doing an average business. Since April, 1500 copies had been sold, until it was leaked that the crime novel was actually written by none other than the queen herself, JK Rowling (JKR)! The leak propelled the novel to number one and reprints were ordered. Her fans (including me) was ecstatic and did all that we could to get our hands on The Cuckoo’s Calling. As it turned out, the book didn’t disappoint at all. However, JK Rowling has expressed her anger because she didn’t want her false identity as Robert Galbraith to be leaked to ...

Read Full Post

Inferno: Another addictive read by Dan Brown

With a Bourne Identity meets Dante meets Harris Tweed thriller, Dan Brown is back with a bang with his new novel, Inferno. With it we again meet the erudite Harvard symbolist Robert Langdon. Much was speculated before Inferno hit the shelves, including whether the book would be about Da Vinci’s long lost masterpiece in Florence, but the speculations have now been laid to rest. Warning: some spoiler ahead. Robert Langdon in this story finds himself in a Florence hospital with no recollection of how he got there. He only has a laser pointer that reveals renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli’s depiction of medieval ...

Read Full Post

Spoiler alert: The Casual Vacancy: Rowling shines again

JK Rowling has done it again. Her new novel The Casual Vacancy is a magnificently written piece of literature and one, which will be hotly debated in the coming months. Its language is salacious, its prose is incisive and its delivery is forceful. By writing The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling has made it clear that her range is not limited to writing fantasy novels only. The Casual Vacancy is the story of a little, apparently peaceful, English village of Pagford, whose façade of calm and serenity actually conceals an ongoing war between its inhabitants. The novel begins with the death of ...

Read Full Post

The best thing about an identity crisis

Exactly one year ago, on the very night I wrote this, I remember not being able to sleep. Such nights were common then. I would twist and turn for over five hours, lying in bed until finally, sleep would come. During those waking hours spent in bed I would cry. My anxiety attacks were so severe that I would fear I may die during the sleepless struggle. I knew I was on the precipice of a full-on identity crisis. In retrospect, I wonder now why I never bothered telling any family member or friend what was going on. Maybe, it was because I ...

Read Full Post

Cliches and curry: Writing fiction in Pakistan

As an aspiring novelist, I have found it increasingly important to understand the literary merits of contemporary fiction in Pakistan. This entailed a thorough investigation of genre, themes, stylistic elements and above all, the implementation of creative ideas. The purpose of examining these features is not to understand what standard is expected or what is being read. On the contrary, the intention of this exercise is for novelists to determine how this standard and readership can be diversified through their literary contribution. The challenge I began writing a novel when I was  seventeen. After two years of constant labour, I set the manuscript ...

Read Full Post