Stories about novel

Modern Romance: Revolutionising relationships and the internet romance realm

As the yearly calendar enters the blistering heat of July, I find myself contemplating all possible avenues of relief. My list starts off with ice-cold smoothies and ends on clichéd American action films, all to no avail. Ambling in misery, I walk into the local bookstore, skip a few shelves, and end up deciding to cool off this summer with 277 pages of Modern Romance. Aziz Ansari’s acute wit and candour instantly absorbs me — a testing, ardent 21st generation reader. Gone is the trusted, poetic approach to romance, inspired by Rumi’s ageless art of implication, favoured in the contemporary works of writers including Samantha ...

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All the light we cannot see – a novel that blends beauty and pain

The year that produced surreal and absorbing books by American literary titans such as Marilynn Robinson and Joyce Carol Oates, what turned out to be the best read of the year was the brisk and spellbinding World War II novel ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by a relatively obscure author, Anthony Doerr. Doerr’s sprawling and riveting novel has emerged as the astonishing bestselling smash hit of the year. Soon after being published, it was instantly hailed by critics and triumphantly made its place in the best seller lists by storm. It was also chosen as one of the 10 best ...

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Risks of writing an authentic book in Karachi

I’ve been writing since I was in my mother’s womb. According to her, I never kicked – but she felt constant scribbling on her tummy. I probably came out of her holding a novel called My Nine Months in the Womb by Saba Khalid, which she probably threw away because it was too graphic for her Jamaat-e-Islami sensibilities. While girls were playing with Barbies, I was busy picking up my favourite books, cutting out the author’s name, putting my own name instead and then pretending to be the centre of attention of my very extravagant book party! By the age of eight, I had written ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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. ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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