Stories about review

Dan Brown: A disappointing one-hit wonder

“The Da Vinci Code” hit book shelves in 2003, and went on to become the best-selling English language novel of the 21st century. Very few books dig down into the roots of history, challenge your beliefs and provide food for thought; this one did. Besides igniting some ferocious controversies and becoming a global phenomenon, the book established its author, Dan Brown, as a talent to watch. However, Brown’s next books have failed to live up to the standards that he himself modeled. There’s a blatant sense of repetition and a tone of monotony easily palpable in his novels that followed. Take ...

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Taking the Nokia N8 for a spin

Nokia has been promising to deliver the goods in terms of a ‘sexy’ high-end Smartphone for some time now and a lot of Nokia fans (you can throw a stone in any direction and likely hit a few ‘Nokians’ in Pakistan) have their hopes set on the N8, which is going to be available via Ufone (and reportedly one can pre-book a set as of now) in the local market at a figure of roughly Rs40,000. I’ve had the pleasure of playing around with this phone during an N8 pre-launch event in Dubai, so let’s take a look at what ...

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The Matrix versus Inception: Dreaming of reality

The Matrix versus Inception – our table stood divided at two all. The waitress was the deciding vote. Which would she choose? I handed her the tip, whispering Matrix, Matrix, Matrix, under my breath. “Inception. No doubt about it,” she answered. Considering the decade that has spanned between the films, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Matrix is a sci-fi film from a different generation to Inception and therefore incomparable, but you’d be wrong. Indeed when writer and director of the film Christopher Nolan was asked in a recent LA Times article whether or not Inception would be another second-life film akin to ...

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Faraz Haider’s Andher: Hits and misses

Faraz Haider derives his musical inspiration from life, be it human emotions or current affairs. His debut album Andher reflects this, as most of the songs on the album have been composed by him and the relation of the artist to his lyrics lends them honesty – as if he is relating real life experiences. As soon as I popped the CD into the disc drive and hit the play button, I was greeted with an Audioslave inspired rock intro. Faraz Haider’s classic rock-esque wails and croons in the title track Andher are disappointing; the music and angry-guy lyrics are predictable ...

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Let there be laughter

One of the many parallels to the chaos theory demonstrate how, even when everything goes terribly wrong, the result can be inherently ‘right’…for reasons that defy explanation. Such was the packed audience’s reaction to Production Illusion’s farce titled ‘Noises Off’ that opened at Al-hamra on August 5, 2010. The play was written by English playwright Michael Frayn in 1982, after he contemplated the nature of ‘backstage’ drama. According to the playwright, “It was funnier from behind than in front and I thought that one day I must write a farce from behind.” Noises Off, thereby is a play within a play ...

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Taqwacore: rise of the Muslim punks

I discovered Michael Muhammad Knight while searching for some obscure punk bands on the internet. Clicking through different portals, spam pages and search engines I ended up on a page that stated The Taqwacores, with a drawing of a bearded man with a Mohawk sitting in the jalsa position saying his prayers. Muslim punks was a term I never thought I’d hear, but here it was, a fictitious manifesto depicting a person caught between rebellion and Islam, choosing both. I got hold of the book and went through it within a day. The book is written well enough to keep you ...

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Book review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Author: Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen ISBN: 978-1-59474-334-4 Genre: Comedy, Parody, Classical Fiction Rating: 7/10 Outline: The story is set in Hertfordshire, wherein reside the Bennets, a family of five daughters, highly skilled in the ninja arts; their mother, highly anxious to marry them off; and their sardonic and amusing father.  Hertfordshire is, like the rest of England, currently overrun with hordes of the Undead, and the classic countryside atmosphere of the novel is punctuated with references to zombie massacres and carnage. Mrs Bennet’s matrimonial hopes for her daughters are excited when two young and eminently battleworthy men move ...

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How do such headlines get through?

What should I make of the following headline in Dawn, Images, June 27 for a movie review on The A-Team? Their regular reviewer (he seems to be writing for a number of years, though mostly forgettable reviews) Mohammad Kamran Jawaid wrote the piece, and I am assuming that he gave the headline which is: Man-on-man action and explosions (Incidentally, Mr Jawaid’s movie reviews invariably have a ‘Second opinion’ by someone by the name of Farheen Jawaid – and even if the two aren’t related I wonder why would you need a ‘second opinion’ to a movie reviews, especially by someone not very well known). Now ...

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Milan Kundera: high peaks, deep chasm

Who’d have expected an author’s fortunes in Hardywood to fluctuate so much with a single novel-screening? In the past, popular authors have been dumped unceremoniously, but has there ever been an author who, in a single novel-screening, has impressed the viewers greatly, and then, only a few hundred or so pages later been discarded with unspeakable disgust? Indeed a high peak, and then a deep chasm. Milan Kundera’s novel “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting” was the first translation screening in Hardywood; in that sense, his debut was historic: Hardywood has always been hesitant in allowing translated novels, believing that in ...

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