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Life And Times Of Michael K- J.M. Coetzee


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Author: J.M.Coetzee

ISBN No.:9780099479154

No. Of Pages: 184 Pages

My Rating: 4/5

Life And Times Of Michael K is a novel by South African writer J.M. Coetzee. The book was extolled in 1983 when it bagged the title of the prestigious Man Booker Prize. Another Jewel was brought to the book when Coetzee was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003.

As the novel opens we learn about the protagonist’s (Michael k) deformity of a hare lip. His mother doesn’t allow him to play with the other boys of the society because of his aberrancy. Thus, we learn about his solitude life since childhood. In order to support his mother financially, he starts working as a Gardener. A war riot breaks out in the city and Michael decides to quit his job in order to fulfill his mother’s wish of taking her to her birth place: Prince Albert. On the way of their hard and tough journey, she dies in a hospital at Stellenbosch. She ironically dies without seeing her birthplace. Rest of the novel is all about the descriptions of the remaining journey of Michael without his mother and about all the endeavors he uses to gain supremacy over his calamitous fortune.

This is a novel which will compel you to ruminate hard about the price of human life on earth. I enjoyed reading the same as the theme on which the novel was written was entirely new for me and I always extol innovation in my reading life. I recommend it as the story will hammer you heart and will let you conceptualize the darkside of life. I rate it 4/5.

Here is the original review from the book. Hope it helps.

“In a South Africa torn by civil war, Michael K sets out to take his mother back to her rural home. On the way there she dies, leaving him alone in an anarchic world of brutal roving armies. Imprisoned, Michael is unable to bear confinement and escapes, determined to live with dignity. Life and Times of Michael K goes to the center of human experience – the need for an interior, spiritual life, for some connections to the world in which we live, and for purity of vision.”

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Life Of Pi – Yann Martel


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Author : Yann Martel

ISBN No : 9780857865533

No. Of Pages: 352

My Rating: 4/5

I had bought “Life Of Pi” way back in 2010 seeing that it has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize but the other books in my stock kept me swamped until I saw the movie posters of the same book which said, “One Boy, One Boat, One Tiger…” and it was that line and hype that compelled me give this book a priority.

“Life Of Pi” is a fable of a Tamil boy named ‘Pi”. His father owns a zoo in Pondicherry (India) but due to some happenstance their family decides to migrate to Canada. Many birds and animals of their zoo also travel with them on the same ship. During the voyage, a nocturnal hurricane gain supremacy over the ship and leave Pi as the only human survivor. He finds himself on a life boat with a hyena, a zebra (with one leg broken), a female Orang-utan and 450 Pound Bengal tiger named, Richard Parker. The rest of the pages of the book tells about the struggle and adventure, hunger and hope, loneliness and belief & defeat and determination. Pi, who explores the deep affairs of spirituality in his early age helps him in his exertion and endeavour.

I really loved the book as the book circumnavigates around elements like desire, belief, motivation, hope, expectation, determination, God, nature, invisible forces etc. Some people say that the ending was not good but according to my notion it was exquisite. I completed the book in 3 days. I rate it 4/5.

Some more Information about the book-The novel, which has sold over ten million copies worldwide was rejected by at least five London Publishing houses before being accepted by Knopf Canada, which published in September 2001. The UK edition won the Man Booker Prize the following year. It was also chosen for CBC Radio’s Canada Reads 2003 where it was championed by author Nancy Lee. The French translation was chosen in the French version of the contest, Le Combat Des Livres, where it was championed by Louise Forestier. The novel won 2003 the Man Booker Prize, a South African novel award. In 2004, it won the Asian/Pacific American award for literature in Best adult fiction for years 2001-2003. In 2012, it was adapted into a theatrical feature film directed by Anglee and Screen play by David Magee. (Source: Wikipedia)

Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho


Eleven Minutes

Author: Paulo Coelho

ISBN: 9788172235635

No. Of Pages: 304 Pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

Eleven Minutes is the most contentious work by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. The story Circumnavigates around juvenile Brazilian girl, Maria who dwells with her parents in a remote hamlet. After a calamitous poignant episode in her life, she focuses her.

mind that she’ll never find a true mate in her life. Later in her life, she decides to explore the world and thus sojourn life in Switzerland. As a nightclub dancer she starts making earning money but ironically she starts running out of money after she gets fired from the bar. Initially told that she would be an actress she ends up is a profession of prostitution.

As a whore, she gains success. She masters her mind and body as how to gain supremacy over her clients. But one day her  success is scrutinized by a painter with whom she falls in love. He explains Maria about the taboo relationship between love and sex through various examples. Here, I specially admire Paulo Coelho who embellished the story with a statement ie. “Sex is like a glass of overflowing wine. It means that sex is just an expression of overflowing feelings of love and gratitude for  the other person. You are so full that you want to share with others and the most basic instrument for sharing these overwhelming feelings is your own body.” Another statement which I encountered while reading an interview of the author, “By accepting that sex is a physical manifestation of God, a love and that it is not a sin – its a blessing. And then by understanding that except for two things that I consider to be really sick – rape and pedophilia –  You are free to be creative. Its up to you how you do it. Sex was always surrounded by taboos, and I don’t see it necessarily as a manifestation of evil. I think sexuality is the first and foremost the way that God chooses for us to be here on earth, to enjoy this energy of love in the physical plane.” (The latter statement, you won’t find in the book as I encountered it while reading an interview of the author.)

Eleven minutes is all about taboo topics such as love, sex, prostitution and masturbation. What all I can say is that the book is an honest endeavour by the author. It is a book that will compel you to ruminate deep about these taboo cum sensitive topics. The only thing which I didn’t like was that it was over stretched, could have been some pages less but don’t worry you’ll enjoy, if you love reading.

Published in 2003 by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho the book gives many ways through which sex can be perceived. The book was originally published in Portuguese and was extolled highly by the world public. My edition had 275 pages and it took me 8 days to complete the work. I too praise it thus rate it 4/5.

I hope you enjoyed reading the recapitulation of Eleven Minutes. Moreover, below, I have also wrote the summary of the same, which was printed on the original book. Hope it helps. Take care. Lots Of love.

“Eleven Minutes tells the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heart-broken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that ‘Love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer…’ A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune yet  ends up working as a prostitute. In Geneva, Maria drifts further and further away from love while at the same time developing a fascination with sex. Eventually, Maria’s despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In the odyssey of self discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness, sexual pleasure for its own sake, or risking everything to find her own “inner light” and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in context of  love. In this gripping and daring novel, Paulo Coelho sensitively explores the sacred nature of sex and love and invites us to confront our own prejudice and demons and embrace our own inner light.”

The Sense Of An Ending- Julian Barnes


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Author : Julian Barnes

ISBN : 9780099570332

No. Of Pages: 150 Pages

My Rating: 4/5

The Sense Of An Ending is a 2011 fictitious work by British author Julian Barnes. The book, though very short is divided into two parts; entitled “One” & ‘Two”. The first part tells the story of four friends; Tony Webster, Alex, Colin which are later joined by Adrian. The first part is basically a re assemblage of the narrator, Tony Webster’s adolescence and college life. Adrian Finch is described more inclined and intelligent towards life, expected to win a scholarship and attain stability. The first part also informs us about Adrian love life with a girl named Veronica who was his (Tony) girlfriend when he was in college. The second part begins 40 years later when Tony receives a letter from Veronica’s mother’s lawyer. It informs Tony about Finch’s diary who committed suicide while he was in a relationship with his exgirlfriend Veronica.

After reading The Sense Of An Ending, I kept ruminating hard about the whole story and it really impressed me to the core. I felt like I need to share what treasure I have read. So, I posted a status on facebook which I would like to share here too. So here it is:

“Many books are good, some are appreciable but only few books are pulchritudinously sublime, and The Sense Of An Ending is among those exiguous works. The book won The Man Booker Prize in 2011 and is authored by Julian Barnes.
Here are some quotes from the book:

1. History is certainly produced at a point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.

2. The thing Literature was all about: love, sex, morality, friendship, happiness, suffering, betrayal, adultery, good and evil, heroes and villains, guilt and innocence, ambition, power, justice, revolution, war, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the individual against society, success and failure, murder, suicide, death, God. And barn owls. Of course there were other source of Literature; theoretical, self referential, lachrymosely autobiographical but they were just dry wanks. Real Literature was all about psychological, emotional and social truth as demonstrated by the actions and reflections of its protagonists.

3. We live in time, it holds us and moulds us but I have never felt I understood it very well.

4. What you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.

5. Life will teach you reality and realism.

6. Marriage is long dull meal with pudding served first.

7. There was, apparently, some secret masculine code, handed down from suave twenty year old to tremulous eighteen year old.

8. Same old story,same old oscillation between tyranny and rebellion, war and peace, prosperity and impoverishment.

9. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time’s malleability”

“The narration of the story is the Jewel of the book”, is what all I can say and conclude about this splendid work.

I hope you enjoyed reading the recapitulation of The Sense Of An Ending. Moreover, below, I have also wrote the summary of the same, which was printed on the original book. Hope it helps. Take care. Lots Of love. Harshit Chauhan.

“Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.”

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