11 May 2012

Come September 2011

Scimitar by Peter Nieswand (thriller). It's always interesting these days to read a book written in the 1980s. The Afghan mujahideen were the good guys then, and the Russians were unadulterated villains. The protagonist in the book keeps turning out to be an unmitigated creep. Still, some good points, though avoidable overall, unless you  want to specifically read an 80s book.

The Secret of the Nagas by Amish (myth/fantasy). I loved the first book in this series, The Immortals of Meluha, despite its sometimes too-modern dialogue. This one goes smoother. The book introduces Sanskrit/Hindi words in italics, and, within the next line or two, their meaning in English, also italicised (for dummies). It gets a bit annoying (gee, it's for dummies!) but is probably greatly useful for people who don't know the words. I loved this book too, and am bouncing and screaming for the next (and last) one. For less than Rs 500, you can get both books. Paisa wasool, these books are worth every paisa.

High Citadel by Desmond Bagley (thriller). An excellent light read from the 70s. If you like stories in which medieval weapons turn the tide, also try Mother of Demons by Eric Flint (science fiction).

The Quick and the Dead by Louis L'Amour (western). My son asked me if the book came first or the movie. Heh! A very typical Louis L'Amour book. The good guys win; the Indians are not evil, just different. Rating: Good

The Thomas Berryman Number by James Patterson (thriller). It's weird to realise James Patterson was writing bestsellers in 1976. What a different style he had. I'm also beginning to notice style differences between decades. Books in a certain decade have similar writing styles, even among widely-different writers. Rating: Good

Down the Long Hills by Louis L'Amour. A young boy takes a young girl across the plains of the old West (USA) after their wagon train is massacred. Villains get after them, while the boy's father hunts for him equally desperately. Sweet story, happy ending. Rating: Very good.

Risk by Dick Francis (thriller). One of his better ones, and the hero is a chartered accountant. This was the book that made me feel CAs were not boring; something for which I am very grateful now. Rating: excellent.

Reign in Hell by William Diehl (thriller). After a bit, I realised this was the middle book in a series. Lawyer Martin Vail tries to bring down a parallel government/militia in the USA, under direct orders from the General (Attorney General, ha!), and mixes up with his old nemesis, the evil mass-murderer Aaron Stampler. Rating: Good.

Stone Cold by David Baldacci (thriller). The third in the series, and equally good. Rating: Very Good.

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