Hooray!!! I have completed this challenge hosted by Mizb from http://readerchallenges.blogspot.com/
In Lord of the Rings, the inhabitants of Middle Earth join to save themselves from enslavement by the malevolent Sauron. Centuries before, Sauron forged a Ring, putting much of his power into it, to control through a series of lesser rings, men, dwarves, and elves. Some men fell into his power, but an alliance of men and elves defeated him, and the Ring was cut from his hand. It should have been destroyed, but a human prince, Isildur, took it. Isildur was slain, and the Ring fell into a river. There, the hobbit-like Deagol eventually found it. His friend Sméagol killed Deagol for the Ring. From Sméagol it passed to Bilbo Baggins, who, innocent of its powers and dangers, takes it back to his home and eventually leaves it to his cousin heir……..
I am very pleased with this edition and would heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a single volume edition of The Lord of The Rings.
Tolkien’s combination of storytelling, fantasy, rural landscapes, and even the use of maps, leaves these fictional events and reality in such a blur, that one would think that they actually happened. Although he passed away in seventy-three, his tale (along with the others) will last forever and ever.
The Assistant is the story of a penniless drifter who befriends a poor Jewish grocer and falls in love with the grocer’s daughter, and finds himself on a path toward self-knowledge, moral renewal and ultimately conversion.
This is the first book by Malamud I’ve ever read and I can honestly say i’m not even one bit disappointed. I love the jewish grocer’s dignity and frank’s moral renewal, which though I must mention is almost obsolete in human character and only can be seen in an ideal society.
The American dream is cleverly described in Bernard Malamud’s book, The Assistant. Bober, the main character, is a recent Russian immigrant who is trying to run a grocery store in Brooklyn in the late 1800s. A new grocery store is making him loose costumers, and the store is being supported mostly by his daughters pay checks. Malamund is able to describe the stress and desperation of Bobers’s predicament. Just when Bober considers giving up the business, He meets Frank Alpine. And when Frank crosses paths with Bober, they start to take on a father-son relationship, and the story begins to develop rapidly. The characterization in Malamud¿s work is fantastic. The characters are honestly displayed with both positive and negative aspects. The scene of the story is also interesting. New York at that time was very diverse and unique, and Malamud captures that with his descriptions of the many outdoor scenes where Frank looks deep within his soul. The book puts in perspective the troubles immigrants and new business owners have, and the importance of work ethics and honesty.
I would certainly recommend this book to everybody.
Mohun Biswas (Mr Biswas) is born in rural Trinidad to parents of Indian origin. His birth is considered inauspicious based on details of the labor and a pundit prophesizes the newly born Mr Biswas will “lecher and a spendthrift. Possibly a liar as well”, and further advises that he be “kept away from trees and water. Particularly water”. A few years later, Mohun leads a neighbour’s calf (which he tending) to a pond and whilst Mohun is bathing the calf wanders off. Mohun hides for fear of what the neighbour will say. His father searching for him is told he was last seen at the pond, and fearing the worst dives in the hope of saving him. But his father drowns. This leads to Mr Biswas, his two elder brothers, elder sister, and impoverished mother, Bipti, to take refuge with Bipti’s sister and her wealthy husband, Tara and Ajodha.
Mr Biswas is sent to live with, and train to become, a pundit, but is cast out on bad terms. Ajodha then puts him in the care of his alcoholic and abusive brother Bhandat which also comes to a bad result. Finally, Mr Biswas now becoming a young man decides to set out to make his own fortune. He encounters a friend from his days of attending school who helps him get into the business of sign-writing. While on the job, Mr Biswas attempts to romance a client’s daughter and his advances are misinterpreted as a wedding proposal. He is drawn into a marriage which he does not have the nerve to stop and becomes a member of the Tulsi household.
With the Tulsis, Mr Biswas becomes very unhappy with his wife Shama and her overbearing family. He is usually at odds with the Tulsis and his struggle for economic independence from the oppressive household drives the plot. Despite his poor education, Mr Biswas becomes a journalist, has four children with Shama, and attempts (more than once with varying levels of success) to build a house that he can call his own. He becomes obsessed with the notion of owning his own house and it becomes a symbol of his independence and merit.
A House for Mr. Biswas is such a novel, a depiction of a whole culture, the melted-pottage immigrant world of the Caribbean, with Biswas a synecdoche of post-colonial peoples everywhere. Such novels need to be big, both in their time frame and in number of pages. Don’t expect them to cater to your cultural values or desires for diversion.
Mr Biswas, however, is very entertaining, one of the funniest novels I’ve ever read, and the last in which V.S. Naipaul allowed full freedom for his exuberant sense of humor and the picturesque. If you are too upright to find the poor and alienated a proper subject for satire, you might well find old Biswas more frustrating than touching. If so, I pity you. In this book and in his earlier Trinidadian novels, Naipaul wrote from the inside out, and it was chiefly himself than he was mocking. His later novels, great as some of them are, view their subjects from the outside, from Olympus as it were. Frankly, I think A House for Mr. Biswas is naipaul’s greatest achievement.
In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at New York City in the 1970s. Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth.. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate city and its people. Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of
About this book I have read such great reviews, i think in almost every renowned sites and editorials, even from my friends……alas, this book is just not for me…..
I didn’t like the style of writing. Instead of being a novel, to me, it seemed a collection of random events or thoughts muddled togather tied up with one or two centralized themes. It didn’t really hook me. I found myself drowned in very dense narrative and dialogue crammed with detail, emotions and personalities. Yes, this combination is exactly what serious readers long for–but in this case I felt no real connection. A very time consuming and labor intensive reading experience.
I loved the concept of this book, but just did not and could not get passed the prose it was written in.
Here’s a sample of the writing which, again, just made me glaze over:
“Goodness was more difficult than evil. Evil men knew that more than good men. That’s why they became evil. They’s why it stuck with them. Evil was for those who could never each the truth. It was a mask for stupidity and lack of love…”
The novel was not illustrative for me.