Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Shogun - James Clavell

First of all this is probably the biggest book I have ever read. I found it in my usual place, the second hand bookshop. And fortunately it caught my attention. Although at the beginning I had doubts whether I made a mistake of buying it because it was a little slow paced. But soon the pace picked up and I was total captivated by the story of English naval pilot Blackthorne who get stranded in medieval Japan with some of his shipmates.

Clavell depicts a medieval Japan with great details. The main characters Blackthorne, Toranaga, Omi, Mariko & Yabu are characterized with loving detail. The transformation of barbarian Blackthorne, who is self centered & with filthy habits to a person of intelligence who can appreciate beauty & who will stand up to himself. He becomes a person the samurais respect & he understands Japan’s philosophy of life is totally different from his culture. He falls in love with a Mariko & he liege lord Toranaga covets Blackthorne’s knowledge of warfare & guns.

Toranaga makes friends with Blackthorne. Although the war lord does not hesitate to manipulate people aound him, including Blackthorne & Mariko. The title of the novel Shogun means Supreme Military Dictator. Toranaga aspires to become the Shogun. But many other province rulers lead by Lord Ishido violently oppose him. But Toranaga cunningly make pacts with some of his rivals & scarifies some of associates & people under him to get to his target.

It is a wonderful historical novel with more accuracy in details than usual in that genre although it is not historically accurate.

It is a good book which will delight the reader & educate him about the Japanese culture & way of their thinking.


Reviews on Amazon

Shogun- Movie

Friday, January 06, 2006


The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum

Robert Ludlum is one of my favorite authors. I can’t remember which book I read first, but I think it is Bourne Identity. I did it before the movie came & I liked the novel more than the movie (movie is good, but book has more details & it’s a bit different story). This is story about a man with amnesia (he doesn’t remember the past). He is rescued by a group of fishermen who takes him to a shady doctor. Doctor revives him & he begins his quest for his identity. He finds out that he has quite a lot of money in a Swiss account. From the bank he gets to know he is one Jason Bourne. And the problems start to escalate from that point onwards.

Jason Bourne is supposed to be an infamous assassin for hire. Interpol & many security agencies are after him. But the main threat is that the Carlos the Jackal is also wants him dead. With no one to help him he gets a Canadian diplomat to help him. With her knowledge & his skills he uncovers a plot which involves a top secret American organization & Carlos. The plot is quite good and the pace is maintained quite well. The main character is hunted by good guys as well as bad guys. And his inability to identify the good guys from bad guys makes it a riveting read. Although I think it is a quite a good book, the sequels to this one ( Bourne Supremacy & Bourne Ultimatum) is better since they have more action & less baggage. Anyway this is a good novel from a master thriller writer.


Bourne Identity - The Movie
Book @ Amazon

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Cry Once Alone - E.V. Thompson

This is an old book, which was written in 1984. I read it first time around 1997, when I was in school. I liked it very much & bought it from a second hand bookshop. It is a historic adventure, set in the wild, lawless republic of Texas in the 1830s. Where, the settlers have to battle with the nature & red Indians. It portraits the difficulties faced by the both sides. An Englishman Adam Rashleigh joins a group of Irish settlers to gather information about the newly independent Texas. There he meets Frontiersman Eli Varne, who leads the settlers to their lands. Two of them become good friends & they have wild & exciting adventures. They battle red Indians, befriend red Indians & battle with rogue Texans. And Adam falls in love with a Cherokee girl & marries her.

But with the massacre of red Indians he looses his pregnant wife & her whole family. When red Indians retaliate & kill the crippled son of a wealthy Mexican landlord who Adams was fond of he joins Eli to battle the Red Indians. By that time Eli’s wife is also been killed by the Indians. It is a good western novel. Although not a classic, it keeps the reader well entertained with action, jokes & tragedy. All though this is one of my all time favorite books unfortunately I have not been able find any more books of EV Thompson. May be I will get lucky someday.


Fantastic Fiction - EV Thompson


Redemption of Althalus by David & Leigh Eddings

Althalus is a thief whose uncanny good luck has suddenly left him. He is ready for any job & quite an easy one comes along his way. Or he thinks it is an easy one. Althalus has to steal a book from the house at the end of the world. But the problem is some far more powerful people are also interested in the same book. Actually two of them are Gods! And they are brother & sister. But while brother want it to change the world to his likening (and his likes are decidedly unpleasant), Dweia (sister) want to protect the book (which is written by their elder brother) & the world from her sibling.

Althalus is captured in the house by Dweia & she trains him for the mission, Namely the epic struggle between the three gods--of creation, fecundity, and destruction. Although trained by a God Althalus remains a thief. He cheats, lie & steal to accomplish his noble mission. But at first he has to assemble a crew with widely differing abilities under the guidance of Dweia.

Husband & wife team of David & Leigh Eddings create a fascinating world, where Gods take an active part in the proceeding in the mortal world. Where they use humans for their purposes without any moral restrains. Although the novel spans thousand of years and sometimes the plot is bit hurried & feels lightweight it is quite a witty & interesting read. Redemption of Althalus was the first novel I read from Eddings couple, which I borrowed from British Council. And since I like their style of writing so much I bought “ Polgara the Sorceress” last week along with Terry Pratchett’s “Feet of Clay”. Still haven’t finished reading it yet (In fact just startrd to read it). So after I finished it I’ll say what I think about it.

Other's on Redemption of Althalus:

My Previous Post on Me & My Thoughts

Barnes and Nobel

Science Finction & Fantasy World.com


Pandora's Star - Peter F Hamilton

First of all this is a massive book. I haven’t read a book of Peter Hamilton. This was the first. The story begins with the first human landings on the Mars. Although it should have been a monumental achievement for NASA they get the rug pulled away from their legs. Two young, cocky scientists develop a wormhole technology which makes space travel redundant. They use it to travel to Mars before the NASA group on the same day. Needless to say that NASA crew was less than enthusiastic about the new invention. Anyway inevitably wormhole technology brings an end to space travel as we know.

And with the life extension technology which guarantees a virtual immortality these two inventors change the whole human life as we know it.

By 24th century, where the story mainly unfolds, humans have colonized many star systems & encountered several alien species. Although, most of them are not advanced as humans. But then astronomer Dudley Bose witnesses a seemingly impossible envelopment of the Dyson Alpha planetary system by some kind of artificial shielding system, an event repeated at the sister star Dyson Beta. Since this points to a hugely advanced civilization beyond human capability, they launch a spaceship towards the Dyson star system. The interstellar ship is captained by the same Wilson Klime, who piloted the first Mars landing. From this comes the title of the novel. In wanting to know whether this unknown civilization represents threat or opportunity, the mission unwittingly unleashes, as the title suggests, a catastrophic series of events. The only question remaining is who is responsible?

But bear in mind this is not simple as it looks. There are multiple plot lines with so many characters, events in this massive sci-fi novel. And this is just the beginning. The second part of this novel is “Judas Unchanged”. So at the end of “Pandora’s Star”, nothing is revealed. All the plotlines are unfinished. But it is not boring. Although some times you wish there were less description, the constant action & the differing plotlines kept me entertained until the end. The one downside is when I get to read “Judas Unleashed”, I may have to read “Pandora’s Star” again to get myself updated on those plot lines. But I guess that there would be sort of a summary in the beginning of the second part. It would be interesting to see how he summarizes such a huge & complicating like this novel to a few pages.

Others on Pandora's Star:

Barnes and Noble.com


Monday, January 02, 2006


Feet of Clay

Let's start with a Discworld Novel. I came across them at British Council. And after reading all the available books of the series I was searching for them at many book stores. Finally I found them & bought Feet of Clay. As most of the Discworld series it is centered on Ankh-Morpork & its inhabitants. There has been a murder in Ankh-Morpork, infact three murders! Readers who are familiar with City of Ankh-Morpork will undoubtedly know that this is no big deal.

Actually it is almost a daily happening since Assassins literally have the license to kill. But these are quite different from Assassin’s work. And Watch Commander Sir Sam Vimes is worried. Mindless but tirelessly industrious Golems are getting targeted because of the tracks of white clay found at the murder sites. As usual the highly placed inhabitants are trying to force their own agendas in these troubled times. Such as try to find a successor for the leader of Ankh-Morpork Lord Vetinari, who is bed ridden because of a suspected assassination attempt. Vimes have to solve all these puzzles & tangles before they disrupt the every day life of the city.

It is quite an interesting read. Although it may not as funny as some of the other discworld novels it has good plot line & a mystery angel. With several clues to solve the mysteries & few red herrings thrown in to it “Feet of Clay” keeps the reader entertained until the very end. It shows that Terry Pratchett is also a good novelist as well as a brilliant humorist.


Not Another Review

Who would have thought it? Now I have two blogs. 7 months back I had none. My first one Me & My Thoughts is going well. I make sure I regularly update it. I posted whatever I liked. Movies, Books, Sports, Jokes & Rants. But since I read books & watch movies whenever I get free time ( that means I usually fall asleep with a book or on my chair) I thought having a separate blog for them might be a good idea.
Here I plan to post my thoughts about the books I read & movies I watch. And the games I play ( since I'm getting a new PC by end of this month, there will be plenty of them too).

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