Book Review: KHEL: The Writings by Vishal Goswami

KHEL - The Writings

Book Blurb:

“The abandoned Haveli in Brahmdev, a hill station near Mumbai, is known amongst the local population to be haunted. People keep away from it. A group of youngsters decide to explore it and what follows is a horrifying reality they do not live to relate. Sanya Sharma is an investigative journalist, with a shattered life and a grieving past. Having lost her husband and little daughter within a span of six months, her once perfect life is a distant dream. Depressed, unable to concentrate on work and barely paying attention to her ten-year-old son, she takes help in alcohol and regular visits to her psychiatrist. Her last chance at redemption in a case of mysterious deaths on small hill station. What follows is a series of mysterious, eerie and horrifying events that Sanya cannot understand and finally with the help of a local police inspector turned friend, it draws upon her that the Hannted Haveli is not just small town hocus-pocus but a reality that had turned on her. The evil that she encounters slowly affects everything around her and she knows that it will finally consume her. But why? What were the deep, dark secrets of the Haveli’s past? What was the Nawab family’s past? Who is the old woman haunting her? What are the cards and what is the card game? How is such a horrifying situation merely a game and how is she to play it? Why do the writings on the cards come true and people die? She has to find a way to save herself and her son from the evil and the game of cards that makes everything come true. People around her are dying one by one making her wonder why she is spared. Will she play the final KHEL – The Writings – or will it be the evil that will end the game? “

My Review:

If you are into reading horror and suspense, definitely pick this book up.

This book exceeded all my expectations. I was flipping pages all through and could not guess what would happen next. And the ending? Dayuuummm…did not expect that!

The writer has done an amazing job while narrating the entire plot, not even for a moment can you figure out what will happen next.

This is a very fast paced read, I picked it up and finished it in a day!

Also, since Halloween is coming near, this is the right time to pick this book up!

Get this book via amazon

Review: Anything To Look Hot By Jas Kolhi

Anything to Look Hot

Book Blurb:

When Dr. Jas Kohli started training in plastic surgery twenty years back, he hadn’t imagined that one day he would be exposing the secretive world of plastic surgeons and their clients. Apart from his interest in writing, he also enjoys astronomy, music and bird-watching. Through his writings, he aims to foster a stronger doctor-patient bond.

My Review:

Initially this is a very interesting book, as it covered areas that we usually do not read about. It was great to read about the challenges that the surgeons face during their residency.

The fact that this is not another ‘boy meets girl, falls in love, be in relationship, end of story’ was like a breadth of fresh air.

The story is from a first person narrative. It starts with Dr. Dhruv receiving his medical results and traces his journey towards becoming a successful plastic surgeon. The best part of the book was the way Dr. Dhruv supports his wife. You rarely read about husbands who support their wives in her decision to stay away from him for years!

Coming to the cons, I felt that the story lacked depth. After a while it got a bit repetitive reading about one successful operation after other and minor setbacks in between that were quickly solved.

In conclusion, If you are looking for a light, but interesting read, pick it up!

Halloween – Frankenstein reborn

Guest Post by Suzanne Burdon: Author of Almost Invincible, A Biographical Novel of Mary Shelley

Halloween – ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go  bump in the night. Whatever the early pagan or Christian origins of All Hallows’ Eve, the creatures of the netherworld are now thoroughly celebrated or lampooned, depending on your perspective, on October 31st. These are the creatures of the ‘natural’ world, but on a stormy night in 1816, Mary Shelley conceived a man-made monster that was to capture the imagination of generations and spawn many ‘hideous progeny’.

On All Hallows’ Eve in 1831, the Frankenstein novel that most people read today, was reprinted and published in a one volume popular format instead of the three volumes usual for the time, which gave it an even wider audience. The novel had already had considerable success since it was originally released in 1818 and almost immediately captured the popular imagination. Its fame was boosted by stage adaptations, notably Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein, which played at the Royal Opera House in London in 1823. Mary went to see the production and though she admitted that they had not followed the story closely, she thought it was well done. There were thunderstorms and a collapsing glacier and the monster was so suitably scary that women in the audience fainted.

It is lucky that Mary was not precious about the representation of her work or she would surely be endlessly rotating in her grave. The themes and imagery from the novel have been recast into cartoons, music, plays, comedies, TV series and almost a hundred movies. The most iconic representation was of course Boris Karloff as the monster in the 1931 Hammer Horror movie adaption, with the monobrow and bolts through his neck. Frankenstein’s screen history started in 1910 in the first silent film from Edison studios and continues with new 2015 movie with James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe.

The story has been analysed and intellectualised endlessly, but the common, horror aspect of most incarnations has been the creation of an animated monster by human agency, and the failure to control it thereafter. Victor Frankenstein is a mad scientist who plays God and then refuses to take responsibility for his creation. The vulnerabilities of the characters and the moral and social implications of the original  story are mostly marginalized. The abiding horror is contemplating human vanity and frailty.

Mary Shelley was only eighteen when she started her story and it was composed on a wild and stormy night in mid summer in Lord Byron’s villa on the lake at Geneva.

That year, 1816, was known as The Year Without a Summer. Mount Tambora in Indonesia had erupted spectacularly – it was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history – and Europe was blanketed in dust. People thought the end of the world had come. It was a suitable backdrop to the creation of a gothic story as Byron, Mary and her lover, Percy Bysshe Shelley, her stepsister Claire and Byron’s doctor, Polidori, huddled around the fire reading ghost stories. Byron then threw out the challenge for each of the company to try their hand at the creation of something frightening.

Mary had felt enormous pressure to validate her genes and produce a literary work of value, but until Frankenstein she had struggled to find the right outlet for her creativity. So Mary’s response to the challenge was inevitably more than a simple scary story. Her parents were both radical authors; her mother wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and is considered an early feminist and her father, William Godwin, wrote a groundbreaking anti-establishment book called Political Justice. So writing something that had social meaning was not surprising.

The scientific context of Frankenstein is more unexpected but was a result of her relationship with Shelley, the poet. When she eloped with him, Mary hadn’t realised the depth of his passion for chemical experiments, nor the potentially lethal impact of his obsession on working papers, tabletops or cushion covers, as smoke rose and glasses full of foul-coloured liquid shattered. Wires and crucibles of liquids would appear on the parlour table alongside the solar microscope and the extremely thumbed and stained copy of The Elements of Chemical Philosophy by Humphrey Davy. It didn’t add to their acceptability to landladies, but it did add to her inspiration for the science in Frankenstein.

In the 1931 edition, published on October 31st 1831, Mary added a new preface where she explained the circumstances in which the novel had been conceived. By that time, Shelley was dead and she was largely supporting herself with her writing.

Her other novels were ‘by the Author of Frankenstein’. Frankenstein and his monster have passed into popular culture and show no signs of diminishing impact. Indeed with current forays into gene modification and limb replacement, it is still, potentially, very much a modern horror story.

Review: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

For 2 years, every Thursday, a teacher started teaching works of fiction to her most committed students. Set amidst backdrop of traditional and stringent Islamic Rule in Republic of Iran, these women break laws just to read!

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Honestly, I fell so inquisitive about this book as soon as I heard of it. I just had to get my hands on it, and thanks to kindle, it is easy to do so! 🙂

This book gave a detailed insight into the lives of women in highly traditional countries. What happens when one cannot make even a single decision of your life? You cannot go out without a male chaperone? You cannot talk to people from opposite sex who are not directly related to you? You cannot even decide which books you want to read!

I especially loved how the parallels where showcased between the books in question along with the lives of the students who are reading them. It goes on to show how fiction is more than just stories. How real fiction can stir emotions and sometimes focus on changing lives as well!

Now, I really want to start reading Lolita, and because I obsessed so much about this book, hubby to be got it for me 🙂 so next to read: Lolita!