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Showing posts from February, 2016

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

As one of my colleagues put it, short stories are tough. I agree, to an extent. And when it comes to the near-psychedelic themes of the brilliant Neil Gaiman, I agree completely. 
Trigger Warning is a collection of short stories (and sometimes poems) ranging from a couple of pages to a couple of dozen. The premises are varied, mostly fantastical, and some are outright brilliant. While they are not yet as eccentric and macabre as Roald Dahl's ones (of which I am a huge fan), they read well enough. There are a couple of spin-offs of old fairy tales, a Doctor Who story and an extended universe of sorts of American Gods among others. (The last one was my favourite). 
One way or another, the stories serve their purpose of tickling your curiosity. Some like Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains or My Last Landlady seem definitive enough - which, consequently doesn't make you think too much - others, like A Lunar Labyrinth end the typical short-story way, with any number of possibil…

Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller

Well, this was depressing. I get all the iconic status and the associated jazz, but seriously, I was sad once I was done. I was sad even before I was done. It started barely ten pages in. Sometimes, reading classics can be quite a task. 
Death of A Salesman covers the last few days of a travelling salesman Willy Loman and his  struggle to reconcile with his unfulfilled expectations, which, are never-ending. His career is flickering, his family - in his eyes - is strangely out of shape and his rigid, core beliefs seem to be crumbling, and with them, his very soul seems to be ebbing away. He is supported by his painfully loyal wife Linda Loman, and his two sons - Happy, who as the moniker suggests, is barely aware of the consequences in his gaeity, and Biff, who appears to be the only family member with some brains and conscience, but is sadly, between jobs and figuring out life for himself. There is something pathetic about Willy, in his misguided self-assuredness and the debt he owed …