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Showing posts from October, 2016

Does the thickness of books scare you ?

I swear I'm not being diplomatic about this, but the answer to that is 'It Depends. Smiley versus Karla trilogyhad me in raptures; I nearly cried (with misery) when I got sent the original version of David Copperfield. Both were bricks; and much as I love Dickens, there is something daunting about a thickset copy with font 8 on a Times New Roman (or something similar).

Thick books (strictly excluding text books) are usually fun. Look at A Suitable Boy; I bought it five years back and I'm still ploughing through. I haven't had the time to finish it or get bored of it (but then I'm a serial book-shifter*). And then there is The Old Man and the Sea; it is a pamphlet of a book, and I haven't (or rather couldn't) finished that either. So it depends on the content of the writing. I'm not saying family sagas are more fun or intellectually more stimulating than, well, an old man fishing in the sea, but somehow, the lack of activity in the latter seemed to dead…

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

When I was at school, our English reader used to feature some very interesting pieces; some of them used to be two pager snippets of larger novels. These stories - meant for an extremely drab educational purposes - ranged from an excerpt about a young boy nearing suffocation in a box in which he was kidnapped, to a dying rhino amidst a group of poachers, and a marvellous hidden national treasure which, in the middle of being robbed, set off the alarm by way of tinkling bells. I eventually read the complete works, having borrowed them from an English teacher who used to reside in the apartment below ours. One piece of work though, had been haunting me ever since I had read it way back in the year 2002. The story was titled 'The Boots of Kemmerich' and I can most vividly recall the pain in the words. Ever since then, I had been looking out for All Quiet on the Western Front, and it wasn't until 14 years later, that I got round to read it. And it feels just the same. 
This i…