Holiday Books

Books I read during the hols (heavy spoilers, if anything can spoil these books!)*:

The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood

Atwood is as good as ever – I got hooked to her when I read the Handmaid’s Tale, continued it with Alias Grace, and so when I saw this one at the Kochi Airport book store (lovely airport, btb), I really couldn’t resist it. The Penelopiad re-tells the myth of Penelope (the wife of Ulysses, supposed to be the epitome of a good and faithful wife) in Penelope’s voice (I love where she says something to the effect of “… if only I’d known that I would be used as a brick to beat generations of women over the head with…”). The lovely part of the book is that Penelope’s version of events is complemented by a chorus of her twelve maids (whom Ulysses kills), who pretty much turn the story on its head by supplying rumour and speculation on what actually happened.


The Complete Short Works of Evelyn Waugh

I bought this one more than five years ago at the Strand Book Sale in Bombay – a lovely hard-bound copy. Read bits and pieces here and there, but only now sat and read the whole thing through. Absolutely killing humour – the kind that slides a knife in before you even know what happened and all of a sudden you have a stitch in your side. And reading story after story in the collection just gave me a chance to appreciate and savour similarities, differences – you know?


The Short Stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The author of Sherlock Holmes also wrote a lot of other stuff. He’s famous, of course, for all the science fiction-y and horror stories that he wrote, but he’s also written some fantastic tales of pirates and robbers, of unknown lands and strange phenomena – a delightfully imaginative mix of fact, fantasy and fiction.

Lovely in small doses.

One night at a Call Center, Chetan Bhagat

I didn’t like the first one, and I liked this one even less. Clumsy prose, a plot that falls all over itself, the few-and-far-between moments of insight into the characters are the only reason to even pick up this book. On second thoughts, there aren’t enough of those to make it worth the effort.

Junk it.

*The last one only because there’s nothing there to spoil


5 Responses

  1. i’ll tell you one book of conan doyle’s that you MUST read- if you can lay your hands on it. i found it in the british library a long, long time ago, and have never found it anywhere since, nor met anyone who has read it! it’s called the adventures of brigadier gerard, i think, something to do with brigadier gerard,anyway, and it’s hilarious! awesome stuff!

  2. “The exploits of Brigadier Gerard”? Yes, oh yes!

  3. you read it!!! oh, i LIKE you!

  4. #1: Sounds interesting, but only after I read Ulysses which is lying neglected since I bought it a year ago at a sale.

    #3: Considering how much I love reading the adventures of Sherlock Holmes over and over again, I guess I really should try this one out.

    #4: You managed to read the entire thing? Masochist!

  5. Ulysses is not about the Ulysses myth, you know?

    As for #4, I was on a flight – what can I say?

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