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<b>FICTION </b><br><br><b>Where the Serpent Lives </b><br><br><b>By Ruth Padel </b><br><br><b>Hachette </b><br><br><b>308 pages, Rs 595 </b><br><br>London, the West of England, rural Karnataka, and Bengal are the settings in Padel's debut novel, which follows herpetologist Richard as he tries to study snakes in India, and confused Rosamund, Richard's best friend's wife, (and his secret love object). Rosamund worries about the ways of her philandering rock music producer husband Tyler. Their son has a burgeoning cannabis habit that leads him to imagine an invisible friend: a serpent called Ka. Animal metaphors and similes spangle Padel's highlycoloured prose, and if the novel lacks, it isn't in pace or narrative. Her best writing is reserved for animals.

Quick Review

July 10, 2010


FICTION

Where the Serpent Lives

By Ruth Padel

Hachette

308 pages, Rs 595

London, the West of England, rural Karnataka, and Bengal are the settings in Padel's debut novel, which follows herpetologist Richard as he tries to study snakes in India, and confused Rosamund, Richard's best friend's wife, (and his secret love object). Rosamund worries about the ways of her philandering rock music producer husband Tyler. Their son has a burgeoning cannabis habit that leads him to imagine an invisible friend: a serpent called Ka. Animal metaphors and similes spangle Padel's highlycoloured prose, and if the novel lacks, it isn't in pace or narrative. Her best writing is reserved for animals.

<b>THRILLER </b><br><br><b>The Chosen One </b><br><br><b>By Sam Bourne </b><br><br><b>HarperCollins </b><br><br><b>437 pages, Rs 250 </b><br><br>Are you the sort of person who enjoys reading thrillers without trying to rationalise? If so, The Chosen One could be a good choice. Maggie Costello, a political adviser, works for a US president she truly admires. That continues to be the case till scandals come tumbling out. The president seems fallible all of a sudden, following which the mastermind behind the revelations is found dead. What is going on? Bourne tells the story in a way you have read many times before. That being the case, do you wish to read it? If you are a Bourne fan, go ahead.

Quick Review

July 10, 2010


THRILLER

The Chosen One

By Sam Bourne

HarperCollins

437 pages, Rs 250

Are you the sort of person who enjoys reading thrillers without trying to rationalise? If so, The Chosen One could be a good choice. Maggie Costello, a political adviser, works for a US president she truly admires. That continues to be the case till scandals come tumbling out. The president seems fallible all of a sudden, following which the mastermind behind the revelations is found dead. What is going on? Bourne tells the story in a way you have read many times before. That being the case, do you wish to read it? If you are a Bourne fan, go ahead.

<b>SCIENCE FICTION </b><br><br><b>Kraken </b><br><br><b>By China Mieville </b><br><br><b>Macmillan </b><br><br><b>481 pages, £ 5. 99 </b><br><br>Mieville delivers as only he can, serving up a Lovecraftian tale of a London populated by cults, inhuman assassins, unsavoury magic users - and at the centre of it all, a giant squid that might just be a god heralding the apocalypse. The plot is as confusing as it sounds, but Mieville's strength has always been the hypnotic cadence of his writing. And he serves up a generous helping of that with a creeping surrealism nibbling at the edges of the deceptive normalcy of the book's beginning, until the reader is as bewildered as the protagonist - but in a good way.

Quick Review

July 10, 2010


SCIENCE FICTION

Kraken

By China Mieville

Macmillan

481 pages, £ 5. 99

Mieville delivers as only he can, serving up a Lovecraftian tale of a London populated by cults, inhuman assassins, unsavoury magic users - and at the centre of it all, a giant squid that might just be a god heralding the apocalypse. The plot is as confusing as it sounds, but Mieville's strength has always been the hypnotic cadence of his writing. And he serves up a generous helping of that with a creeping surrealism nibbling at the edges of the deceptive normalcy of the book's beginning, until the reader is as bewildered as the protagonist - but in a good way.

<b>FICTION </b><br><br><b>The Sacred Grove </b><br><br><b>By Daman Singh </b><br><br><b>HarperCollins </b><br><br><b>237 pages, Rs 250 </b><br><br>Growing up in a strange world can be tough. And Daman Singh's novel, The Secret Grove, makes one relive those confusing pre-teen days. The novel tells the story of Ashwin, a 12-year old boy with a pregnant mother and an overbearing father, and his dreams of cricket stardom. But his aspirations come under attack as riot erupts in his quiet town. Faced with his conflicting values, Ashu takes responsibility for his own life. Neatly crafted and occasionally funny, Singh's writing has a childlike honesty that endears. If you are feeling nostalgic about your adolescence, this is a book to grab.

Quick Review

July 10, 2010


FICTION

The Sacred Grove

By Daman Singh

HarperCollins

237 pages, Rs 250

Growing up in a strange world can be tough. And Daman Singh's novel, The Secret Grove, makes one relive those confusing pre-teen days. The novel tells the story of Ashwin, a 12-year old boy with a pregnant mother and an overbearing father, and his dreams of cricket stardom. But his aspirations come under attack as riot erupts in his quiet town. Faced with his conflicting values, Ashu takes responsibility for his own life. Neatly crafted and occasionally funny, Singh's writing has a childlike honesty that endears. If you are feeling nostalgic about your adolescence, this is a book to grab.

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