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Books

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SHORT ST RIES O Stories Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio Hachette 427 pages, Rs 595 A short-story collection is seldom all bad;but a collection this good is rare too. Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio have put together within the covers of a single volume, short stories by over two dozen of the biggest names writing today. Roddy Doyle's creepy 'Blood' kicks it off followed by Joyce Carol Oates's 'Fossil-Figures. ' Except that they must all be good stories, must answer the question ". . .  and then what happened?" satisfactorily, no other principle governs the selection of tales. Writers of literary and commercial genre fiction are equally represented leading to an astonishing variety in styles, subjects and contexts.

Quick review

October 16, 2010


SHORT ST RIES O Stories Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio Hachette 427 pages, Rs 595 A short-story collection is seldom all bad;but a collection this good is rare too. Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio have put together within the covers of a single volume, short stories by over two dozen of the biggest names writing today. Roddy Doyle's creepy 'Blood' kicks it off followed by Joyce Carol Oates's 'Fossil-Figures. ' Except that they must all be good stories, must answer the question ". . . and then what happened?" satisfactorily, no other principle governs the selection of tales. Writers of literary and commercial genre fiction are equally represented leading to an astonishing variety in styles, subjects and contexts.

McDonaldisation, Masala McGospel and Om Economics By Jonathan D. James Sage Publications 232 pages, Rs 595 Backed by one-and-a-half years of fieldwork and content analysis of religious channels, Jonathan James has put together a fascinating study of the impact of digital media on Christian and Hindu practices. Deriving largely from American charismatic televangelism of the Benny Hill variety, evangelism through satellite TV channels has been criticised by Indian churches for not conforming to the 'Indian' way of life while the Hindu response has been to launch their own version of TV channels. James's study, though rather academic, breaks new ground in the study of mass religion.

Quick review

October 16, 2010


McDonaldisation, Masala McGospel and Om Economics By Jonathan D. James Sage Publications 232 pages, Rs 595 Backed by one-and-a-half years of fieldwork and content analysis of religious channels, Jonathan James has put together a fascinating study of the impact of digital media on Christian and Hindu practices. Deriving largely from American charismatic televangelism of the Benny Hill variety, evangelism through satellite TV channels has been criticised by Indian churches for not conforming to the 'Indian' way of life while the Hindu response has been to launch their own version of TV channels. James's study, though rather academic, breaks new ground in the study of mass religion.

Manasarovar By Ashokamitran Translated by Kalyan Raman Penguin 182 pages, Rs 225 This novella by a major Tamil writer, set in the heady world of Tamil cinema of the 1960s, tracks the lives of a filmstar and a scriptwriter. Through monologues of the two main characters we get a glimpse of the barrenness of the cinema world. Here, relationships are fleeting and every man is an island. The actor and the writer share the sense of alienation. Their fondness for literature leads to a friendship, which has a disastrous impact on the writer's family. The focus of the novelist is the ability of humans to endure and outlive pain and sorrow.

Quick review

October 16, 2010


Manasarovar By Ashokamitran Translated by Kalyan Raman Penguin 182 pages, Rs 225 This novella by a major Tamil writer, set in the heady world of Tamil cinema of the 1960s, tracks the lives of a filmstar and a scriptwriter. Through monologues of the two main characters we get a glimpse of the barrenness of the cinema world. Here, relationships are fleeting and every man is an island. The actor and the writer share the sense of alienation. Their fondness for literature leads to a friendship, which has a disastrous impact on the writer's family. The focus of the novelist is the ability of humans to endure and outlive pain and sorrow.

<b>FICTION </b><br><br><b>The Story That Must Not Be Told </b><br><br><b>By Kavery Nambisan </b><br><br><b>Penguin </b><br><br><b>288 pages, Rs 499 </b><br><br>Adjacent to Chennai's swanky Vaibhav Housing complex is a small slum-like township called Sitara. Vaibhav residents often employ those living in Sitara as menial help but see them as a nuisance. They want the slum to be shifted elsewhere. In this unsettling backdrop, Nambisan weaves a serious tale of class conflict and the politics of charity. The novel initially appears to be weaved around Simon, a lonely old resident of Vaibhav who lives with a cat. But Nambisan provides a detailed background to at least four other characters leaving the readers to connect the threads of their stories.

Quick review

October 16, 2010


FICTION

The Story That Must Not Be Told

By Kavery Nambisan

Penguin

288 pages, Rs 499

Adjacent to Chennai's swanky Vaibhav Housing complex is a small slum-like township called Sitara. Vaibhav residents often employ those living in Sitara as menial help but see them as a nuisance. They want the slum to be shifted elsewhere. In this unsettling backdrop, Nambisan weaves a serious tale of class conflict and the politics of charity. The novel initially appears to be weaved around Simon, a lonely old resident of Vaibhav who lives with a cat. But Nambisan provides a detailed background to at least four other characters leaving the readers to connect the threads of their stories.

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