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FICTION: Lights Out In Wonderland By DBC Pierre Faber & Faber 336 pages, Rs 499 -- On the opening of DBC Pierre's third novel, protagonist Gabriel Brockwell decides to kill himself, but that gets postponed for the next 300-plus pages of the narrative. Gabriel, a fervent campaigner for anticapitalist causes and full-time hedonist, then plunges into a booze-and cocaine-fuelled odyssey that takes him across the world, from Germany to Japan. He's driven by the desire to rescue a friend, Smuts, from prison in Tokyo, but that becomes incidental as Gabriel plunges into the world of partying and stomach churning culinary excess - a sometimes-entertaining pastiche on the fine dining industry.

Quick Review

November 20, 2010


FICTION: Lights Out In Wonderland By DBC Pierre Faber & Faber 336 pages, Rs 499 -- On the opening of DBC Pierre's third novel, protagonist Gabriel Brockwell decides to kill himself, but that gets postponed for the next 300-plus pages of the narrative. Gabriel, a fervent campaigner for anticapitalist causes and full-time hedonist, then plunges into a booze-and cocaine-fuelled odyssey that takes him across the world, from Germany to Japan. He's driven by the desire to rescue a friend, Smuts, from prison in Tokyo, but that becomes incidental as Gabriel plunges into the world of partying and stomach churning culinary excess - a sometimes-entertaining pastiche on the fine dining industry.

THRILLER City of Thieves By Cyrus Moore Sphere 439 pages, Rs 299 It's Gordon Gekko time all over again. Since the global financial crisis hit in 2008, financiers and investment bankers have become the villains of the hour. City of Thieves seems an attempt to cash in on that - and too transparently so - with the characters only tacked on as one-dimensional afterthoughts and the writing rarely rising above pure functionality. The plot about an honest financial analyst who falls foul of the top dogs at his investment banking firm over his refusal to fudge reports on a key company is serviceable enough, but no more than that. All in all, a forgettable read.

Quick Review

November 20, 2010


THRILLER City of Thieves By Cyrus Moore Sphere 439 pages, Rs 299 It's Gordon Gekko time all over again. Since the global financial crisis hit in 2008, financiers and investment bankers have become the villains of the hour. City of Thieves seems an attempt to cash in on that - and too transparently so - with the characters only tacked on as one-dimensional afterthoughts and the writing rarely rising above pure functionality. The plot about an honest financial analyst who falls foul of the top dogs at his investment banking firm over his refusal to fudge reports on a key company is serviceable enough, but no more than that. All in all, a forgettable read.

FOOD The F-Word By Mita Kapur HarperCollins 233 pages, Rs 599 In The F-Word, Mita Kapur regales her readers with family anecdotes and generously peppers each food-related episode with a recipe that saved or made the day. The book is a breezy read where Kapur writes about daily struggles of feeding her children health food and making the same dish appetizing again and again. Quick snacks, elaborate meals and even simple vegetarian fare like baingan ka bhartha - she has it all covered. The author also writes about her journeys and the food sampled along with her experiments in the kitchen: from khajoor ki roti to Thai melon salad. Foodies will lap this one up.

Quick Review

November 20, 2010


FOOD The F-Word By Mita Kapur HarperCollins 233 pages, Rs 599 In The F-Word, Mita Kapur regales her readers with family anecdotes and generously peppers each food-related episode with a recipe that saved or made the day. The book is a breezy read where Kapur writes about daily struggles of feeding her children health food and making the same dish appetizing again and again. Quick snacks, elaborate meals and even simple vegetarian fare like baingan ka bhartha - she has it all covered. The author also writes about her journeys and the food sampled along with her experiments in the kitchen: from khajoor ki roti to Thai melon salad. Foodies will lap this one up.

ESSAYS Human Rights in a Globalised World By Mukul Sharma Sage 304 pages, Rs 395 This compilation of essays by an Indian human rights defender on a wide range of subjects is replete with insights and thought-provoking analysis. What is particularly useful is its attempt, as suggested by the title of the book, to put human rights in India in a global context. The essay on Myanmar, for instance, helps shed light on how India has done little to help the people of its military-ruled neighbour to fulfill their democratic aspirations, a failing mentioned by Barack Obama in his recent speech in Parliament. Mukul Sharma writes in a lucid style, low on jargon.

Quick Review

November 20, 2010


ESSAYS Human Rights in a Globalised World By Mukul Sharma Sage 304 pages, Rs 395 This compilation of essays by an Indian human rights defender on a wide range of subjects is replete with insights and thought-provoking analysis. What is particularly useful is its attempt, as suggested by the title of the book, to put human rights in India in a global context. The essay on Myanmar, for instance, helps shed light on how India has done little to help the people of its military-ruled neighbour to fulfill their democratic aspirations, a failing mentioned by Barack Obama in his recent speech in Parliament. Mukul Sharma writes in a lucid style, low on jargon.

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