Thursday, 9 July 2020

My Favourite Book Covers!


Hi Readers!

How are you all doing? How was July so far? For me, there is nothing great going on. 9 days in & I have not read a single book, except for ‘The Little Book of Happiness’ by Ruskin Bond, which as the title suggests was little. I am hoping to complete Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘The Water Dancer’ by tomorrow. Then, finally, the weekend is set for Hank Green’s ‘A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor’ for which I have been waiting since long!

Because I haven’t read anything to write a review on, I thought I would do a fun post. And, to me, a fun post almost always involves a book photoshoot! I decided to do a post on my favourite book covers. I own quite a few books & so I chose among them. There are also many e-books that I read whose covers are absolutely gorgeous, such as ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle. But, because I don’t have a paperback or hardcover, I had to let them go. Hope you love this book photo shoot!

Let me just give you a list of the books featured in the photos in no specific order. I have also put the links on these for the books I have reviewed earlier!

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

The Spy by Paulo Coelho

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar

The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath

 

A few of these books are my absolute favourites, such as Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt & Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks. Whereas some are the ones which I completely hated, such as The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar. Some I have rated on average, like The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, The Spy by Paulo Coelho & The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath. And, then there is The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton which I am yet to read. I know the most famous quote “Never judge a book by its cover”, but for the intents & purposes of this post alone, I am going only with the covers, no matter how good or bad the story within. Hope you enjoy it!








Until next time,


Sunday, 5 July 2020

Character Arcs in Chaos Walking Trilogy! (Mindscape Reviews!)

Hi Readers! This post is in continuation of the first detailed review of the Chaos Walking trilogy (click here!) One of the most fascinating aspect in this is the character development. I have written about Todd, Viola, Mayor Prentiss & Mistress Coyle here. Check it out!

 

~~TODD HEWITT~~

With a fantasy trilogy, there is always so much scope to invest in the characters & I’m happy to say that I was not let down. My favourite character development is Todd’s. Todd Hewitt starts his journey with little knowledge of the real New World. He is just a boy who cannot control his Noise, who is stubborn to a point where he kills a spackle. He is ignorant of a lot of things. In the first book, we see him progress from that person into a little braver version of him. Even though he feels emotions for his loved ones, he hates being the emotional one. He wants to know everything but doesn’t want to leave the fake knowledge he was given for years. His growth in Book 1 is slow, which was needed at that stage.

In Book 2, we see a whole different Todd. With only Viola left in his life, he decided to do whatever he can to keep her safe including following Mayor’s orders. We see him become emotionally detached from all the wrong things he was forced to do so much so that the reader can fear he has actually become the Mayor’s man. But toward the end, we see him revert to his old self when he is reunited with Viola.

In Book 3, we see how he changed the Mayor into something resembling good. We saw him grow & learn all the good qualities from a bad man. He finally came to embrace his emotions. From an ignorant & stubborn boy, he became the man who would save everyone.

 

~~VIOLA EADE~~

Viola Eade has been quite perfect since Book 1. The only thing changes is that she grows from a child into an adult. She suffers an incredible loss with her parents dying, attacks by Aaron & being the only girl deserted on the outskirts of Prentisstown. In Book 1 itself, we understand how quick she is on her feet, how smart & how focused. Losing her parents breaks something in her which is later on slowly fixed with the companionship with Todd. She reacts perfectly to every situation that is thrown at her. Be it friendship with Todd, crossing the bridge, choosing sides between Mayor & Coyle, War or Peace. You name it & she chooses it right. With Todd being so flawed, it was good to read about flawless Viola.

~~MAYOR PRENTISS~~

Next is Mayor Prentiss whose character is the best written after Todd’s. In Book 1, Mayor Prentiss is only shown as the guy who is after Todd with an army. He becomes President of New Prentisstown. The way his character is written is purely brilliant. Even though it is annoying how he influences Todd with his sweet talk, you almost believe he has changed by Book 3. But, for a man that bad, even Todd’s bit of good would not have impacted him by a great deal. He mentors Todd & almost becomes like a father to him by teaching him to control his Noise and control people even. And, given Todd’s detachment he follows it until finally he knows right from wrong. For every wrong step Todd takes, the Mayor congratulates him. It becomes quite annoying reading how Prentiss keeps praising Todd. I hate to put it out there but, Prentiss is just about the smartest man on New World. The only problem being, he uses his intelligence for bad deeds like controlling people, heading them into a war, killing his own son & then that brilliant move at the end of Book 3. All of this makes his end a bit satisfying.

 

~~MISTRESS COYLE~~

Mistress Coyle is that character than changes shape like liquid. She starts with being the best healer in Haven to being a leader of the Answer, to dropping bombs all over the city, to being the lesser of two devils against Mayor Prentiss, to being so deeply entangled with her goal that she loses sight of what she is fighting for. I liked her best in her healer form, but not so much later on. It is another adventure getting to know her as she keeps on changing.

 

There are other characters whose arcs are well formed, such as Wilf, Davy Prentiss Jr, Spackle 1017, Ben, Ivan, Horse Angharad. It is amazing how the author has continued to develop all of his characters while keeping the story line so thrilling & addictive. If you haven’t yet read the trilogy, you definitely should!

I hope you enjoyed reading through this!

Until next time,


Chaos Walking Trilogy! (Mindscape Reviews!)

Hi Readers! As you know, I had made a 2020 Reading Challenge. A part of it was to read a trilogy. I had narrowed down a few options including Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy, Amish Tripathi’s Ram Chandra trilogy, Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy & a couple more which I knew would never stand a chance. Finally, I put my mind to read Chaos Walking & it was a brilliant decision! I picked this fantasy novel in a dystopian world, the kind which I hadn’t read in years. I read the three books one after the other finishing the set in a week.

I wasn’t very keen on doing three different reviews. So, below is a somewhat brief introduction & basic plot line for each book, followed by my detailed thoughts for the series as a whole. It was too big of a post, so check out the Character Analysis here!

INCLUDES SPOILERS!

 

~~WIKIPEDIA DESCRIPTION~~

Chaos Walking is a young adult science fiction series written by American-British novelist Patrick Ness. It's set in a dystopian world where all living creatures can hear each other's thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise. The series is named after a line in the first book: "The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking." The series consists of a trilogy of novels and three short stories.

~~THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO~~

In ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’, we see our two main heroes – Todd Hewitt & Viola Eade. The book is entirely how they escape Prentisstown & go on a journey to a city called Haven. Mayor Prentiss is after Todd which is why he has to escape. This book is quite a mellow start to the series. There is adventure, but it is more of how these two people go from point A to point B. It is an incredible journey, but that’s that. This is why, I rated the first book at 3.5/5!

~~THE ASK AND THE ANSWER~~

The Ask and The Answer was my favourite book in the series. It is unputdownable with some epic adventure happening in every chapter. At the end of Book 1, we see Viola & Todd enter Haven & Mayor Prentiss unfortunately welcoming them. For the entirety of this book, the Mayor keeps Todd & Viola separate. Todd works for Mayor while Viola starts her training as a healer with Mistress Coyle. President Prentiss shows that all he wants is peace in New Prentisstown. But then an organization is formed headed by Mistress Coyle & a majority of women who name themselves The Answer. In response to this, the Mayor forms a sort of committee named The Ask where he captures suspects and Asks them or in normal words, interrogates them. They plant bombs in various places in the city & call for war. The ending of this book is next level shit! I have rated this book at 4/5!

~~MONSTERS OF MEN~~

“War makes monsters of men.” This quote is back from Book 1, which obviously hints that Book 3 is all about war. It is not just The Ask vs The Answer anymore. It is also a War against the Spackle, with everything happening at once. Plus, we have more people coming from the space shuttle. Book 2 onward, the chapters were separated as Viola & Todd, because they both were separated. In this book, there are chapters named The Return, who is a member of the Spackle. I loved the entire setting that lead to Book 3 & also enjoyed reading the battles & war in Book 3. Yet, Book 2 remains my favourite! I have rated this book at 4/5 as well!

~~OVERALL THOUGHTS~~

~~BUILDING THE FOUNDATION IN BOOK 1~~

Usually the first books of trilogies are spent on making a foundation of the fantasy world they are based in, which is why there are more facts & less story. In ‘The Hunger Games’ & ‘Divergent’, that is evident. But, in this first book of Chaos Walking, the author has put down the facts in the first 20 pages or less & begun with the story. I really liked that. I know it is important to make readers understand what the fantasy world is like, but in this case, the author has showed us that world in just a few sentences.

Old World destroyed so everyone came to this New World with 2 moons where everyone can hear men’s Noise, animal’s thoughts but no one can hear women’s thoughts or Noise & there is an alien species called Spackle.

That’s it. That’s the foundation he put forth & began with the adventure because, clearly we all can’t wait to get on with it.

 

~~EPIC LEVEL ADVENTURE IN BOOK 2~~

Book 2 has everything in it. We have a tyrant ruling New World. There’s Todd working under him so that he doesn’t harm Viola. There’s Viola working with Mistress Coyle in the opposition. There is a dictatorship disguised in peace. There are rebellions disguised as terrorist attacks. We have one human group fighting another human group until they all are fighting an Alien Group. We have a battle between the Mayor & Todd; a battle of Noise! Both of them fighting mentally by throwing words at each other! We have Todd & Viola growing up without the company of the other, but only for each other. There is no rock unturned in The Ask and The Answer. It really brings about the fantasy to a whole new level while keeping some normalcy intact.

 

~~3 POINTS OF VIEW IN BOOK 3~~

When there are two protagonists, sometimes the author writes alternate chapter from each one’s point of view. (This is usually also a hint that if one dies, other can still write & the show goes on, like in The Fault in Our Stars.) So, when there was a third element introduced in Book 3, I was obviously thrilled. Now, there was equal representation from all sides, Mayor’s, Mistress Coyle’s & Spackle’s. I loved reading Spackle’s perception on everything. The language was a bit difficult to follow because The Return (1017) talks in a different way. In his language, Land means Spackle, Clearing means enemy team, Knife means Todd, The Sky is their leader & so on. Once you get the hang of it, you can actually enjoy the writing. This newly introduced aspect is something I found perfect for Book 3!

 

~~PREDICTABLE & UNPREDICTABLE PARTS~~

I have to admit that some parts were clear cut predictable, but then there were also a few parts where I would never had guessed what could happen. Ivan helping out Todd was obvious. The Spackle genocide done by Mayor and not The Answer was also obvious. Ships landing in the middle of a war was a little bit expected as well. But, Mistress Coyle turning into a tyrant & engaging in murder & destruction is something I did not see coming. The Spackle attack at the end of Book 2 was also a surprise turning everything even more chaotic. The role of 1017 becoming so important was also unforeseen. Manchee’s death in Book 1 seems a lot less shocking when there was so much more that was to happen. Ben being alive was also unexpected. First time, in a long time, many things were unpredictable in a book I was reading & I was just so positively thrilled about it!

 

~~WRITING STYLE~~

Initially, the language was a bit different & took some time to get used to. Todd cannot read or write, which is why some of the spellings are incorrect, such as tho for though, twixt for between & so on. There is also a lot of repetition of words which was annoying, such as go and go and go, fall and fall and fall etc. But these things were quite okay. The one thing that bothered me was how whenever there was an emotional scene where Todd was crying, he put a “(shut up)” next to it, as if it is wrong for boys or men to cry. And, that is at many places. That was too irritating for me.

Apart from these tiny things, the writing was way too good. Even from a fantasy standpoint, you can clearly figure out how much of a talented author Patrick Ness is.

The most important point in this is Character Arcs, which you can check out here!

 


Until next time,


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

June Reads! (Mindscape Reviews!)


Hi Readers! Just like that, June has already ended! And, as usual, I thought I will do a roundup of the THIRTEEN BOOKS I read this month! Most of them were e-books, so I couldn’t click a satisfactory picture of 13 books stacked on top of the other. Anyway, now I have read 46 books from my 52 books target in just half the year. So, obviously, I am going to increase my target, but more on that later. Check out the books I read in June!

 

~~THE NIGHTINGALE by KRISTIN HANNAH~~

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 440

My Rating: 4/5

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a historical fiction novel set in the WWII telling us the story of two sisters – Vianne & Isabelle. There are two story lines. First one is during the war, which is 95 % of the book, set from 1939 to 1945. The other is in 1995, 50 years after the second world war, where we see an old woman who has survived the war. Is it Vianne? Is it Isabelle? You will only know at the end. Both the story lines are written so amazingly well. There are many people whose lives we see getting affected because of the war. We see how every person reacts in a different way; some to survive, some to fight back, some to right their wrongs, some following orders & some to just live another day. Every person in this novel, no matter what part they decided to play, have shown that bravery can be a hundred different things. There is not only one correct way, there are hundred correct ways.

Check out the full book review here!

 

~~AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by TAYARI JONES~~

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 308

My Rating: 2.5/5

I had waited a long time to read this highly recommended novel, but it all lead to disappointment. Barack Obama recommended it, so I obviously thought it would be really something. An American Marriage is nothing but a sad little love triangle. I thought it would be the story of how a black man got wrongfully convicted, how his life changed because of it, how it impacted his marriage & maybe even the racial discrimination rooted in our world. But, it was nothing of the sort. While the writing was interesting, it couldn’t bring out the dull plot.

 

~~GILEAD by MARILYNNE ROBINSON~~

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 247

My Rating: 1/5

The story is narrated by a minister John Ames where he writes letters for his young son for him to read when John Ames will have died. It sounds good, I know, but wait. In these letters, he talks about his stories, his father’s stories, his grandfather’s stories & so on. We also get a lot of content on God, faith, preaching & all of that. And yet, it fails miserably. Nothing from this is in-depth. It is just at the surface leaving the reader to never truly understand the familial bonds or the faith in God. The content of all these stories put together amounts to everything insignificant in our daily lives. These letters are nothing but random straggling musings of a dying minister with a pinch of advice and more of mundaneness connecting no dots along the way as the story progresses.

Gilead is the first novel which is of Historical Fiction genre, set during wartime & is a Pulitzer Prize winner, which I did not like.

Check out the full book review here!

 

~~THE DUTCH HOUSE by ANN PATCHETT~~

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 337

My Rating: 2/5

Reading this novel felt like reading a very dull first draft from an amateur debut novelist. We have a deluded robot of a narrator, reprehensible characters which we cannot get in the mindset of, dull story line & predictable end; all of which make a complete disappointment to the historical fiction genre. When I read it halfway, I knew it would not get better, because it was just so plain & dull to read. I think the author tried to make an impression with the Bildungsroman attempt of writing, but it has failed for me. Now that I read the book, here I am thinking, what was the point of it?

Check out the full book review here!

 

~~THE CODE OF THE WOOSTERS by P.G. WODEHOUSE~~

Genre: Classic Humour

Pages: 272

My Rating: 4/5

This was my first Wodehouse read in the Jeeves series & it SOLD for me! The humour in this story is just so real & simply hilarious. The plot looks so effortless, but the setting of that plot must have taken way too much efforts. I loved the British English writing as well. It took me some time to understand some phrases, but after that it is all fun fun fun!

 

~~MY MAN JEEVES by P.G. WODEHOUSE~~

Genre: Classic Humour

Pages: 256

My Rating: 3.5/5

When you start reading Wodehouse, it is almost impossible to not keep reading his books & there are so many of them!! I wanted to read ‘My Man Jeeves’ because it checks out the category of ‘A Book 100 years older than me’. This book is a collection of 8 short stories, in which Jeeves appears in less than half. Nevertheless, it is all still very funny! Below are my ratings for each of the short story.

"Leave It to Jeeves" 4/5

"Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest" 3/5

"Jeeves and the Hard-boiled Egg" 2/5

"Absent Treatment" 3/5

"Helping Freddie" 2/5

"Rallying Round Old George" 2/5

"Doing Clarence a Bit of Good" 3/5

"The Aunt and the Sluggard" 4/5

 

~~CHAOS WALKING TRILOGY by PATRICK NESS~~

Genre: Fantasy / Dystopian

The Knife of Never Letting G0:o 3/5

The Ask and The Answer: 4/5

Monsters of Men: 4/5

I had to read a trilogy for my ‘2020 Reading Challenge’ and I am so glad I picked the Chaos Walking trilogy! I am planning on writing a full review on this, so I will just do a quick brief here.

Chaos Walking trilogy is based in a New World where everyone can hear men’s thoughts out loud, which is termed as Noise. It’s a world with an alien species – Spackle. Our main characters are Todd Hewitt & Viola Eade. I have rated the entire series at 4/5!

 

~~CHAOS WALKING SHORT STORIES by PATRICK NESS~~

Genre: Fantasy / Dystopian

The New World: 4/5

A Wide, Wide Sea: 3/5

Snowscape: 3.5/5

These three are short stories of around 40 to 50 pages each are an obvious must read if you have already read the main trilogy.

 

~~HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE~~

Because I was entirely caught up in the Chaos Walking world, I paused on my Harry Potter re-reading. I finished this one just before picking up Chaos Walking. Now, I have only the last book to read which is sure to be done in July!

 

So, that is that! Thirteen books read in June! I will be back for a Chaos Walking Review & to show off my July Book Haul!

Until next time,


Monday, 22 June 2020

My Favourite Genres of Fiction!


HiReaders! How are you all? What are you reading? Well, for me, I am currently stuck in the Chaos Walking Trilogy. ‘Stuck’ being the keyword. I read the first book, which was okay. But, now I am not able to find any motivation to read the second book. But, more about that later! Apart from that, I am also reading bits & pieces from Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ at tortoise pace. All these feelings of being stuck in books & reading crappy books finally lead me to write this post!

There are a lot of genres of books; categories & sub-categories & just so much! But, I won’t get into detail, partly because I don’t know the details of the Genre Family Tree. So, based on the books I have loved & liked so far, I made a list of my Top 5 Favourite Genres! As you all well know, I always read fiction, so all these are fiction genres. While I have read Non-fiction, in the form of memoirs, biographies & such in the past, I cannot say they are my favourite. I have read books of poetry, also not a favourite. I have come to realise that I only like particular kinds of books & so below goes the list! Hope this helps if you are stuck somewhere too.

 

~~HISTORICAL FICTION~~

The first & the most obvious favourite is Historical Fiction, which anyone who reads my blog even a bit, must know. I think this genre constitutes about 70% of my favouritism as compared to the rest on the list. It also happens that extremely good historical genre novels end up winning Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which is another criterion I incline on before picking a book up.

Historical Fiction to me is basically a story stretched over a long period of time, the plot of which is based in the past, extra points from me if it is based in the World War period. (I know, but I can’t help it.)

My Favourite Historical Fiction novels are All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Some others on my TBR, which I am dying to read are A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, The Underground Railroad & The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, The Song of Achilles & Circe by Madeline Miller.

 

~~CONTEMPORARY FICTION~~

This is basically the opposite of Classics, which I am not a fan of, with a few exceptions. Contemporary or Modern fiction is basically stories post World War II. There isn’t any better way to describe it. When I read a few books which became my favourites, I did not know that this was contemporary fiction. As much as I love historical fiction around World War II, I also love post-WWII literature.

Some of my absolute favourites from this genre include A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. And, I also have a lot of books from this genre on my TBR, including The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

 

~~MYSTERY/CRIME/THRILLER~~

Well, who doesn’t like Mystery? And by Mystery, I am also allowing myself to include Crime & Thriller in this, because one is really incomplete without the other. The thing with these novels is that they are a page-turner. I start reading one & in just a couple of days or sometimes even in one day, I have finished it. I like that about it. But, the main aspect with mystery novels is that they need to be good, not just a page-turner. I mean, what’s the point if I read all day because it is so gripping only to end on a predictable end or not as satisfactory? That happens with me a lot. My expectations are set so high, I am never TRULY pleased with any mystery novels.

The only ones that did include Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon, The Dry & Force of Nature by Jane Harper, Inferno by Dan Brown, My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. I know how hyped Alex Michaelides’ ‘The Silent Patient’ was, but I expected more from that novel. I also really tried with Gillian Flynn, but it wasn’t for me.

In mystery & thriller novels, usually the best books are underrated, as in the case of Jane Harper. My favourite authors in this area are Sidney Sheldon, Dan Brown & Jane Harper. I definitely need to find & read more good authors of this genre! For now, these are on my TBR; Pretty Things by Janelle Brown, The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware.

 

~~FANTASY/MAGICAL REALISM~~

Before you expect too much from me, let me translate. Fantasy = Harry Potter & Magical Realism = Murakami. Yes, there are other novels in each of these genres, but for me, these are the winners.

Some of my favourite Murakami books are Kafka on the Shore & A Wild Sheep Chase. And, those on my TBR are The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, The Elephant Vanishes, IQ84, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage & many more!

 

~~HUMOUR~~

I can’t say that humour is my preference. But, given the kind of dark novels I like to read, I need to maintain some balance, so here it is. For me, Humour can be anything. It could be funny memoirs by funny people or actually humourous novels by P.G. Wodehouse or just a badly written YA novel that is so bad, it becomes funny.

Some of my favourites are The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling, I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron. I plan on reading a lot more of Wodehouse!

 

 

I honestly have read my fair share of bad books & I do not intend to go down that lane. So, from now on, I am strictly going to choose books from the above five genres. And yes, some of those could also be bad, but I will feel less miserable because I tried my best! Anyway, tell me what genres you prefer in the comments below!

Until next time,


Thursday, 18 June 2020

My Honest Opinion on Gilead. (Mindscape Reviews!)

Hi Readers! I took up to reading Marilynne Robinson’s ‘Gilead’ a couple of weeks back and boy, did I struggle with it! It saddens me how this was one of my most researched book before I bought it and yet it lead to disappointment. It isn’t a big book and still I found it incredibly difficult to read, even 10 pages at a stretch. Usually I don’t give up on books. No matter how bad, I always finish them. But, I couldn’t finish Gilead. I read about half of it & then I decided there was no point in continuing because the rest was more of the same.

 

~~GOODREADS DESCRIPTION~~

Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson's beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows "even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order" (Slate). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.

~~OVERALL THOUGHTS~~

I decided to read this novel on two basic factors; one, it was historical fiction, two, it was about War. Books with these two combinations are usually IT for me. Some of my favourites consist of these two factors – All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, The Book Thief! Also, another component was that this book had won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005. So, how could any book consisting of the HOLY TRINITY turn out to be something so pathetic? I asked that question to myself every time I thought of dropping the book, until I finally did.

As the description says, the story is narrated by a minister John Ames where he writes letters for his young son for him to read when John Ames will have died. It sounds good, I know, but wait. In these letters, he talks about his stories, his father’s stories, his grandfather’s stories & so on. We also get a lot of content on God, faith, preaching & all of that. And yet, it fails miserably. Nothing from this is in-depth. It is just at the surface leaving the reader to never truly understand the familial bonds or the faith in God. The content of all these stories put together amounts to everything insignificant in our daily lives. These letters are nothing but random straggling musings of a dying minister with a pinch of advice and more of mundaneness connecting no dots along the way as the story progresses.

The writing was just so imperfect, to begin with. All these stories and reminisces have no context. They just keep on going as randomly as possible, page after page, with no connections to each other at all. How some people found this writing insightful is beyond me. The prose of the novel is such that you will question yourself time & again as to why you are reading this mass of long sentences put together with no meaning.

Gilead obviously did not work for me. The story was just so PLAIN BORING that I had no motivation to continue reading it. The writing was painfully miserable to read. Even though the idea was impressive, the output is entirely bizarre, dull & just not worth it. The stories, as I said, are so random that you cannot dissect characters to actually know them. Also, I just couldn’t relate to anything that came out of the poor man’s memories. It’s not readable, but also not relatable. There is no question of guessing what happens next, and for this book that’s not a positive, because whatever it is you sure can guess it would be a whole lot of dull to read. I rated Gilead at 1/5 on Goodreads. Not once did I have to re-think on my rating or my approach to a book, other than Gilead.


Until next time,


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