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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Review : 'Unclothed' by Probir Sengupta

Unclothed’ by Probir Sengupta could be a wonderful nostalgic ridden book or it could be a simple diary or it could be complicated account of all things. Which is it?   

Basically, it is all about Onniruddh Ray. Onni at 27 and then at 3 and back to 17 again and so on and so forth. And his life goes on, with interruptions of course. 

His life as a child is full of all the stuff, which we might have done as kids. Remember the childhood friends, the cool birds as pets, the animals at the zoo, the terrible exams, the cool programmes on television in the 80s, the best friends parting, and the good stuff, the not so good stuff and the really bad stuff. He of course, had the pretty girls, and the mean boys, who were his seniors, as well. 

Sometimes, you have bad stuff happen and you don’t realise it. You simply ignore it and move on. And so, Onni does that too.

He lands a job at an advertising firm and is pretty good with his work. This is where he ends up meeting a lady, who offers him a part time job, but with plenty of money. He simply has to meet, quite a few women and men, who kind of have unsatisfactory sexual lives or probably prefer it both ways. These people could be anyone with whom he has to, well, what is the word for it, ‘do it’ and would be willing to pay for it.

Meanwhile, he falls in and out of love, a few times. But then he meets someone, whom he totally falls for. Then, comes an awkward time. His life has been pulled and pushed all over the place. First, with a man, then with a woman, and then finally with a girl.

Who are they, and why do they keep repeating themselves in his life? Finally, a death occurs and Onni is left again in two minds. What would happen? Would he reveal all to the girl? Or would he change his mind, and give it all up?

 You can Buy the Book, right here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Author Interview : Richard Abbott, author of 'Half Sick of Shadows' (Part - 2)

Here is more to this very Interesting Interview, with Richard Abbott, author of 'Half Sick of Shadows'. Here, he explains how he relates the characters of the book to day to day lives, why he thinks there is a sudden surge in stories based on history and fantasy, and the book he is currently reading, and much more, Folks...

How would you relate the "lives" of the ‘Mirror’, and the people which the Lady meets to the lives today? Any similarities?

A lot of people these days feel cut off from the world by their job or the circumstances of life – just as though their experience was filtered through a Mirror.

Also, the frustration of being powerless and held back from direct action is very common. 

One reviewer saw The Lady’s situation as reflecting that of many women for whom their culture or family expectations prevent much expression of self-will. I’m sure The Lady’s outburst “I’m half sick of shadows” would be echoed by a lot of people.

How do you think your book is different from everyone else’s?

The Lady of Shalott
People usually treat The Lady of Shalott as simply a person of her own era, held by some sort of magic spell. 

I have given her a very different background, a much longer personal history, and an opportunity for a mysterious future which is usually denied her.

What was the most challenging part about writing this book?

I didn’t want to reveal too much about The Lady – who and what she is – too early on. 

But on the other hand I did want clues all the way through. So, juggling these two was challenging.

Why do you think there is a sudden surge in stories based on history and
Richard Abbott
fantasy, these days?

I think that in both those cases, people are looking for some dimension which seems missing from everyday things. A book set in the past offers a simpler life, usually on a smaller scale.
Fantasy offers a more powerful life, where wrongdoing can be challenged and people can develop unique powers. Either way, individual lives become more powerful and significant – qualities that many people don’t believe can be true of their normal situation.

Kim from Wikipedia
Rudyard Kipling from Wikipedia
Which book are you currently reading?

Right now, I’m about ¾ of the way through ‘Kim’, by Rudyard Kipling

So, I’m wandering around the northern half of India about 120 years ago!

You can Read the Review, the First Part of the Interview and Buy the Book right here, as well.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Author Interview : Richard Abbott, author of 'Half Sick of Shadows' (Part - 1)

Richard Abbott
Read up, the first part of the Interview with Richard Abbott, author of 'Half Sick of Shadows'. The book is quite different from the ones we, usually get to read. It is a wonderful part of the British history and yet it is fantasy, too. Blending these two is this author's true talent and allure. 

In this part of the Interview, he tells us how the story first happened, the kind of research, he put into it, why he thought of this particular poem to develop into a story, and what takes precedence between the characters and the story, and more, Folks...

How did ‘Half Sick of Shadows’ happen? What kind of research did you put into it?

Lord Tennyson ... Wikipedia
Funnily enough, I was on a walking holiday when the idea first came along! I was listening to a version of Tennyson’s poem put to music (https://youtu.be/80-kp6RDl94) and suddenly thought how it would work as a story, told in a rather different way than usual.

Other than the poem itself, I did a lot of investigation into several British prehistoric cultures, so I could describe things like the houses correctly.

How did you think of using this particular poem and developing it into a story?

The poem has been a favourite of mine for a long time. Then on that holiday, it collided with some other reading I was doing.

Tennyson’s words are often rich and suggestive of depth, and so the idea of taking them into a fantasy direction quite different from the normal one of magic and curses took root.

How and why did you choose to use the character of the Lady as your heroine, exactly?

That kind of followed from the poem – The Lady is the only character described to any extent there, with even Lancelot featuring in only minor ways.

The original Arthurian stories present things rather differently, with more focus on the triangle of Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot. I brought in some of those details but added a lot more back-story for The Lady herself.

Authors have a way of telling their story, with elements that are most important. Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence?

I’d say that in this case the characters drive the storyline, especially that of The Lady as she becomes more restless and determined.

But also, the landscape of ancient Britain is itself a kind of character here, with all the changes quickened to the timescale of a single lifetime (albeit a very long one).

Which particular character, besides the Lady did you feel most close to? Why?

Probably Brendan, the musician in the last society, The Lady sees – the one linked to Arthur. 

He doesn’t take centre stage at the end, and isn’t part of The Lady’s memories from earlier times. But he’s the one who first recognises her, and has the closest understanding of her.

You can Read the Review here and Buy the Book right here, as well.