Sunday, April 13, 2008

Twelve Red Herrings by Jeffrey Archer

Title: Twelve Red Herrings
Author: Jeffrey Archer
ISBN: 0006490484
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers/1994
Pages: 324

At one time, I used to read Jeffrey Archer like crazy. I do like the way he writes. I won't call those masterpieces, nonetheless, his books hold interest.

Twelve Red Herrings is a collection of short stories. As the name suggests, there are twelve stories, each with a read herring. It is left on the reader whether he can find that out opr not. The stories can all go in a numerous way. Archer has given great endings. But the reader can interprete those in his own way too. The last story has four different endings. All to be read in order.

Trial and error has the jury foxed, Cheap at Half Price has a woman getting a diamond necklace fooling two men, Dougie Mortimer's Right Arm is about losing a winning sports for money. Do Not Pass Go is about an Iraqi who is hunted by Sadam Hussain. Chunnel Vision is about novel writing and trying to find a great ending for that. Shoeshine Boy is about a Governer-General and visit by Mountbatten as a dignitary. You'll Never Live to Regret It is about Insurance payout. Never Stop On the Motorway has a suspence which can be called nail-biting. Not for Sale is about a girl who wants to be a well- known artist. Timeo Danaos is a story about a penny pinching banker. An Eye For An Eye is about a woman accused for her husband's murder. One Man's Meat has four different takes, to be read in the order it is given.

I liked all but my favourites are Do Pass Let Go and Never Stop on the Motor Way. This book is worth reading. I did like the stories and had a whale of a time imagining different endings. I could discover few odf the Red Herrings. You go ahead and try finding those!

Short stories are good to read as one can simply pick and choose, not following any particular order. As I am kind of busy packing as I move to a new house next week, this book suited me fine!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Booking Through Literature

* When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)
* Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?

"Literature" means classics, in most cases. Those books which are timeless and are full of substance. Most tend to think of literature as heavy reading. Not necessarily so. Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland qualifies as a classic and IS a great piece of literature. And no one can call it as serious! I do not think classics are difficult to read unless one gets the gist of those. They do tell us about an era otherwise forgotten. Isn't that what literature is supposed to do?

Among the modern poets, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath and Mary Oliver,
to name a few, these come fall under the category of literature. Then Steinbeck, Marquez, Pamuk, Atwood are not easy reads. Who said it has to be easy? I can read comics as well the most difficult of books. American Gods by Neil Gaiman is no piece of literature and it WAS a difficult read! And I still enjoyed it very much!

One should know how to balance the more heavy literature with the lighter ones! That is what reading is all about. My love for literature came about after reading Chaucer and then, Robert Browning.

And yes, I do enjoy reading Dickens.....his characterization are simply great, Shakespeare.....I love his sonnets, and Tolstoy.....he happens to be my favourite Russian author!