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Showing posts from December, 2011
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Lucknow Boy By Vinod Mehta Vinod Mehta was what I wanted to be. My heroes in my youth were MJ Akbar, Arun Shourie and then in my adult adolescence, Vinod Mehta. Men of crusading zeal, of the written word, out to prove a pen mightier than a sword. In a more tainted, grey adulthood, there is ambivalence about the profession and the people in it. Yet Vinod Mehta continues to remain on some sort of a pedestal, however rickety and crumbling it might be. He still wields the baton for a secular left wing India without toadying up to the commies (though his sympathy for the Maoists fills me with the same confusing discomfort the world as a whole does today). So I picked up his memoir not completely sure if I would like the man behind the image, but needing to know if I would. Lucknow Boy is a racy read. Mehta proves to be an interesting raconteur though an average writer. His background proves to be rather unremarkable and un-intriguing and not quite prophetic of his adult achievements. So they …
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The Marriage PlotBy Jeffrey EugenidesShould one review a book ones finds fairly ordinary? Sink more time into an already sunk cause? Or should one treat it as a writing exercise, putting into words why one finds one particular brand of college Americana so fascinating and another rather run-of-the-mill?Ok, let me get to it. I was not bowled over by Eugenides’ latest work of fiction The Marriage Plot, an average effort at going where so many other impressive works have gone – the coming of age novel. Eugenides, as I found out during my foray into this much reviewed book, is a Pulitzer Prize winner for his previous work, Middlesex. And as someone trying to read more American fiction (I am not a big fan), I got myself his latest.The setting is Ivy League Brown University in the Reagan-era eighties, and The Marriage Plot follows 3 of its students Madeleine Hanna, Mitchell Grammaticus and Leonard Bankhead through the first few years of their lives after they leave campus. Mitchell loves Ma…