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Saturday, January 03, 2004
God of small puny things - Arundhati Roy 
The book everyone been talking about, the book almost everyone praising the highly stylized writing. When I say almost everyone, that actually means I am not satirely liking it. It means even Paradise Pickles and Preserves or the subconsciously parody of The Sound of Music could not save it from me actually stopped reading at the brink of barely middle page. Or perhaps this is just another good example of a different strokes for different folks.

A story of how Estha and Rahel, the fraternal twins who experienced Siamese Twin like connection but only physically apart. A story of the lives of people in the southern most tip of India and the every day experiences they have to succumb to. No matter how the hype is, I could not bring myself to finish it, or worst I've fallen asleep reading it in a LRT. Or perhaps I'm as illiterate as a blind bat.

The only bit that is readable is the little part of the leftist Communist party. The only thing funny is how a self proclaimed leftist Communist flirts and beds his female employees. By proclaiming himself a Communist, he also funnily runs the pickle factory with a capitalist's hands. Maybe that's the humor Arundhati brings in with Chacko. Okay so it was not supposed to be funny, for a tragical story written. Insensitive as it is, Chacko is a funny dude. Maybe I should have finished the book, maybe not.

The story was not in traditional narrative order, ala Quentin Tarantino's style. It reveals itself in jumps through time, maybe it actually relates how Rahel's memories is and how she struggles to understand the fate dealing her family. How the childhood memories of how pain that only family members can give to each other. Maybe that's the problem, tragic keeps repeating, I feel like I already read the book in a heartbeat, and the half of the book later, it is still the same tragic.

As oppose to many literary critism, there were no loveable/hate-able characters in this one. What I felt was to switch on the television and hopes they show The Sound of Music. Really hopes.

Or perhaps have a glass of Long Island Tea, and feel how deep I almost went with characters from Thomas Harris's Red Dragon.

Vlad  # 10:42 AM


Friday, January 02, 2004
Book Swap Meet 11 Jan 2004 
Once every two months, members of this book review community meet up, talk about just anything at all, socialize, grab a bite, and swap books. If you're interested, do drop by and join us, or just leave a comment at the comment box. Please confirm your attendance with me at ohhjoyy@yahoo.com or thebookreviewblog@yahoo.com by Friday 9th January.

Date: January 11th 2004, Sunday,
Time: 3pm,
Venue: Starbucks, KL Sentral.
Swap Books: Here

New to this? Well read up abit on the Book Swapping Mechanism (scroll down), or read reports of The First Book Swap Meet . Or you could refer to the Wiki page for more details.

Well if you like books, or just wanna see what its all about - doesnt matter - just about anyone else at all is invited!

graceshu  # 8:03 PM


Wednesday, December 31, 2003

author: neal stephenson
snow crash

fry onions till fragent, add one clove of finely chopped garlic... Err, haha! Gomen, Soooooo where were we, yes neal stephenson's snowcrash. Again i must say 'WHAT IS THERE NOT TO LIKE!'. neal's world where everybody is connected through the web (by pure virtual reality or what neal calls the metaverse, more on this later), where stereotypes ARE pure stereotypes (big ass chinatown which is just one big ass chinatown, government land which is just err.. Full of red tape and etc). in this world where pizza = big bucks and there is a deadly virus online which basically delete your memories and installs some ancient babelling language or in other words just fucks you up. Here is the insanely cool thing about this book, the metaverse that the characters go into to escape reality. Its fully customizable, like users code thier own vehicles (ah but there's also public transport cus the world is just huge), codes thier houses(imagine a big ass waterfall feature in the livingroom), money in this world is real currency, avatars(which characters use in the virtual world) are just AWESOME just like a massive mmorpg. HELL YEAH! there are also sword fights which are world ranked PHOWAR! D; i'm such a geek. So what else can i say about this book? Massive geek factor - check, cute skater chick - check, huge badguy that dresses in black and kills people with shards of glass - check.

"Ng's Metaverse home is a French colonial villa in the prewar village of My Tho in the Mekong Delta. Visiting him is like going to Vietnam in about 1955, except that you don't have to get all sweaty. In order to make room for this creation, he has laid claim to a patch of Metaverse space a couple of miles off the Street. There's no monorail service in this low-rent development, so Y.T.'s avatar has to walk the entire way. He has a large office with French doors and a balcony looking out over endless rice paddies where little Vietnamese people work. Clearly, this guy is a fairly hardcore techie, because Y.T. counts hundreds of people out in his rice paddies, plus dozens more running around the village, all of them fairly well rendered and all of them doing different things. She's not a bithead, but she knows that this guy is throwing a lot of ├┤omputer time into the task of creating a realistic view out his office window. And the fact that it's Vietnam makes it twisted and spooky. Y.T. can't wait to tell Roadkill about this place. She wonders if it has bombings and strafings and napalm drops. That would be the best. Ng himself, or at least, Ng's avatar, is a small, very dapper Vietnamese man in his fifties, hair plastered to his head, wearing military-style khakis. At the time Y.T. comes into his office, he is leaning forward in his chair, getting his shoulders rubbed by a geisha."

SEEE WHAT I AM MEANING y0. h0h0h0h0h

(ps hapi new year to all)
(pps sarker mc.)

Adrian  # 9:59 AM


Sunday, December 28, 2003
kids, wargames and tigers. (MEOW!) this is ender's game. 

author: orson scott card
ender's game

"Shivering? Trembling? Don't wet your pants, little Launchy." Rose hooked a finger over the butt of Ender's gun and pulled him to the forcefield that hid the battleroom from view. "We'll see how well you do now, Ender. As soon as that door opens, you jump through, go straight ahead toward the enemy's door."

little six - eight year olds playing soldier saving earth from a not so friendly alien civilization. i was introduced to the book by a clanmate and was basically told "IT RULES ALL PANTS OMG READ IT OR DIE! :D?" well that certainly pushed me towards reading it, anything that states it would rule pants is good in my book or pda or erm.. yeah. i love the book, the nasty mind games that the adults pull to manipulate these children ahh but these children are the cream of the crop like super uber smart children that would possibly be able to think themselves out of a box.

"Human beings didn't evolve brains in order to lie around on lakes. Killing is the first thing we learned. And a good thing we did, or we'd be dead, and the tigers would rule the earth."

meow. ender's game is really well detailed, i mean like from the zero gravity army game that they play to the simulation machine that ender uses. so detailed i was able to imagine being there with ender, watching him going through his emotional roller coaster which is his life. i seriously felt bad from him. ahh the odd mix of characters that i fell in love with, specially bean(imagine a wise cracking hardcore 4 foot toddler).. haha. the characters blends in soooo well with the storyline i haven't read any other book that comes this close. after all ender's game was a trilogy which spawned another four books after the trilogy ended. i've finished the trilogy and it just taste soo good. i envy new readers(of this series), its a whole experience that i'll treasure along with the various porn collection and bike crashes. ahh.. memories.

Adrian  # 11:02 PM


BRAVO TWO ZERO.. wow the title's so awesome i just wet my pants. 

author: andy mcnab
bravo two zero

"you're alone, you think you're alone. you can't see what's going on you're disorientated and worried. you're fucking worried. you're breathing heavily and all you're thinking is: lets get it done. you can't be sure there's nobody in the room. maybe they haven't all gone, maybe somebody's still looking at you, watching for a mistake, so keep yourhead down, clench your teeth as best you can, keep your knees up, try to protect yourself against the punches and kicks that could start again at any instant."

ahh.. the SAS, sew hardcore they eat nails for breakfast and shite brick houses for ethiopians. my facination for these finely tuned machines knows no boundries. since my dad was in the army and my frequent visits to armories, rifles and c4 explosives infactuates me. the amount of training and dedication these men and women go through each day earns my respect. i couldn't even bother waking up at noon to take a walk down to the local grocery shops for milk and cookies. so bravo two zero is the legendary story of err.. bravo two zero soldiering behind enemy lines accross the arab desert and shazam they got comprimised some were captured some killed but the story goes on about the ordeal andy had while in capture. the constant inhumane tortures and eating poo. yep. poo. the book ain't as techical as books by tom clancy (OH HOW I LOVE DETAILS!). but all in all its a book about the best of the best at work, insane amounts courage and survival skills. now just were can i get my hands on a m16 carbine...

Adrian  # 3:06 PM


Damon Runyon, Guys and Dolls and Other Stories 
Author: Damon Runyon
Title: Guys and Dolls and Other Stories
Trivia: Damon Runyon (1884 - 1946) is a journalist and short-story writer, best remembered for his colourful tales of Broadway and for the distinctive style of his prose, commonly termed Runyonese.
Related Links: Similar Reviews, Google on Runyon, Encylopedia.Com on Runyon, Other Books by Runyon.

I picked up this book in my local Popular bookstore while browsing through the Penguin Popular Classics series. I have to admit though, that it was its cover that caught my eye, though I've since learnt that the newer paperback versions look much more modern. As the title goes, it's really a collection of short stories staged in New York in the 1930s / 1940s, Broadway-style. Although am not able to relate perfectly as am not familiar with the era nor the location, I have to admit that Damon does write simple, witty short stories such as "The Hottest guy in the World", "Blood Pressure", The Idyll of Miss Sarah Browns", "Romance In The Roaring Forties", "The Brain Goes Home", as well as "Dark Dolores", among others.

This is also another easy, leisurely read. If you're keen on reading this book, please check the wiki for the coming BookSwapMeet on 11th Jan 2004.

graceshu  # 1:35 PM


Kazuo Ishiguro - When We Were Orphans 
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Title: When We Were Orphans
Price: RM 32.95 (MPH)
Trivia: Short-listed for the 2000 Booker Prize
Related Links: Google Directory on Ishiguro, Kazuo, Similar Reviews

This is a fictitious story about of a great detective experiencing England in the 1930s, where he discovers his own past, unearths his childhood memories and tracks down an old childhood playmate; narrated between London & Shanghai while skillfully maneuvering between past and present.

[While I'd just described the entire book in a single sentence, it doesn't mean it's grammatically correct, it merely means I'm economical with words, and really couldn't care less ;D]

It's quite a good read, although slightly draggy in the beginning, but if you are one for stories w a historical background, I'd recommend this indeed - although I did have to split it into two separate reading sessions - something I rarely do. But perhaps its just because it was a beautiful sunny day and it would be sacrilegious to surrender myself to recessive albino genes ;)

graceshu  # 5:07 AM