Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Women

After a very long time I came across a family drama to read. Elizabath Buchan’s Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman is an absorbing tale of a middle aged woman whose husband ditched her for a younger dame. The reason he cites is that he needs freedom and space. Another sad point is it is her secretary who robbed him along with her job. The heroine has to cope up with two tragedies- that of loss of job and husband. How she over comes her personal grief fills the rest of story. In the end it is she who found her space and freedom.

“I need freedom, space. We build cages for ourselves in all sorts of ways. Work, family habit. I’ve realized that I feel imprisoned by the walls I’ve built around myself.” Says Nathan, husband of Rose Lloyd.

Elizabath has beautifully woven the story mixing flash back scenes about how she met her husband and how she misunderstood her first lover. The problems her children face in their love lives also find expression in this story through her eyes. In the end she didn’t take any revenge on their antagonists. They got their own reward. Life had tricked them to be succeeded.

Really a good read after very long time.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


When I read Michael Crichton’s Next, it disturbed me a lot. The plot is not so exciting. It has loosely packed characters and narrative is jumpy at times. But the issue the author has taken is thought provoking. It made us afraid of the hospitals and doctors. If the narration in the novel becomes true nobody is safe when you step into hospitals. You may be robbed of your genes with out your knowledge. The author gives insight in to Patent Laws that are in vogue to-day. He beautifully put forth his arguments as how that patent Laws should be framed.

One cannot claim ownership of genes. When an individual donates tissue to a doctor for a research study, it is not the same as donating a book to a library. It never will be. We are told that a patient’s interest in his tissues and his right to privacy ends at death. That too is outmoded thinking that must change. Because the descendents of a dead person share his or her genes, their privacy is invaded if research is done, or if the genetic make up of the dead person is published.

Issue of ownership will always be clouded when individuals are able to manufacture with in their bodies what the court has ruled some one else owns. This is true of cell lines; it is true of genes, and of certain proteins. These things cannot be owned by any person. It is standing rule that facts of nature can not be owned. Yet for more than to two decades, legal rulings have failed to affirm this concept. Patent court rulings have failed to affirm this concept.

First genes are facts of nature. Like gravity, Sun light and leaves on trees, genes exist in the nature world. Facts of genes can not be owned. You can own a test for a gene or a drug that affects a gene but not the gene itself. You can own a treatment for a disease but not the disease itself. Gene patents break the fundamental rule. If something exists for millions of years before the arrival of Homo sapiens on earth, it is a fact of nature. To argue that a gene is in only a human invention is absurd. To grant a gene a patent is like granting a patent on iron or carbon.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Reading Agatha Christie again

I borrowed three books from my Library- Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie, The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen and Next by Michael Crichton.

Reading Agatha Christie brought back memories of my college days. In those days I read only the detective stories. My favorites are Early Stanly Gardener and James Hardly Chase. I have not read many of A.C. though. But I have read Chase and Early Stanly Gardener a lot. Only in later years I read heavies like Thomas Hardy, Irving Wallace etc

P.C s was not invented then. If only it were I would have recorded each and every book I have read.

The Agatha Chrisite book I read now is Partners in Crime. It is a Tommy& Tuppence adventure series. It is a collection of independent episodes that include a tale of missing person, recovery of missing Jewels, solving a murder, bursting counterfeit money Racket and cornering a gang of smuggling of cocaine.

Tommy& Tuppence emulate their great historical detectives Sherlock Holmes, John Thorndike, Father Brown and Hercule Poi rot in solving their crimes.

It is an easy read and I enjoyed a lot.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Anton Chekhov

When I completed reading V FOR VENDETTA I was in dilemma as to what to read next. I also took a part time job. The job is not taxing. But the journey to the work spot is time consuming. My reading hours is shortened to some extent.

Dostoevsky’ The Brothers of Karamazov has not really taken off as expected. The Dairy of Anne Frank has also not progressed. I turned my attention to Anton Chekhov. I read The House with The Mezzanine. I couldn’t fathom the meaning of mezzanine. I checked it with The House with the mezzanine is a simple love story. The hero lost his love because of his views on certain things which the elder sister of his lady love did not see eye to eye.

Though I read the Black Monk earlier I gave a second reading. The second reading of The Black Monk is pleasurable. The hidden words that have not caught my attention earlier mesmerized me. The degeneration of hero Andrey Vasilich Koverin saddened me. Though he met his justifiable end for what he did to Tania and her father, his death evoked sympathy in him. As long as he was having hallucinations he was good. In his own words

“I went mad, I had the mania of greatness, but for all that I was Gay, healthy and even happy; I was interesting and original. Now I have become more sober minded and matter of fact, but in consequence I am now like every body else. I am mediocre, life is tiresome to me.”

Anton Chekhov’s description of the scenery is sometimes noteworthy. It merged with the mood of the story. Read the following:

“It was a calm warm evening, and there was a scent of the sea. The moon and lights were reflected in the beautiful bay, which was of a color for which it was difficult to find a name. It was a delicate and soft blending of blue and green; in places the water assumed the color of green copperas, and in other places it seemed as if the moonlight had solidified, and instead of water had filled the bay, and in general what harmony of color there was all-round, what a peaceful, calm and lofty enjoyment.”

Another description,

“Running down the steep foot path that passed by the bare roots he came to the water, disturbing some snip and frightening a pair of ducks. Some of the tops of the gloomy pines were still illuminated by the rays of the setting sun, but on the surface of the river evening had already settled down. Kovrin crossed the footbridge to the other bank. Before him lay a wide field of young rye not yet in flower. Neither a human habitation nor a living soul was to be seen near or far, and it seemed as if this foot path, if only you went far enough along it, would lead to that unknown, mysterious place into which the sun had just descended, and where the glorious blaze of the evening brightness was still widespread.”
I am wondering whether the translation is good or the original has the same power and beauty.

Another beautiful observation,

“The beautiful present and the memories of that were aroused in him of the past were blended together.”

Monday, March 26, 2007

Inspired by other blogs…

Hey folks! I intent continue my blog from this month. I intent to continue it as a blog on books I read and my views. I got my inspiration from blogs like book world. This month when I went to my favorite bookshop Landmark I was fortunate enough to got hold of hard cover edition of The Karamazov Brothers and The Dairy of Anne Frank at the discount counter. The enormous volume of The Brothers of Karamazov, nearly 900 pages, made me baffled at the thought of reading it. Any way I made a start. During my visit to Eloor Library I borrowed three books- Almost A Childhood by Hans-Georg Behr, Anton Chekhov Five Great Short Stories and V for Vendetta a novel based on The movie by same name.

Almost A Childhood by Hans-Georg Behr is based on growing up in Nazi era. Anything on World War II always fascinates me. Unfornutely This book did not stir my interest after reading few pages. I am unable to continue. So I have decided to return it .V for Vendetta is a page turner. I have almost come to the end. It is a story about an authoritarian rule in near future. The main character uses a mask. His portrayal is loosely based on Scottish historical character Guy Fawks. He chooses the same day as Guy Fawks for the execution of his terrorist act.

Anton Chekov Five Greatest Short Stories I have finished reading The Black Monk The classics always require second and third reading before you could grasp the real meaning of the story. Hence I will come to it after giving sufficient reading.

The Brothers Karamazov and The Dairy of Anne Frank is my own book. There is no need to rush. Any way I have finished reading introductory chapters in Karamazov.