Underworld

By Catherine Macphail

There is a saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but sometimes there is something in the title and cover of the book that I can’t resist reading it. Luckily these books often turn out to be interesting. This same thing happened when I came across this book in a shop. The cover shows a man standing in a cave which gave a glimpse of some mystery and adventure. It is an adventure in a school outing.

The story begins with a description of a normal day in a school. It describes all the central characters like the bully Axel, Fiona with a sharp tongue, ideal prefix Zeshan, smart yet silent Liam and the chubby ever smiling Angie. At any normal time these people would hardly come togather without any friction which is a major problem to the teacher Mr. Marks. The author has nicely displayed the reason for their dislike for each other which is a result of their secret admiration. The story takes a turn when they go to a school outing in a cave and a landslide occurs while they are inside. They unite inspite of their differences for the ultimate goal survival. The events that follow keep the reader at the edge of their seats. The story nicely shows no one is perfect and everyone has personal problems. Also it is not always the phisically strong is the hero.

The fonts are large which makes the book readable at any place. Infact I got so engrossed that I was unable to leave it even for meals. This book is fine for all age groups above 12. It can be read on a long journey as well as while travelling to and from work. So if you are looking for a nice adventure on a lazy sunday afternoon, this is the choice.

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The New Life

By Orhan Pamuk

It is said that the author’s biodata often influences a reader’s choice. This definitely happened with me when I ended up buying this book. I bought this book because its written by an author who is a nobel laureate.

This is a story based in Turkey. The central character Osman gets a book because he sees it in the the hands of a girl Janan, he felt attracted to. His life changed the moment he started reading it. He is unable to concentrate on anything. It seems that the book engulfs Osman as he reads it. He follows the girl to different places she goes. Janan in turn is in love with someone else and starts following him. They move through different towns. In theri journey they meet people who lament on the closure of local brands due to competition from international ones. The description of the places has been done nicely. The book ends on a pessimistic note.

The language is simple but the sentences are too long. Also the narration is slow hence the attention of the reader is often lost. For an average reader who reads for amusement, this is not the right choice. Same is the case for those who read while travelling to and from work as well as for long journeys. Also it may not be a good gift. But yes if you read to enhance your vocabulary then this can be considered.