Friday, April 18, 2008

Long Pending Mini reviews ...

I have been meaning to post these "reviews" for quite a while now, but it just kept getting delayed. Not much to write about these, at least not enough to make individual posts. :-)

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A Quiver Full of Arrows - Jeffery Archer

I usually like Archer's short stories; more often than not, they have a great plot, and delightfully surprising twist in the end. I found the collection 'Twelve Red Herrings' brilliant. But 'A Quiver Full of Arrows' did not meet my expectations. Nothing wrong with it actually. But I think it just lacks the usual flair of Archer stories. I didn't find any story in this collection particularly remarkable, though I have come across some real gems in some of the other collections.

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The Modigliani Scandal - Ken Follet

Yet another work of fiction based on the world of art - it highlights the hypocrisy exhibited by the collectors and dealers - their allegiance to well-known maestros, and indifference to yet unproven artists (even if they are good); the extremely high stakes involved, and the abounding forgeries.

And like 'A Place called Freedom', it is also quite different from the usual spy/thriller fare of Follet. The author acknowledges that this is an experimental work, and may be disappointing to critics and readers. But I enjoyed it, I think it was quite wonderful. There are no murders, and not too many complications, though there is a chase, but this time it is for a yet-unknown masterpiece. The story progresses at a good pace, and keeps up the interest through the situations that take amusing turns, and the final twist is great. A light, fun read.

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Jonathan Livingstone Seagull - Richard Bach

I finally got a chance to read this extremely well-known and highly commended book. I liked the concept, and the way it is presented. But I am not one to go into raptures over this one. I don't particularly favor works based on philosophy, and this is quite heavy on it. But it is rather light on content - it is quite a thin volume, and most of the pages just have pictures of flying gulls - altogether it is a short story, rather than a novel. It was nice, and one can find some inspiring quotes in it, but it is not something I will read over and over again.