Centripetal by Rohit Shukla – Book Review

Some novels are to be read within hours and some are to be read first few chapters and left alone for good of everyone! However, there are the novels that we like to read but, somehow, cannot finish it in one go and we have to take breaks, come back again, start reading and take another break if necessary. Centripetal by Rohit Shukla is one of the latter. A reader must want to accept the challenge and keep reading to the end but the complexity of the text does not allow it to be done in one simple go. The layers of the storyline and angles with which the plot can be interpreted are many… The author has fused various timelines, various styles of narrative, various devices to distract the readers from the major course of action… and thus, Rohit Shukla has almost succeeded in keeping his readers engaged to the text and divorced from the facts that he wants to keep secrets hidden… till the last!

There are a few major characters in the novel and they appear in a sequence. Once we are exposed to all the major characters in the novel, flashbacks and daydreams take us to major episodes that readers should ideally know. There are songs and music in the background and the narrator, who is unknown, is very careful in setting the scenes and telling the readers of every minute detail before the action begins. The language might be crude sometimes but it perfectly synchronizes with the flow of the text and the characters who are uttering those words. Yes, the characters develop very nicely and readers will certainly have curiosity about certain characters and their history, present and even future.

Centripetal, as the name explains, does not display any characteristic that might lead the readers to believe that all the actions lead to one central goal. Every character in the novel have their separate goals and they are busy achieving the same. One is longing to be coupled again with his love and vice versa and another character is eagerly making sure that his writing comes to life… yes, a struggling author. Another one tries to make a living and keeps himself up doing the same. All characters somehow come across each other on different occasions and on those occasions only, major actions in the novel take place.

I truly appreciate such works of fiction by modern Indian authors. This is mainly because we need to come out of the cocoons of simply-read starter novels that have a lead female and a male character and that’s done. No, we need to get out of the teenage romance phase and authors like Rohit will certainly pose challenges in front of other young authors to think about something new… something beyond the usually selling semi-juvenile love stories that may attract the teenage readers for an hour or so. Centripetal, as a novel, will not let the readers rest for a while unless a resolution is met and this is what an author should aim for.

On the other hand, it should also be taken care of that authors do not cross all the limits of textual and contextual unity and make the text entirely unreadable or out of the ambits of comprehension of the readers. At some points in Centripetal, Rohit might have overdriven the plot to the blank spots that might lose the grip of the readers’ attention and the accumulated interest that comes running in the previous pages might be lost in a flash. That is something many readers might experience in the course of the novel.

At last, reading this novel will surely be an interesting job for many readers and I wish them the best! You can get a Kindly copy from Amazon India and start reading the novel right away. It is not costly as well! Click the link below to get a copy right now.

Buy the novel from Amazon – click here

 

Review by Nishant for The Book Blog

Before you read Franz Kafka – an ideal preparation

Franz Kafka, as most of the readers of his works may know, is an eccentric overlay, a kind of subterfuge, used to convey nice things before you have poison thrust into your mouth… 🙂 Yes, reading Kafka is difficult because he does not make any sense to most of the minds who read him. However, if you are curious and lucky enough to establish your tuning with his works, you will be the luckiest person to revel in the most obscure of the human secrets. Kafka is more than an enigma. Kafka is not great. Kafka is ordinary soaked with glimmers of greatness that is more than enough to outshine the genius like Shakespeare.

So, here are the basic preparations you should ensure before you dive into the world of Kafka:

  1. Be ready for everything that comes your way. Don’t dare to make sense of everything you are shown, forced to read or skip. Just consume every loaf of word-bread thrown to you.
  2. Don’t apply your mind when you think that the overflow of ideas is getting better of you. Let it pass. Duck. Give respect of the bouncers that Kafka throws in his furious overs.
  3. There is no place for emotions. Yes, in the first read or even in the nth-read in some of the cases, you should not be able to find out what emotions are being fed to you or you are supposed to experience. Let it pass!
  4. Expect nonchalant passage of things making no sense at all. This is Kafka – after all! You are only expected to read and forget.
  5. Kafka is an illusion. A water bubble that no one would love to burst. We are all playing with the idea of greatness that we ascribe to Kafka and you will get to it once you read a few of his short stories.

 

All the best, dear readers! You have been prepared to read Kafka. Do enjoy!

By a contributor to The Book Blog

The Portable Book of Birthdays – Review

This is not the first time I am reviewing a title which is more interesting and less literary. All the ways, the book will keep you engaged because you must have friends who birthdays are on any of the 28-31 dates in a month, throughout the year. The book is not precise but very wonderful as you will be able to match minimum 50/100 traits of yourself or your relatives or your friends – just on the basis of their birthdays.

The Portable Book of Birthdays has been written by two authors, Dennis Fairchild and Peter Weber. This book contains a brief summary of personality traits, qualities, money-matters and love interests of persons born on any of the 366 days of a year (including the 29th Feb or a leap year). And how does the prediction or assumptions hold? As I told, somewhere around 50-100 with 50 being the minimum resemblance and 100 being the best score. You can begin by seeing your personality type by jumping to the page of your birthday.

I did check my birthday first of all and I was certainly impressed with the precise details that resemble almost 80% of my personality. It begins with a brief summary of your personality, qualities and everything about you. The second thing in the line is your love interest. The third offering is you and your relation or distance with money. And it concludes with famous people who share your birthday. All that makes you happy… at times. 🙂

This is not a must-read book. This is not an essential read. This is, to be frank, just a funny book that will help you spend your nights when you are alone or help you spend your time on a boring trip wonderfully. In another scenario, suppose you are spending a night on a journey or a picnic and you are sitting with your friends around a bonfire, what would be better than checking out what the life offers to you and your friends? All you need is a birthday and voila!

So, dear readers, if you want to spend some time knowing about yourself and your friends, you can get a copy of this birthday book from Amazon India. The Portable Book of Birthdays is available on Amazon India. You can get a copy by clicking the link below:

Buy the book now – click here to buy from Amazon

 

Note: Don’t rely too much on the assumptions made by this book. This gives you a glimpse of an idea. You need to write on your fate. You need to WORK HARD! All the best! 🙂

Review by Pooja for The Book Blog

50 Ways to Make Google Love Your Website – Review

Though the book is old, it does not take away many things that are working as the white hat SEO practices to make your website very famous on the Google search result pages or SERPs. The good practices are still good practices and one should know about those if one wants a website to come to the top of Google search results. So, what am I talking about? Why am I talking about these things today? I want to let the readers of The Book Blog know about a book that can teach you the basics of SEO without visiting any institute or paying heavy amounts to learn these basic and advanced skills. In this book, 50 Ways to Make Google Love Your Website, by Steve Johnston and Liam McGee, the readers who are interested in SEO can learn many things. Here is my impression of the book after reading it thoroughly.

Content is the king! There is no doubt in accepting this theory. After the unacknowledged but certain release of WEB 2.0, it has been established by the experts and also by the results of tests, experiments and campaigns that content is the undisputed king on the web. The book emphasises on the correct use of content in the correct formats – headings, sub-headings, bold and italics where needed, capitals and bullets and so on… the book also emphasises on the use of perfectly designed content blocks so that Google crawler can pick them up for its processing and listing. The leading book review websites in India must have used the same skills in getting to the top.

In short, the authors of this book have provided very useful inputs and also illustrated examples that will tell, any reader with a basic knowledge of what SEO, how to use SEO practices, ethical ones, to make Google rank your website higher when there are search queries for many keywords that relate to your website. There are many ideas in the book that can help the readers interested in world wide web create a website from scratch and make it rank higher very quickly. So, if you are also a reader who is interested in WWW and knows a little of SEO, you are very well settled to read this book and help yourself in getting your website at the top of your target keywords. All the best for your strife and I am sure the book 50 Ways to Make Google Love Your Website will help you with tour SEO goals and also in achieving it quickly. Here is a link to the book that you can click to buy a copy of this book from Amazon India:

Buy the book – click here

review by Santosh Verma for The Book Blog

13 Untitled and Weird Poems by Alok Mishra: Review

“Ombrey 

to 

multi-million poker 

evolution is real. 

Death by hunger 

to 

more death by more hunger 

revolution was never real.” 

Writes Alok Mishra as poem number 9 in his latest poetry collection published in the year 2018, 13 Untitled and Weird Poems. This poem answers many questions and raises as many at the same time – evening the odd which is created, instantly. Moreover, this poem also gives us something as solace – poetry is not yet ditched in India. Indian English Poetry is still alive and it has to be! 

 

Poet Alok Mishra

Poet Alok Mishra

 

Reviewing the books of poetry is never an easy task for me. I have to check my emotional outburst and yet, I have to, be just with the poet as well. So, how was this experience? I stumbled upon this interesting title by a well-established poet in India, Alok Mishra (no, he does not go to poetry festivals) 13 Untitled and Weird Poems – a collection that has only 13 poems – written randomly without following any certain pattern or rhyme scheme. It is all fragmented – perhaps too much influenced by T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land or not influenced by anything or anyone at all and embarking a journey or one’s own, entirely one’s OWN. 

Though I have already done injustice to the poetry collection by sharing the complete poem (number 9) here, I could neither do justice to poet Alok Mishra without sharing at least one complete poem from the collection. I am sure this poem will let the readers of Indian English poetry know what they can expect in the collection. Alok has been direct in his invoking throughout the collection. However, he has been very discreet and mysterious at the same time with his choice of imagery and use of symbols. You can certainly not find out what the images refer to in your first reading; and the beauty of poems is that after several rounds of readings, you cannot still decide what might be the real sense… So, the poems are open-ended and beautiful in imagery and too complicated in getting to the closest ‘real’ sense, at times. A few out of 13 are still decodable instantly. However, the shortest one, having only one word as a complete poem, is too much to comprehend – how could I and how would you? 

“A boat and he sailed. 

Storm, waves, but 

he never failed.” 

The symphony that Alok’s lines create is amazing. You can actually feel the poem in its sound if you read it musically. Simple in diction, the poems are easy to read and easy to comprehend only to the layer of the primary understanding. It is good for early readers of poetry. However, if you go deeper, the world is too clumsy to navigate. This extract comes from poem number 10 and if you go through the complete poem, you will take your time thinking about what could be the closest possible interpretation of the poem… 

In short, the poetry collection is amazing and you MUST read it to understand how the Indian English poetry has been moving around with the younger generation of the poets taking the torch from the older line. You can get a copy of this book from Amazon India in the Kindle format and you can enjoy the poetry treat: 

buy the book – click to by from Amazon India 

review by Aditya Shankar for The Book Blog 

Jestus on Rampage – Review

The second novel by V. S. Sury, Jestus on Rampage, is a sequel to his first novel Jestus and it further develops the character that he has created in his debut. In this novel, Jestus is introduced to us as a professor at NG University who comes on his first day at the campus on his horseback and sets the scene chaotic. People are amazed because he has letters of recommendations from reputed institutions in many countries but his approach towards education is rather unconventional and somewhat dubious! And it happens, Jestus, who is well-known as Bagdenborg at the campus, is kicked out of the university because the university administration thinks that he is corrupting the atmosphere there. And after that, the real script of Jestus on Rampage is unfolded!

A man of 45 now, Jestus is someone you will certainly find mysterious. He has an unusual aura around him which attracts many people towards Jestus. His witty dialogues certainly draw a series of laughter but somewhere deep, there lies the seriousness in his words which the readers will realise if they read V. S. Sury’s novel with a little more than usual attention.

However, Jestus on Rampage is all about humour and laughter, apparently as you will find him very witty and practical even at the moment when he is making love with one of his students, Sarah. The real problem for Jestus arises when he becomes the target of the brunt the Rationalist society led by Norse. His new enemies think that his illogical way of living is certainly a problem for the people in the Rationalistic society and that he should be sent away or just eliminated. How will Jestus survive? How will Jestus escape?

The novel is written in plain English and you will seldom find any lucrative metaphors except for some of the sentences with two layers of meanings. For example, just take a look at the following sentences:

“Jestus simply knows. There is no knowing what he knows, or how he knows. If you ask him, he would say that there is no need to go about seeking to know what is to be known. …”

Jestus on Rampage has a straightforward plot which seeks to explore the doings of this mysterious person Jestus. The theme can be debated as most of the book bloggers in India have agreed. At the end, you will find an interesting read and you will surely praise the crafty and unusual fiction that V. S. Sury has created in the form of this book. Get your copies from the Amazon link below:

Jestus on Rampage on Amazon India