Charlie And The Chocolate Factory #BookReview

As I started out on my geeky spree, a thought occurred to me. Nothing great, not even intelligent nor something new. Just a plain, simple, eccentric thought. Why not begin my geek obsessed project with the wacky Willy Wonka himself?

What next? I picked up my old and rusted (and don’t forget dusted) copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Staring at its brightly yellowed cover felt like I was looking at one of the golden tickets. And the thought of reading the book felt like I was finally going to meet the world famous Willy Wonka, in person.

Who doesn’t know the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? But still, here we go. It is a story of a poverty-stricken, chocolate-obsessed, hero-worthy GOOD child (His name is Charlie, genius). One day he gets the opportunity to visit the most famous (and productive (and creative (and eccentric))) factory in the world (along with four other BAD children). Mr. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The book describes the tour of the factory, along with telling the importance of being a GOOD person. But I read the book solely because of Willy Wonka’s character.

Mr. Willy Wonka is a highly eccentric, surreal, crazy, absurd and ridiculous character. He’s lovely, charming, creative and rude (and a genius) at the same time (he’s garnished with a lot of sarcasm too). But in the end he’s the best part of the book. His wackiness and weirdness is what makes this story a lot more fun and interesting to read. Whenever I think of him, this quote comes to my mind, “The creative adult is the child who survived“. (Quite literally in this case) 😉

Moreover, I found the characters of Charlie and his ninety-six year old grandfather pretty interesting. They were wise, playful, ‘poor yet joyous’ and most importantly GOOD!! (But don’t forget, they were skinny too) 😛

As the story proceeds, the BAD children one-by-one get into some trouble, and eventually go home. And the Oompa-Loomphas (the factory’s unearthly dwarf workers) would always bid them farewell by singing a song, highlighting their BAD habits. So all in all, it was a fun read.

I will not let my chat-bagginess turn this review into a babblement. So to sum up I would say that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a scrumdiddlyumptious book and Willy Wonka was a boot-boggling character. But before starting the book, you should probably check out the Wonka-Vite first.  🙂 🙂

 

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Ready Player One #BookReview

“No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.”

And no one in this world can write a geeky story better than Ernest Cline. No doubt there. Seriously.

Moving on, I stumbled upon Ready Player One at a local book fair and bought it thinking that I had seized an incredible deal, as it was placed at just twenty rupees. Pretty great, right? Well, at that time I had not even the slightest idea of how groovy this book would turn out to be.

Fast forward three months when I finally picked up the courage to read this book. And boy was I surprised. The very first page had me hooked. The book was like a powerful drug that I could not get enough of. Cline’s writing was something that kept my curiosity running. And the book’s geeky theme did the job of keeping my spirit alive. With every page-turn, I started to want more. The reference to the pop culture, geek world and classic games never let my battery drain. Reading Ready Player One was like traveling into the past which I had never witnessed. And it was a beautiful journey.

First things first, Ready Player One is set in the future, 2044 to be precise, where the Earth’s all crapped out and the world is coming to an end. So basically, this is a dystopian book. But this dystopia also has a tinge of utopia in it. In order to run away from their ruined world, people live in the other world, the virtual world. Some antisocial geek has provided the world with a video game, OASIS, which satisfies the people with its virtual water amidst the deserted dystopia. And after dying without a heir, this 80s’ pop-culture addicted geek has the whole world dancing to his beats. Before dying he had devised a game, inside the OASIS, and the person who was able to solve this game would win all of his possessions and the management and husbandry of the OASIS itself. Pretty crazy, right? But guess what no one was able to clear the first stage of the game until this young man gets lucky and changes the world (or the OASIS at least).

OK. Beginning written, a quote added, and described the plot of the book. Now let’s get to the part that we really care about. How was the book? In one word, Awesome. In two words, Wicked Cool. In three words, Stole My Heart. In four words, The Best Book Ever! Is that enough or do I need to add more adjectives? 😛

Seriously, there was nothing that I could dislike about this book. Strong characters, addictive story, geek culture and Ernest Cline.

Ready Player One is Cline’s Harry Potter, his Matrix and his Grand Theft Auto. It is a masterpiece that has found a permanent place in my heart.

You say that the book touched the ‘geek centre of your brain’; I say that it moved me to my bones. You say that it was the best geek book ever; I say that nothing can match its grandeur in the Known Universe. You say that Cline is one of the best writers that ever walked on this earth; I say that he even beats Tolkien.

Honestly, a huge shout out to the person who devised such a fabrication that left me flabbergasted. Ernest Cline, you’re the man!

Though, there was just one part in the book that did not make sense to me in the beginning. IOI, the evil organisation portrayed in this book, wanted to take over the OASIS and convert it into a paid service (as it was free of cost, right now). In the early stages of the book, I did not understand what the fuzz was all about. But as the story picked up its pace, I slowly made my brain understand how evil a company it was. After that, everything great.

Having read the book now, I have come to know that there is a lot of geeking out that I have yet to do. And all I can say is that Ernest Cline, I’m your slave, your servant, your student. Teach me, bless me, enlighten me, show me the path… 😛

So from now on I am on a geek spree. I am going to read, watch and listen everything geeky in order to brush up my knowledge (and catch up with that of Cline’s).  😉

The Hobbit #BookReview

Breathless yet alive,
Eerie it gets, as darkness thrive(s);
It speaks of the Ringwinner, the soothsayer and the saviour of Dame,
Luck-wearer, clue-finder and Barrel-rider are hidden in its name. 
Magical and unending is its charm,
Every turn offers a new harm;
The burglar is a high spirited wiz,
Can you tell me what it is?!

You guessed it right (obviously)! It’s The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. (Yeah, I know! This is nothing as compared to Tolkien. If the whole Milky Way is taken as Tolkien’s poetry then my riddle is only a pin point in front of it. But still, I feel that as my first ever riddle/poem this does a pretty good job. 😛 )

Now coming back to the topic. The Hobbit had been on my reading list for quite a while. So long that it had somewhat started to rust at the edges. I was reluctant to read it because, due to the courtesy of a few un-wise friends and critics, my mind told me that the book is crap and it contains too much of descriptions and lengthy, unreadable character sketches. So much that my brain might even explode at seeing the string of ink printed pages (filled with boring stuff). Some of my friends even mocked that the book was blessed with a few dialogues amidst the never ending descriptions. But my heart still wanted to explore the world of hobbits, dwarves, goblins, elves and Gandalf! So, what next?! A battle was waged. Fierce, and gruesome. Blood was shed, the heart was pinched, brain torn and thoughts killed. But in the end, the heart beat the drum in victory.

Okay. Enough of the drama. 😛 So having read the book now, I can simply assure you that each and every word said by my friends is crap! The Hobbit is dazzlingly marvelous! Perfect! Flawless! Staggering! I have never in my life read a book so beautifully crafted that it even puts the Arkenstone to shame! Though the book is a bit descriptive in the beginning, but it did not bother me for even a jiffy. The reading experience is completely unhampered and continuative.

The Hobbit tells the story of an unsuspecting and unadventurous hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who is made to set off on a journey that will change his life forever. A bit clichéd. Huh? Not at all. He embarks on a journey so magical, so dark and yet so bright that it changes his character completely. He discovers stuff that he did not even know existed in him. He discovers the spirit of adventure, of power, and of burglary ( and don’t forget, also of starvation! ). With only such a ‘clichéd’ thought in mind, Tolkien weaves a story so magnificent and so breathtaking, filled with such visionary characters, that The Hobbit remains unparalleled till today.

The Hobbit is not a story that makes you cry or bring out the emotional you but a tale that fills you with the courage to discover untraveled lands. The Hobbit is not a book that will make you go through a period of self-discovery but a story that will leave you spellbound and would make you fall in love with the mesmerizing world of fantasy. The Hobbit is not a story that will make you stare at its pages and soak in all its power but a tale that will fill you with enough mirth and enthusiasm to make an adventure of your own!

To sum up I would say that The Hobbit is nothing but holy! Tolkien somehow traps you in his beautifully created words and a divinely crafted story that will leave you engrossed with Bilbo Baggins and his ring. Tolkien may your beard grow ever long! (OK. That is weird…) May your memory never wither! (That seems better! :))

This book is truly one of my prized possessions. And it has been with me for ages. For ages I have kept it safe in my library, safe from this wicked world. For this was my birthday present. And for this is my PRECIOUSSss…

 

*This is probably going to be my last post for the next 2-3 weeks. (Exams, you see!) But I’ll sure be back with a bang (hopefully!). Scarface, I guess you need to wait for some time, but don’t worry I won’t hang you up! 🙂 Hopefully see you in July! 🙂

Alice In Wonderland #BookReview

I know what you are thinking. Alice In Wonderland? Seriously!? Come on! I hope this review isn’t written by a nine year old!! 

Well, I just couldn’t help it. When I saw this lying in my school library, I was sucked into reading this beautiful gem of my halcyon days of childhood. I was so blinded by the joy that I didn’t bother whether I would like this piece of my memory of not…

For starters I really did like the book but didn’t completely love it. The book was beautifully written. And that was its best part. Lewis Carroll writes Alice In Wonderland in such a way that it brings out the inner child in you. The writing is from a child’s perspective, how she looks at things and understands them, how she analyses everything by the way she has been taught at school, how she feels proud whenever she speaks something beyond her age and how she goes on about her cat, Dinah, and then apologizes to the creatures offended by her! It’s all through the eyes and mind of a young kid. And that is exactly what makes the book elegant and charming. 

But this book was a lot more queer. The characters were so interesting and mysterious. The Hatter’s mad riddle and one liners were fair enough to entertain me, the Dormouse’s attitude was sleepy enough to make me laugh, Bill, the lizard’s piteous plight was miserably sufficient to make me fell compassionate towards that poor creature and the Duchess’s never ending morals were crazy enough to leave me puzzled!

This book grew curiouser and curiouser as I read it! But Alice’s hunger for adventure and the unknown was retained. This was the one message, I guess, Carroll was trying to convey. Through the means of a fairy tale, he wanted to express that we ought not shelter our kids from the world that lies ahead of them. But, instead, let them face it’s challenges and thrills themselves and let their ingenuous imagination run wild!

And as for the part that I didn’t love the book, I have no particular reason for that. Maybe that I’ve outgrown this genre or that the ending didn’t suit me quite well. But for sure I really liked reading this book. And for those of you who didn’t find the book quite as amusing ‘Off with their heads! ‘. 😛

After reading Alice In Wonderland, I feel as if I have gone entirely bonkers! Have I gone mad?
Um….I’m afraid so! But I’ll tell you a secret. All the bookworms are!
🙂

1984 #BookReview

After a long and unbearable period of time I finished this book. I don’t know why but it took me quite a while to finish reading it. Maybe because the book was too depressing to read or that it was so daunting that even the words “Freedom Is Slavery” gave me a warning sign as to not read the book. 

1984 tells the story of a utopia ( not Thomas More’s Utopia ) but the utopia, as described by the Party ( it’s actually dystopia. But you see, you have to apply doublethink in order to understand this ‘utopian’ menace! ). So, moving on, this Party rules over Oceania ( the whole world is divided into three parts: Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia. ) and follows the policy of totalitarianism. The authority of the Party is supreme and no one can even ‘think’ against its rule. Even a dream seen by you against the Party can be regarded as an act of espionage. Your greatest enemies include the fiendish Thought-Police, the skeptic Party members and even your very own children! So has the morality of the times degraded… 

The book follows the story of an unorthodox who ‘thinks’ that the world can be saved and freed from the clutches of the Party. But what he doesn’t know that he is in the minority of one. Orwell weaves a world full of terror and fright around this heretic man. He touches upon all the aspects of the morally degenerated society of that time in this beautifully written novel. 

But I have got to admit that I dozed off twice or thrice while reading this book. With much yawns and naps I had finished the forty pages explaining the perplexing meaning of the lines – 
War Is Peace 
Freedom Is Slavery 
Ignorance Is Strength. 
But nevertheless the story picked up its normal pace after those sluggish pages. 

The novel at points really felt like an essay. As an essay it would have done a pretty great job. The book described it’s points and statements so clearly and profoundly. But as a novel it was quite slow paced, with flat characters and was so awfully depressing! It was so depressing that it gave the word ‘depressing’ a whole new meaning!

Howbeit, it was a genuinely good book which will stay with me forever, and these lines will continue to haunt me till eternity…

“Under the spreading chestnut tree,
I sold you and you sold me…”

The Alchemist #BookReview

“When you truly want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it…”

These words somehow tend to convey the warmth and truth that our soul and heart had been seeking since it was born. They unfetter the deep-seated desire of ours to follow our destiny…to pursue the path laid down for us…to live our dreams. 
This book is not just another “self-help” or philosophy books. It’s a legend…a fable written to open our eyes and motivate us to listen to our hearts. We may always lie to ourselves or our minds…but we can never lie to our heart. It speaks the language of God. It always shows us the path chosen for us. But we mostly ignore our heart and live someone else’s life. Well, what this book does is that it makes you understand the importance of listening to one’s heart and to follow our destiny. 
The Alchemist may at times feel a bit candid or subtle. But that’s the magic of it. The book is so enchanting that it’s charisma never dies. Even when you have finished the book, you stare at the pages trying to absorb the book’s magic and power. 
Still there are places where The Alchemist feels a little “underwhelming” and all that. But you have to admit that some of its magic has been lost in translation. So I don’t really blame anyone for that. But The Alchemist in the end will truly leave you speechless. It’s magic will make you review the decisions taken by you in the past and will make you listen to your heart before taking any other big step in your life. But above all the book will have you moved to your “heart”. 
In the end its all about the journey. And the journey is all about finding yourself, and in this case through the pages of a book. Reading The Alchemist was probably one of the best things that I ever did in my life. And now I truly believe that you can achieve anything you want with just a little bit of faith and courage in your hearts. And yes of-course, everything is written.
Maktub…

The Silver Linings Playbook #BookReview

Honest, fun, enjoyable…
Yeah these are the words that come to my mind when I think of this book. It sure was a good read and I really liked this book. The best thing that I like about the book is the characters. Matthew Quick has created magically dark, deep, lovely and mysterious characters that take the story forward. But still the book at some places is slow and a little unbearable to read. 

Halfway through the book and I still don’t know what the real plot is…? It really gets better with more involvement of Tiffany, Cliff and Jake in Pat Peoples’ life. ( I really loved the name Pat PEOPLES…! ) The best chapter of the book was My Movie’s Montage. Loved the way how Quick wrote this chapter, with small paragraphs describing the hard work put together by Tiffany and Pat for their dance. This chapter really makes you smile. 🙂


One of the best things about the book was its book to film adaptation. The movie was really good. Having the image of Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany and Bradley Cooper as Pat really makes reading the book enjoyable. 

The Silver Linings Playbook has taught me to always look for the silver lining in everything and never to lose hope. But it also taught me not to cling to one particular thing for too long if it is bad for you or practically unachievable. So whenever the time is right, let go of that thing. But never, ever lose hope.
🙂

Mockingjay #BookReview

Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire…
This was the girl who always kept Snow on the edge of his seat. This was the girl who became the Mockingjay and gave the Districts a new hope. This was the girl who ignited the rebellion against the corrupt and unjust Capitol. This was the girl who sacrificed her life to save her sister from the cruelty of the Hunger Games…
But what happened to this girl in the third and final book of this mind blowing and intense trilogy. Katniss is mostly seen on the hospital bed, in some secret closets, drugged on morphine or trying to runaway from her life, when not performing her duties as the Mockingjay in the book. She is merely shown as an unpredictable pawn trying to defeat President Snow. Her will to fight back is sometimes not as strong as her duties as the Mockingjay. She does not have the clear mind nor the willpower to lead the rebels. She is often stuck up in her decision between Peeta and Gale. Instead of a clear minded, strong and compelling leader of the rebellion, she is a feeble and underwhelming pawn of the President of District 13. 
But leaving all the above points, it was the ending that I disliked the most. I somewhat liked the starting, the part when Katniss comes back to life, the ‘ If We Burn You Burn With Us ’ part… But the conclusion left me dispirited. The climax was more realistic than happy to me. I was thinking of a more merrier ending for the star-crossed lovers from 12. Not only them but also for Finnick, Annie and Gale. Even though the ending was more bona fide, I craved for a more gleeful climax for the story and for Katniss. 
But instead the ending only brought more and more screams, nightmares and despondency. 
In the end I would say that even though Katniss completed her motive, this book left me a little bit underwhelmed. So I would go with 6.5 stars for the last book of the Hunger Games Trilogy.