Opinion & Featured Articles

The Most Tragic Characters from Literature

Most tragic characters from literature

In a world where tears overwhelm smiles, tragic characters aren’t hard to find. Some bear the burden of epic tragedy while some are sublime in the poignant sorrow of their individual life. Here are the ones that left us shattered.

All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! But if you ever had a corporate job, you would have lost it for good owing to your dilemma and confusion in decision making. It got you killed for good.

Anna Karenina — A feisty character struck by fated love and aristocratic hypocrisy. Joker would have loved to ask you “why so serious”?

Jean Valjean stands as a classic example of a tragic hero torn by internal struggles and battered by the hostilities of Inspector Javert. Tough luck Mr Valjean.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles has effortlessly proved with her hapless, helpless and unlucky life that bookish tragedies can be bigger than real life ones. Too bad.

Prince Hector confirmed that giant male ego is not a good thing, particularly while fighting legends. The story of his debacle still makes us cry and Hollywood makes a fortune out of it.

Troilus and Cressida: Farewell, bastard(s), (Act 5, Scene 7). Ahem!

Professor Snape, you seem to me like Batman, like umm… The Dark Knight. It is absolutely unnecessary to be so hell bent to take all the blame when you are a good guy. Silly, you know.

Prince Oberyn — When you have to kill, just kill and don’t talk. That’s a horrible way to die. It spoiled the entire GoT series for me.

So share your opinion and choices as well.
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Opinion & Featured Articles

Just Delivered: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms George R.R. Martin

Alright, this is not a review because I am yet to read the book.

If you are into Game of Thrones, this is something you should not skip (just making an educated guess). The book is a prequel to The Songs of Ice and Fire series and is a collection of the following three novellas:

1) The Hedge Knight
2) The Sworn Sword
3) The Mystery Knight

Just the thought that the Targaryens still hold the Iron Throne gives me goosebumps.

The illustrations by Gary Gianni are top notch.

Just got this book from Amazon, and this post is basically a shameless show-off of my excitement 🙂

If you have already read the book, do share your thoughts on it.

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Opinion & Featured Articles

My New Bookcase

 

ul

Alright, here is my new bookshelf. The store calls it Aberdeen Bookcase. This one is somewhat modern. My other bookcases are quite traditional library like things.

I have three more shelves and all squeezed in a single room due to space crunch. For good or for worse, they cannot accommodate any more stuff.  That’s when books started piling up on the floor.

The homeless books piled on the floor now finally have a shelter. Still leaves me with a bit of space in the shelf and a lot of space on the floor to pile more books 🙂

How do you like it? Would love to see some pictures of personal libraries of fellow bibliophiles.

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Opinion & Featured Articles

Treasure Hunt at Local Book Fair

Book fair

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year in advance.

During this time of the year, we have a local book fair hosted in my part of the city. This is a kind of warm up to the International Kolkata Book Fair (world’s largest non-trade book fair). Bought myself a few bookish presents 🙂

Okay, here’s the lot:

Great Cases of Interpol by Reader’s Digest Association

A top notch collection of real life cases with photos and illustrations. “Not to be read in a single sitting” as my favorite editorial duo Mr Wagner and Mr Wise often suggests for anthologies. Too generous a ration of crime may defeat its intended purpose.

Great Cases of Interpol by Reader's Digest Association

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Okay, I admit I haven’t read it.  It has become a bedtime partner since yesterday and seems like a modern Dickensian work. Bought it for what would be about $2.00 in US currency. Can’t stop congratulating myself. The deal itself was worth the delay. Dash it, it wasn’t.

strange

Reader’s Digest Illustrated Story of World War II

Being a history buff, I am rather happy that I bought this one. Definitely not for scholars and provides just an overview of WW II, but makes an interesting presentation with lots of rare pictures.

world war 2

A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proofby Roger Clarke
That’s my favorite subject again. Not just a piece of fiction but some real life facts on a creepy topic. Not sure how this would turn out, I have not read any non-fiction work on the supernatural. Keeping my fingers crossed.

a natural history of ghosts by roger clarke

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad

Any bookish party is incomplete without vintage, fragile penguins. So here they are. Haven’t read them, but they are already my favorites.

So what do you think of the lot? What have you bought this Christmas?

penguin

 
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Opinion & Featured Articles

Top 5 Fantasy Worlds to Visit

 

fantasy

Note: Back again from a disturbed slumber. Hope you are still there.
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You always wanted to be there. You always dreamed of being there. You’d leave all you’ve got just to be there, once and for all.

If you were offered a one way trip to the spectacular, fantastic places you discovered in the books, where would you go? Would you be a wizard, a warrior, an Emperor or a damsel in distress?

Here are a few options in no particular order:

cimmeria

Conan’s Cimmeria

“It was so long ago and far away …
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night.”

Robert E. Howard:

For an eternal savage longing to wield his sword, the sinister continent of Cimmeria is the place to be. Thanks to Tolkien and his faithful sidekicks, 20th century had had its share of fruity elves and Rivendellesque places. If you are a peerless warrior or a real badass, you want to wake up in the frozen wastes of war-like Cimmeria.

westeros

Westeros

You can hate it or may love it but the blood soaked, treacherous land of Westeros cannot be kept out of the equation. Accusations are GRR Martin just re-imagined Britain roughly around the time of the War of the Roses. He simply studied a period of history and ripped it off. Well, he did it damn good. Westeros is certainly more alive and believable than a lot others of its kind. If you are a strategic statesman born in the wrong age, plan a time travel to Westeros for a game of thrones. You win or you die.

barsoom

Barsoom

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom could be in the list simply because of the number of rip offs it inspired. Right from Lin Carter to Michael Moorcock, Barsoom has inspired a generation of writers as deeply as it has affected the imagination of the readers. The ridiculously unbelievable yet immensely entertaining and evocative world building is just irresistible. So what if I am worthless in this world? My future lies in a world away.

narnia

Narnia

Lewis’ Narnia is widely considered by critics as one of the most consistent and internally sound example of world building. It does seem to have its own philosophy and preaching, but Lewis somehow makes it easy for the readers to escape to Narnia with a kind of homely magic that we do not commonly find in the Lord of the Rings or even Harry Potter. And of course, the landscape of Narnia comforts you with an optimism that is rare in the real world. Let the peaceful among us find shelter in Lewis’ magical realm.

lord of the rings

Middle-earth

Let them say you walked with the giants and dwelt in the Middle-earth. Tolkien’s Middle-earth has stood the onslaught of a number accusations including but not limited to being cold, barren and boring, and written in wooden language. Nonetheless, it has transcended over others to become a piece of art. The rich and detailed world building is simply awe inspiring. Anyone who doesn’t like it is clearly an Orc.

So what’s your favorite fictional world? And what role would you like to play there?
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