Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Krish and Ananya finally get married and they live happily thereafter with their kids……!!!  Feels as if I have just finished watching a bollywood flick. Well, not exactly !! But have just finished reading 2 States by chetan Bhagat, which is  going to be another hit bollywood flick for sure. As I was moving ahead in the novel para by para, page by page, the only thing that crossed me, am I watching yet another hindi movie? 2 States is bingo !!! There was little disappointment with his last novel, 3 mistake…. But in 2 States he has hit the right note in all the departments – story line, wit, emotions, sex and melodrama. It is indeed a treat of those who love reading light hearted youthfull novels.

2 States is about Krish and Ananya. Set in the backdrop of IIM Ahmedabad, this novel is essentially a love story. A north Indian boy falls in love with a south Indian girl.  They decide to get married and families approval is mandatory. But the problem is India’s rich cultural diversity. Well, is that a problem? Oh yes, especially when the difference is as great as north and south of India. The plot revolves around how this madly in love couple decide not to elope and make this happen with their parents’ consent.

It wont be surprising if I put it as a screenplay of a wanna be movie than a novel. Right from the beginning till the end it simply seems as if you are up watching a nice romantic movie. The culture difference in north and south India has been portrayed with great effectiveness and sheer honesty. The “larger than life” life style of punjabi’s and the mellowed down south Indian lifestyle has been put with lot of sincerity. Chetan Bhagat is always credible when it comes to humour and his choice of one liners. And this time too they are highly appreciable and probably boosts the readability of the novel to a large extent. Touting it as semi autobiographical, Chetan Bhagat’s characters are sumptuous enough to make one feel “I wish I was Krish or may be Ananya.” They are typically boy next door types and easily identifiable. Perhaps one of the best things about all his works.

2 States has a much better narration than “3 mistakes of my life”. Though his writing style is largely similar in all the first 3 novels, in 2 States, his attempt is much more sensitive and realistic with acceptable gestures of love and emotions. Unlike his last flick, 2 States doesn’t go overboard in sex and exgaerting melodrama which makes the novel a very interesting read. Its a story where the protagonists never let their parents’ decision influence their choice and at the same time manages to understand their sensibilities. A good attempt to convey some serious message as well. The situations acts as fodder for arguments and drama, and Mr.Bhagat conveniently wraps them in his wit and humour and presents before us. Needless to say his distint style which is his hallmark.

Chetan Bhagat is indeed a smart writer. He nurtured the dream of being a writer right from his IIM days. And why not, this former investment banker has made India read like never before. He understands the youth pulse. And more than that knows what sells. Chetan Bhagat certainly knows to wield his pen. He knows what to talk and how to talk. His earlier books have been acclaimed and consequently made into movies. Whenever he comes out with a novel, it creates an unprecedented ripple in the market. Literary profoundness is not his forty. But what he has is mass appeal and an inexplicable aura.

With 2 States selling like hot cake, I guess all izz well for Mr. Bhagat.  Now all we need is to wait and watch who grabs 2 States. A sure shot bollywood blockbuster, hopefully duly credited to this fantastic writer. Bravo !!!


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Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

“Its nothing but soft porn”- was the first comment I heard when a friend of mine saw me reading Eleven Minutes by none other than the master storyteller and my all time favourite Paulo Coelho. For a moment I thought i would give up, but I choose to continue. The reason was simple my faith in Paulo’s creativity and his unusual thought process. And now that I have finished the book I dont regret spending my time and energy reading this novel. Unusual surely, this book does make you feel at times that its nothing more than Paulo Coelho’s knowledge about woman anatomy and sex. But a broader and a closer look does get you to think about the different aspects of a woman’s life from a different points of view. Can’t compare it with “The Alchemist” though, Eleven Minutes is definitely worth a quick read.

Eleven Minutes is a tale about Maria, a young girl living in Brazil’s unsophisticated interior. Maria’s unsuccessful experiments with men and romance at her girlhood days convinced her that love is a delusion, or at least it is not for her. Attaining her maturity, she becomes a sales girl with limited prospects for a better life in the future. But sudden change in fate becomes inevitable when a vacation to Rio brings her into contact with a Swiss tourist named Roger, who was looking to hire dancers for his club in Geneva. It was nothing less than dream come true for Maria who finally started believing that she is in for a high flier life. Unfortunately things were not as rosy as she expected and eventually after falling out with Roger, she drifts on her own initiative into life as a bar-girl. Quickly adapting to the coarse but not uninteresting role of prostitute, she endures nearly a year of service, until she has accumulated enough money to return to Brazil in style. Maria quickly mastered the act of satisfying men on one hand and on the other she lived a life of any ordinary simple girl with her dreams and aspirations. When Maria was all set to live Geneva for Brazil, she meets a young artist, Ralf Hart and begins to fall in love, disturbing her hard-won equilibrium and raising the issue of whether the two halves of her nature can be satisfied by any one man.

Eleven Minutes is by far a book about sex. You can cut a cake anyways, but a cake remains a cake. And thats what this book is about. Paulo in his own style has tried various interpretation but at the end that’s what it comes down to – sex is after all sex. The title itself refers to the length of time it takes to commit the act, eleven minutes. The world we live in revolves around sex, no matter how much people try to disguise or argue that fact. Rather than dispute it or make sex ugly, Coehlo presents sex as a beautiful lesson to be mastered as one gains experience. Interestingly Paulo has atributed sacredness to sex thus making it nothing less than a divine affair.

This novel is typically about Maria’s trials and triumphs-she goes from restaurant dancer to high-class prostitute-would make for an entertaining if rather prosaic novel, but Coelho, does not leave it there. Instead, he embarks on a philosophical exploration of sexual love, using Maria’s pseudo-philosophical diary entries as a means for expounding on the nature of sexual desire, passion and love. However, if you’re able to get through the more graphic parts with an open mind, you will find that this is more a book about love – and how we confuse sex & love – and how we no longer seem to be able to find the love in sex… Also cannot deny the fact that through Maria we are able to see some of the ugliest sides of sex. But it is through her development as a character that we are able to appreciate the beauty of the act of sex as well. And here comes Paulo’s mastery which is worth an applause. To have a thinking cap on for something so mundane routine human act as sex is highly commendable. Though at times the whole plot looks very preachy but a closer look does gives you feeling of how things are and should be.

The strength of the book is the simplicity of Coelho’s writing. It truly is fascinating, just that it is nice to finally see a prostitute not as a helpless victim but just a woman trying to survive even though many in reality might be victims…Nevertheless, Eleven Minutes if not like The Alchemist but does have a positive point in every stage. Though the only hitch I have is the opening line…”once upon a time there was a prostitute called Maria…” sounds as if the beginning of a fairy tale. I wonder how much fairy tale does a prostitute have in her life….!!!!

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After Unaccustomed Earth, “The Namesake” was my immediate choice.   I was overwhelmed by Ms.Lahiri’s grip on short stories and so wanted to read her first novel, “The Namesake“. And all I can say, she is just incredibly awesome and certainly one of the best !!!  “The Namesake” is one of the best novel I have read and it goes without saying that Jhumpa Lahiri has very successfully carved a place for herself amongst the great contemporary story writers of the time.

Very similar backdrop, Jhumpa Lahiri visits her familiar territory again with “The Namesake”, immigrant Bengali family. But the main theme of this novel is ” name”, the name of  Ashoke Ganguli and Ashima Ganguli’s son Gogol Ganguli !!!  It is interesting to see how Ms.Lahiri has dealt with this very common practice of having two names in bengali family into a full length novel. In a stroke the story line goes like this…
“The Namesake” is the journey of  the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta(Kolkata) through their fraught transformation into Americans. Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Ashoke, an academic does his best to adapt while his wife pines for home back in India. Born to Ashoke and his wife, Gogol is afflicted from birth with a name that is neither Indian nor American nor even really a first name at all. He is given the name by his father who, before coming  to America to study at MIT, was almost killed in a train accident in India. Rescuers caught sight of the volume of Nikolai Gogol’s short stories that he held, and hauled him from the train. Ashoke gives this name as a substitute to his real name which was supposed to be proposed by his grandmother which unfortunately never happened. And this awkward name Gogol sticks there after. Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name, leaving him confused throughout about his identity and individuality. The story revolves around Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path in America, torn between conflicting loyalties ( Parents and his new life), studies, work and wrenching love affairs.

“The Namesake”  is a simple story without much of emotional show off. Its neither a tragedy  nor a comedy but a very simple real life story about  Gogol who is desperately trying to assimilate himself to the American way of life. The story is very  easily identifiable and true to life in every sense. Jhumpa Lahiri’s detailing is something one should look forward to in this novel. Richly infused with minute details of ones daily life, be it food, clothing, language or lifestyle…Ms.Lahiri has painted a vivid and clear picture of an Indian family trying to strike a balance between their traditional way of living and American lifestyle. The penetrating eyes of the author has very distinctly expressed the mind of Gogol and how he deals with the expectations bestowed upon him by his parents, and also the means by which he slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define himself  in this fine novel of identity. The language used is lucid and expressions are dealt with pure sensitivity. Ms. Lahiri masterfully weaves a compelling story and coats it with her authentic familiarity with the lives of the Indian diaspora, making this novel a gift for her readers who can identify with her characters and thus making it a pleasurable read.

“The Namesake” is essentially a tale of love, solitude and emotional upheavals with an amazing eye for detail and ironic observation. Anyone looking for a simple story about common and simple people with utmost reality…”The Namesake” is the one to grab. And for the author…. Jhumpa Lahiri’s unique understanding of complex human emotions and an incredible ability to convey them to the reader is highly commendable and her novel is surely a piece which can keep you wrapped with nostalgia for days to come !!!

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UNACCUSTOMED EARTH” is my first brush with Jhumpa Lahiri’s work and as expected I was not disappointed at all. Whenever I heard people talking about her writings, I always thought that I had missed out on some interesting reading, but only ,till few days back, when a friend gifted me “UNACCUSTOMED EARTH”, Ms Lahiri’s latest venture. And today as I finish the last page of this collection of short stories I  am engulfed with two thoughts!!
The first being of sheer admiration for this brilliant writer for penning down something so authentic and secondly of deep regret as in, why on earth I have not read her previous works….!!! So, before I go on with my review on “Unaccustomed Earth”, I have to promise myself to grab copies of “Interpreter of Maladies” and “The Namesake” as soon as possible !!!
“Unaccustomed Earth” is a stunningly beautiful collection of short stories about expatriate Bengali families.In this set of eight stories, Jhumpa Lahiri have very maturely dealt with common yet complicated issues faced by the parents and their children who are Americans in more ways than one. The gulf between the Indians living in America and their next generation, along with other relationships on the whole, is the predominant theme of this book .To begin with, in the title story “Unaccustomed earth”, there is Ruma who finds it an obligation  when her father arrives at her place to spend time with her and Akash (Ruma’s son) only to discover later how comfortable she was in her father’s presence that she wanted him to stay back forever . Followed by “Hell- heaven” a beautifully woven story about  relationship and dependence. “
Choice of Accommodation” tale about Amit and Megan who in their own ways find their lost love in the dorm of Amit’s school when they actually thought their marriage has crumbled. Then comes “Only Goodness”, story about Sudha and her brother Rahul who struggles with alcoholism and Sudha’s disappointment and bewilderment for his plight as she is the one who introduced him to alcohol. And lastly “Nobody’s Business” is about Sang who loved an Egyptian man only to realise that she was being ditched and cheated for another woman. The part one ends with five mesmerising stories. All about different facets of human life and relationship in different situations and connotation. A poignant portrayal of the ups and downs of life on the lines of expectations and emotions, these stories by Jhumpa Lahiri make you feel as if they are “our own” !!!
The second half of the collection, the trio of stories is what touched me the most. Hema and Kushik’s life intersect each others,first in 1974 when Hema was six and Kaushik was nine; then a few years later, at 13, she drools at the now-handsome 16-year-old teen’s reappearance; and again in Italy, when she was a 37-year-old academic , and he was a 40-year-old photojournalist. They meet at a juncture of their life when Hema is all set to get married and Kaushik still finding a companion. Interestingly, among all the stories this is the only one where the narration ends in the present day unlike the others which are set in the backdrop of 80s making, it very identifiable and realistic.Right from a compelling  narration, to well crafted characterization, exquisite location and amazing story telling with a touch of loss and sadness at the end, ” Once in a lifetime”, Year’s End ” and “Going Ashore” are indeed worth a read.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s take on Bengali- American is very interesting. Her characters are complex and are tangled with lot of emotions, yet I found it easy to sympathise and empathise with them, even though my world is far from theirs.  Ms.Lahiri has literally brought the Bengali culture alive with her realistic depictions in all her stories and her mention of the little nuances of the daily life in a Bengali household has actually left me speechless.  Interestingly, some fiction involving immigrants has been hard for me to connect with in the past,but this time I had a very clear idea of who Ms.Lahiri’s characters were as well as their struggles.Like many children of immigrants Ms. Lahiri’s characters are well aware of their parents’ expectations. Ms. Lahiri distinctly shows how some of these children learn to sidestep, even defy their parents’ wishes knowing fully their parents’ repercussions.. But she also shows how perplexed and haunted they remain by the burden of their families’ dreams and their awareness of their role in the process of Americanization. Ms. Lahiri’s emotions are not demonstrations but a definite showcase of her emotional arithmetic. Specially in the last part of the book, I  sensed the author’s elegant and haunting power of tragedy….a testimony to her brilliance as a writer.
What remains the highlight of this book is Ms.Lahiri’s penetrating eyes on the experiences of the immigrants, their life, marriage, work, and love. The stories are perfect, thanks to Lahiri’s keen sense of life’s abrupt and painful changes, and her avid eye for detailing. This collection of powerful stories about the fates of  Bengali families in America , dramatizes the divide between immigrant parents and their America-raised children in the most realistic and genuine way.

Before I close I have to say that this novel is certainly a revelation to me. A brilliantly put together prose with immaculate precision in terms of people, places and thoughts, “Unaccustomed Earth” is definitely a must read for all those who love short stories.Perhaps…what remains unquestionable throughout is Ms.Lahiri’s intentions…..she surely wants us to get accustomed with her books…and she manages that very well indeed 🙂  !!!!

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The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
A beautifully woven story, gorgeously blended with Paulo’s trademark philosophy and spirituality, The Zahir is yet another delightful piece for all those who are trying to find out what love and relationship is all about. A story about an author and his journey for self discovery, The Zahir with its semi autobiographical narration gives the much needed insight to his readers on love and understanding  in the per view of  married life.
The narrator, a best selling author himself is happily married to a war correspondent, Esther, until one day his wife disappears from their Paris home without a word of explanation. The author is at a fix…what went wrong? Was she kidnapped or she ran away with another man or she fled away from her married life? A host of logical and illogical questions begins to linger around him, which not only requires contemplation about the status of their marriage but also his own life.The much needed answers to pacify the unrest in his soul. The author decides to find out his wife and through out the journey is forced to reexamine all the different facets of his life, his profession, love, marriage and infidelity. In this quest of self discovery the author writes books and eventually becomes famous but fails to understand the emptiness in his life. He always believed that his wife loved him  and now that myth has been shattered with his inexplicable disappearance, the author goes into this mode of transformation. Although Esther is physically and emotionally lost to him, but he finds her in The Zahir. According to the book, The Zahir in Arabic means “present”, or “incapable of being unnoticed”. It is something that grabs our thought, mind and spirit and demands our full attention. It lingers around us all the time.It is believed to lead to either Holiness or madness. In this book, the Zahir is a woman, Esther, the Zahir. As Paulo explains ” she fills everything.She is the only reason I am alive. I look around, I prepare myself for the talk I am to give, and I understand why I braved the snow, the traffic jams and the ice on the road: in order to be reminded that  everyday I need to rebuild myself and to accept – for the first time in the entire existence- that I love another human being more than I love myself.”
The author realises that even though Esther is not with him physically but her presence is mounting and there is no way he could  escape it ………” I am pleased that she exists; she has shown me that I am capable of a love of which I myself knew nothing and this leaves me in a state of grace“. During these days, he meets Mikhail, the man suspected to be behind Esther’s disappearance, but through his strange and mysterious way he creates a deep impact on the author and makes him understand that in order to find Esther, he need  to ‘find himself’ first. Mikhail introduces the author to a  “tribe” of spiritual seekers who resist, somewhat vaguely, conventional ways of living. And through the author’s journey from Paris to Kazakhstan till he finds Esther, he explores various meanings of love, understanding, marriage, sex and life on the whole. The author finally finds Esther in the steppes of Kazakhstan. And more than that finds the all important missing threads of their lives.
This story is stunningly beautiful. Each page has a gem which will simply make you smile, think, and then move ahead to find the next. . For me this book is a source of enlightenment. I simple loved Coelho’s take on love. He says ” Love was also a synonym for tenderness, security, prestige, comfort, success.Love could be translated into smiled, into words like ‘I love you…” Beautiful lines indeed !!!  The novel has taught me to leave the past behind in order to move on. Something which I feel is undoubtedly  the best way to move ahead in life. As I always said I vehemently rooted for  the characters in Coelho’s novel. But in The Zahir, it is his profound thoughts and his takes on few very essential things in life along with a mesmerizing narration,  that steals the show and makes this book  wroth a read. It is hard to read Coelho’ works without being touched and The Zahir is no exception.
Finally, as Paulo says, ” ….to me that suffering occurs when we want other people to love us in the way we imagine we want to be loved, and not in the way love should manifest itself – free and untrammelled, guiding us with its force and driving us on,” I wish I had read these lines before !!!

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The Winner Stands Alone – Paulo Coelho

Set on the backdrop of Cannes film festival, “The Winner Stands Alone ” is Paulo’s latest offering for you, which might take you by surprise both with a smile and a frown.For those who love Paulo’s exclusive style might end up being disappointed.But for others it is definitely a decent , quick read. Spanning 24 hours during the Cannes Film Festival, this scintillating novel is about a wealthy Russian businessman Igor Malev, who’s obsessed with his ex-wife, Ewa, now married to a fashion designer Hamid Hussain. Igor turns into a serial killer to get Ewa’s attention. No one suspects him as Igor targets a street vendor, an influential movie distributor, a distresses woman and a big-name actor in amazingly sophisticated manner. In order to draw Ewa’s attention, Igor sends her messages saying ”he has destroyed worlds for her” but fails to draw her attention until they meet at a gala supper. In the midst of all these Paulo gives a good overview of what has sadly become a universal truth – the celebrity, fame and the perceived glory of the ‘Superclass’. Coelho takes Cannes as an alibi to comment on the elite’s elite, the rich and the famous, their lives,agony and a very superficial lifestyle. In short a tale about an rich man , committing few murders to win his lost love along with a host of other characters, their lives, dreams and fantasies, all in the city of Cannes.
Am at a fix. . I actually don’t believe that I have just finished a Paulo Coelho novel. I will not say this novel doesn’t have anything good about it, but it certainly doesn’t match the standards Coelho has set for himself..I always felt the magic of Coelho’s novels lies in its characterisation, but unfortunately this novel looses out on its characterisation the most. Too many characters that did not add any positive impact to the plot. In fact I found them absolutely insignificant. I completely failed to understand why the author introduced so many characters in the novel. And since each character had a story in itself it did make the story very dragging at times.He tried to tell a lot of things through each one but failed to make a point with anyone.My disappointment lies in the fact that I always rooted for Paulo’s characterisation.Perhaps his men and women were always people whom I could identify myself with. But unfortunately in this novel, he fails miserably with his players. Most of them are stereotypes and the only intriguing character who could probably hold your interest is Igor. Sadly his portrayal is so half hearted that even though he is the protagonist you still don’t look forward to any of his encounters with the other characters. Igor justifies that everything is fair in love even if it boils down to killing people. Coelho hints that Igor’s “dual” character is like the one in modern society, in that it can be rational and objective on the one hand (as a businessman), and wildly illogical on the other. A successful businessman on one hand and an insane lover on the other, Igor could have been little more interesting unlike its cold and unidimensional portrayal.
I wanted to call this novel a psychological thriller but choose against it. When I began reading I actually expected a lot of twists and turns with mysteries and surprises. But to my utter dismay nothing of this sort unfolded. It was as simple as that, a man trying to win back his wife’s attention by killing host of people around him…I wonder how on earth one can justify this…! The book was generally just very negative, which is very unlike Coelho. He made it seem that everyone is unhappy, and there is no way that anyone at any position or situation or lifestyle can ever achieve true happiness. Everyone was miserable in the book, the businessman, the writer,the actors, the directors, the distributors, the journalists, and models, the assistants, the police officers, and the general public.In general too, there is not a single character you feel for. This is because they are just too typically portrayed, devoid of any depth or imagination.
With Paulo, you expect him to tell a story, pause and pop up some enlightening profound thoughts.That’s exactly what he did here, his usual mysticism and spirituality boosts the plot to some extent but sadly doesn’t make any difference to the stotyline as such. I miss the optimism of Coelho all along this novel which I look for. And at the end all, we are left to ponder with some cold blooded murders and a very very predictable ending which actually leaves you with no other choice than to feel absolutely disappointed.
All I would like to console myself thinking that this time Paulo attempted something different, detached from his usual style of writing, both in terms of subject and technique. Perhaps something he wanted to do for a long time, take a detour from his usual writing. Fair enough, though I would prefer him to be little more careful while venturing into this kinda literature .
Well, this novel though made me sad, will certainly not stop me from reading and reviewing his other works.I will look forward for them with even more zeal as am expecting a complete soul stirrer next time. But for now, with ”The Winner Stands Alone”, Paulo does stand alone, not sure though if as a winner !!!!

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By The River Piedra I sat Down And Wept – Paulo Coelho

Spirituality, Mysticism, Optimism and Love. thy name is Paulo Coelho. After I finished reading ‘The Alchemist’ , my expectations from ” By the River Piedra I sat Down and wept…” was high and I was surely not disappointed. I could sense the same aroma of Paulo’s brilliance as I did with ‘The Alchemist’. The only difference I believe is , this novel rides high on religion.

A tale of two lovers, “By the River Piedra…….” is a beautifully crafted love story, blended with composed actions,exotic locations, powerful characters and mesmerising folklore which certainly makes it an inspiring journey. Pilar, a student in the town of Zaragoza was suffocated with her daily life until she encounters her childhood friend whom she knew since her early days in a Spanish village Soria. The plot unfolds dramatically when Pilar realises that her friend has now become a renowned spiritual leader, which embraces femininity of God – paganism (Great Mother), the ancient fertility goddess, the Virgin Mary. And not only that ,her friend has the power to work miracles as well. Meanwhile, Pilar receives an invitation from hes friend for a spiritual event in Madrid where she is faced with a blunt truth- her friend’s love for her which he harnessed right from their childhood. And as he leads her on a magical journey through the French Pyrenees,which includes stays at hostels and visits to churches and chapels, the two find themselves at the monastery at Piedra where the two had spent time as young kids.It is here Pilar begins to realize that this chance encounter is
going to transform her life forever and that her friend must ultimately choose the path of his own life, his love or his spiritual journey.

At this juncture, Paulo subtly introduces ” the other” !!! A conflict we all have within ourselves and deal with as human beings.The part of our own psyche, the confusion, sense of denial, the fear and host of other emotions that prevents us from achieving what we aim for.Just like the fear of failure in “The Alchemist” prevents us from acheiving our goal…”I am afraid that great disappointments waits me, so I prefer to dream..”. In the same way the fear of rejection prevents lovers from expressing their feelings, their love. Pilar wonders and worries, as a result of the existence of ‘the Other’ that lives within her, what will happen to the love that she has for her friend and vice verse.

The magic of Paulo’s novels lies in his characterisation…so real …so down to earth. The moment you hit the first two pages you tend to flow with the characters and actually start living their lives. The characters and situations are so well crafted that you reach to another world with their dreams and fantasies. I found myself engulfed in Pilar’s world all through and as the novel ended I felt the way I should after reading any good book- happy and satisfied.. The novels definitely gave me a high, it leaves with lot of things to feel good about, also to think and relate to your own life.
“By the River Piedra….” is great. An excellent storyline written with even more excellent techniques.It is indeed a great read, thanks to the linguistic genius of Paulo. Paulo’s underline message through this novel is simple,… there are no rules when it comes to love, as there are no rules when it comes to worshiping the Almighty.As he puts it “to love is to be in communion with the other, and to discover in that other the spark of God”. The only limitation I feel is the spiritual inclination of the novel. The presence of the Goddess in friend’s life and his dilemma of choosing Pilar’s love, or accepting the duties for the betterment of the world, might hang lillte superficially on the readers mind. Paulo also talks about discovering spirits and through these lovers,  he wants to tell his readers that anyone and everyone can speak the language of angels and perform miracles. Little difficult to comprehend his idea of religion and God though.There is always an air of mysticism that lingers in his novel and “By the River Piedra……” is no exception.Readers who are used to Paulo’s style of writing will understand the depth of his words but for others it might end up being little absurd and vague.

Nevertheless, I must admit that Paulo’s novels are anytime a pleasure. A friend of mine after reading this novel said, ” I wish I were Pilar” and goes on to add… Paulo through this book made me believe that to love someone is to love life itself…..Perfect !!!!

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