Sunday, September 1, 2019

#BookReview: De Profundis and Other Prison Writings - Oscar Wilde

~mini review~

Rating:


4/5 Book Emojis


Format Used: 

Paperback

Publisher - Penguin Classics 

Pages - 266

Link to Amazon

Review:

"...but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole."

It was a delight as well as an honour to read one of the most iconic breakup letters of all time. Wilde loses his charm and a portion of his literary brilliance with the passage of brutal time in prison. However, the essence of his philosophically artistic mind remains intact and can be felt by a reader who is willing to see it.

There are times when he uses wit, elaborates on his pain and uses accusations to project the pain he’s facing because of Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde doesn’t hesitate in constantly reminding him (and sometimes even exaggerating with supreme elegance and metaphors) of the maladies he has and will have outside of prison.

At times, he uses Greek words, Latinian dictate, precise punctuation, Italian references and French phrases to “show-off” his knowledge and to belittle Bosie. He also says that he’s not religious anymore but goes on to glorify Christ’s role in being a role model for romanticism and passion.Stephen King Audience GIF by Mr. Mercedes

Conclusion: Definitely recommend it to every fan of Wilde.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

#BookReview: Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin

Rating:


3.5/5 Book Emojis


Format Used: 

Paperback

Publisher - Penguin Books 

Pages - 150

Link to Amazon

Review:

"I scarcely know how to describe that room. It became, in a way, every room I had ever been in and every room I find myself in hereafter will remind me of Giovanni’s room."
Animated GIFGiovanni‘s Room is a book about an American man named David who decides to move to Paris to start a new life. One day, in a mutual friend’s bar, he meets this Italian bartender named Giovanni and feels things he otherwise considered sinful and immoral. Through the course of the book, we see David’s journey and acceptance of his desires and we see how things with Giovanni take an unexpected turn affecting David’s life in unfortunate ways. 

I took up this book after accepting recommendations on queer classics through the centuries. James Baldwin, a black American man who provided his support for the Gay Liberation and Civil Rights Movement, is easily considered an iconic voice otherwise marginalised. He lived for a notable period in Paris and this experience is beautifully captured in the book. 

I personally felt that this book, like Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, was casually sexist. Though maybe not true to the perceptions of the author, but very illustrative of the mindset of the gay community who grew spiteful of women after being expected to have relations with them in a highly heteronormative society. 

Conclusion: I really liked it mostly because it is very reflective of one of my own past relationship with this particular person and how things don’t always go right even when there is attraction between the two people.

Monday, August 12, 2019

#Review: An American Marriage - Tayari Jones

Rating:


4/5 Book Emojis

Format Used: 

Paperback

Publisher - HarperCollins India 

Pages - 308

Link to Amazon

*Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher HarperCollins India, for an honest review. The views below are unbiased and solely my own.

Review:

"The vast generosity of women is a mysterious tunnel, and nobody knows where it leads. The writing on the walls spells out trick questions, and as a man, you must know that you cannot reason your way out."

African American Love GIFAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a novel about a newlywed couple- Celestial and Roy. Through a series of events, Roy is incarcerated and the couple is left struggling to find balance and stability. When Roy is back, everything about his life has changed, including the one outside. We find out will he be able to find his place in the world or not. 

Which Means I Always Live With The Sense That There Is Something Scary Out There GIF by Closer Than They Appear
This is a more than just contemporary fiction. This is powerful literature about black lives in the 21st century and everything that’s wrong with the system. This is a family drama and a good one at that. It gives you unsettling and warm feelings throughout the book that don’t let you put it down. Tayari sure knows how to pen her words to perfectly encapsulate real feelings of fictional people with life-like problems that unfortunately aren’t widely brought to limelight. Our current world is whitewashed and the media portrays it that way too, missing out on the reality of the lives of PoC. She is well known for writing books on/about Atlanta and everything about the southern American life.

The story was really good, though not perfect, and the execution was immaculate. I honestly felt the pace of the ending didn’t match the rest of the book and I also wished to be able to highlighting quotable lines, which there weren’t many.


CONCLUSION: Do I think this book was extremely perfect? No. But do I think you all should read it for it’s warmth and realness? BIG YES.