Review: Ring

Ring by Koji Suzuki
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yes yes, this is the book on which the movie was based. And no no, I haven’t seen the movie and I don’t have any intention of seeing it either. I have strict restrictions at home about watching horror movies which will then make me get up in the middle of the night, wake up the husband and ask him to check under the bed for snakes (true story this, not kidding). So in the interests of my marriage, I try not to watch horror movies of any kind.

Ok, given the hype this movie generated, I expected the book to be a bit more scary. Not that this wasn’t scary enough though – I did hesitate for 5 seconds when I got up to get a glass of water from the kitchen and passed by the mirror. What? I was alone at home! C’mon, gimme a break.

I personally feel it’s not very easy to write a horror novel – I mean, you can only write so much that is actually scary. The rest needs to be left to the reader’s imagination and there in lies the true test for the author. Koji Suzuki manages to do it pretty darn well. There is no blatant in-your-face gore or scary faces in the book. The horror is more subtle and the author has taken pains to paint the scene and set it up before telling us the freaky part. I liked that about the book ‘coz it managed to make me scare myself. That’s the thing, you know. That’s it.

Oh, and this can so be a part of the ‘around the world in xx books’ challenges – gives one a good view of Japan, their culture and lifestyle.

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Review: Our Lady of Alice Bhatti

Our Lady of Alice Bhatti
Our Lady of Alice Bhatti by Mohammed Hanif
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book of the author that I’m reading, so the style was a surprise. I’m still undecided on whether I liked the style or not though – in some places, it was very well written and in others, well.. I had to re-read some parts again because to figure out if it was the past, recent past, present or the recent future! I realize there’s something unique about it and a lot of authors these days do use similar narratives, but personally, I don’t enjoy it all that much. Mostly because it tends to divert me from the story and ends up highlighting the technique – it’s like a person not being able to enjoy the ride because he/she is concentrating too much on the actual driving! (Poor analogy, but you get my drift..)

I liked the plot and the characters, esp. Alice Bhatti and Noor – I thought they were portrayed really well, even if a tad removed from reality.

Good read – something unique and different from what I’ve been reading for a while now and hence, a very refreshing change!

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Review: Temple

Temple by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book came highly recommended by friends and I realize why. It’s a rollercoaster! And therein lies my problem – I think I’m too old for this kind of plot now. If I had read this book when it was published (2002, I guess), I would’ve loved it! But the reader now is someone who’s had thriller plots as her staple food for the past few years (not to mention, reading better accounts of unlikely heroes like Robert Langdon et al). This whole Indiana Jones-y thing just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I still enjoyed the overall scheme of things – about the idol, the search, the Incan history, etc. But the common feeling throughout was me waiting impatiently for something to happen finally!

‘Temple’ was too cinema-ey for my liking. All that frame by frame description of boat chases (it was a never-ending one – I started skipping entire pages here!), this whole nick-of-the-moment thing that happens with most characters – it lacked a certain reality. I realize ‘reality’ is not a pre-requisite for any book these days, but hey! when the rest of the book deals with facts, it’s kinda weird to see Mr.Coincidence be the hero in every chapter!

I don’t know if this has been made into a movie already, but if isn’t, it should be! I would love to watch the movie version of this and I think I’ll enjoy that more than I enjoyed the book.

All that said, do read if you like thrillers about a hunt for missing idols, secret passages through underground mazes, re-incarnated heroes and crazy villains! 🙂

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