Tinderbox: M. J. Akbar

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A remarkable account of Pakistan’s history – starting from the Mughal times to the present .  Akbar’s knowledge of the history is excellent and he presents it in an engaging way.  The book doesn’t start too well – it seems a rambling of facts in no serious order – but towards the end it all comes together to close on the tinderbox Pakistan has become.

Read.

Another World: Pat Barker

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Past and present overlap for two families.  The interaction between kids of a family – from their parents’ many marriages makes a great context but doesn’t quite live up to the promise.  Barker, a winner of Booker Prize, is not at her best in this.  The characters are really done very well though.

Don’t bother.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: Neil Gaiman

 

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Creatures that morph into human beings but are in reality from the other world were never my thing and hence the book was a mistake.  Lettie Hempstock, her mother and grandmother are benevolent witches that save our protagonist from Ursula Monkton, an other world creatures-turned-babysitter.  A story that ends tragically.  Not my thing, I said, but as writing skills go, Gaiman is great.  If ever I get into the genre, Gaiman it will be.