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What started out as a pastime soon turned into a hobby that turned into a passion until it eventually became a necessity. Reading is a need so beautiful that I feel I must write about it every day.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Simple words- Memorable sentences.

A couple of months back I started a list. A list where I'd jot down the the opening and closing sentence or paragraph of a good book. Here are a few that gripped my attention and compelled me to note them down.

1. The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger: 

First paragraph: "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

(This first paragraph was enough to capture my attention. There is a seriousness in the casually written lines which set the tone for the entire novel. Refreshing, to say the least).

Last sentence: "Don't ever tell anybody anything, if you do, you start missing everybody."

(By the time I finished the novel, I had fallen in love with the narrator. This last sentence was a perfect ending to a brilliant novel).

2. The metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

First sentence: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from unsettling dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin."

(This powerful first sentence draws in the reader and lets his/her imagination wonder for a while as to how the character transformed and what has he changed into overnight?)

I saved the best for last! 
3. Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

First sentence: "It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love."

(Lyrical. Nostalgic. Magical! The first sentence is exactly what you'd expect from a literary genius.)

Last paragraph:  "And how long do you think we can keep up this goddamn coming and going?’ he asked.  Florentino Ariza had kept his answer ready for fifty-three years, seven months, and eleven day and nights.  ‘Forever,’ he said.”

(Okay so I really can not contain my love for this book. The romance genre has never really caught my fancy, this was my first love story and oh boy! did it make me go bonkers!? lol. I would just not stop talking about it. The eloquent narrative and its beautiful prose completely immersed me into the world of Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza. The last sentence is a memorable line summing up the triumph of irrevocable love.)


Review: Tender Hooks by Moni Mohsin

Two years back, I got hooked onto books about the Middle East. Most books I read such as Khaled Hosseini's, Mohsin Hameed's and Daniyal Mueenuddin's dealt with intense issues. Soon I began to wonder if heavy and depressing stories were all that the South Asian Writers had to offer. That perception changed when I read a review of Moni Mohsin's much talked about book, Tender hooks.

Clutching a copy of the book when I walked out of the book store, I knew I was in for something funny, bone-tickling and most importantly, lighthearted. After classic reads such as The Beautiful and the Damned and The picture of Dorian Gray, I was in need of some major comic relief. And that I got!

The story has been set in present day Lahore, with the ever-increasing problems of the country mentioned in random headline on top of each chapter. The narrator, a social butterfly from a 'khata peeta bagground' not a 'bhooka nanga' one with a rich husband who is more like a 'zinda lash' and a fifteen year old son Kulchoo, comes across as a shallow woman, obsessed with her status. Her group of affluent friends, 'kittys', GTs (Get togethers), dinners and parties are all a staple feature of her lifestyle.

The language of the book is very different as it doesn't conform to traditional English which is justified as it is better able to portray the life of an elitist society. The book is a hilarious take on the rich and the famous of Pakistan who live in their own bubble, very much aware of their surrounding but unfazed nevertheless.

It was sheer joy to read the book, made me laugh out loud a couple of times and satisfied me with a happy ending. 

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