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Into the Wild

Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer It was raining, the day I finished reading Into the Wild. I realised I hadn’t moved an inch from where I was sitting. Later, I caught myself staring blankly into the rain. I was silently mourning Chris’ death.
Into the Wild, for me, is special. I could, in more ways than one, relate to Chris McCandless.
My school of thinking is not very much unlike his, though I possess, in the words of Krakauer, neither his intellect nor his lofty ideals. He was a genius. He is who I have always wanted to be (and still do).
This book carries a personal meaning for me and it only helped that it is both eloquent and meticulously researched. For the most part, I read the book with an intoxicated dread that continued long after I finished it.
There is a chapter on a Roland Franz, an 82-year-old devout Christian. It is probably the most poignant of them all.
“When Alex left for Alaska," Franz remembers, "I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special. But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when I learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn't believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex."
This passage, towards the chapter’s end, sums up how deeply Chris affected Franz and all the people he met on the way.
He lived a life he wanted to live, in his own way. I’m saddened by all the anger and scorn spewed on Chris and his decisions. Had he been alive, it would have been a different story altogether. He would have been hailed as a hero. But it doesn't matter. He will always have my deepest respect.
This book delivers a fitting tribute to him, in a prose that rival the best of travel literature.

Little Women

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott For the most part, I had as much fun as I would watching a good Hollywood musical.

The Key To Rebecca

The Key To Rebecca - Ken Follett I like Follett and his espionage novels. But this is, sadly, a letdown of sorts. It has an excellent plot, though its more or less a rehash of the 'Eye of the Needle' scenario. Its execution is nearly good, save for being at least 50 pages too long with a bland ending. The action parts are typical Follett, fast and atmospheric. Still, I felt this book could have been way better than it was.

127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place - Aron Ralston “It is better to be fiscally poor yet rich in experience-living the dream-than to be traditionally wealthy but live separate from one’s passions.”

This line early on in the book drew me in. Totally.

As a matter of fact, I didn’t expect much from the book in terms of language. I read it because I had seen the movie. But the book was a revelation. Ralston’s narration is deeply engaging, so much that it puts you right on the spot of action. He retells the story of his endurance in such a painstakingly detailed prose. The portion where he describes the amputation is particularly gripping.

However, the background chapters, ones that chronicle his previous near-death experiences, might make you debate if he had gone a step too far in his detail, for they become tedious, annoying and, sometimes, pretentious after a point. I felt he really could have used an editor. But the narrative towards the last leg of the book is so singularly compelling that it more than makes up for any issues I have with it.

Bottomline: Read this book. Love it or hate it, it will stay with you long after you have finished.


Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts Shantaram is easily one of the most beautifully written books, ever.

Q & A: Slumdog Millionaire

Q &  A: Slumdog Millionaire - Vikas Swarup This is the book that got me into the reading groove and I'm grateful to it.