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View Poll Results: I read most my books in...
Paper book format 159 66.53%
Amazon Kindle 45 18.83%
Apple iPad 6 2.51%
Android Tablet 6 2.51%
B&B Nook 4 1.67%
Sony eBook Reader 0 0%
Smartphone 13 5.44%
Others (mention in post) 3 1.26%
Kobo eReader 3 1.26%
Voters: 239. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 28th May 2013, 17:02   #751
Oxy
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Finished reading Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie.

I normally tend to start reading a new book the instant I finish one, but upon completing this one, I couldn't help but just sit and stare at the wall, completely shaken.

Here's how it goes:

Max Ophuls’ memorable life ends violently in Los Angeles when he is murdered by his Muslim driver Noman Sher Noman, also known as Shalimar the Clown. At first the crime seems to be... politically motivated – Ophuls was previously ambassador to India, and later US counter-terrorism chief – but it is much more.

Ophuls is a giant, an architect of the modern world: a Resistance hero and best-selling author, brilliant economist and clandestine US intelligence official. But it is as the Ambassador to India that the seeds of his demise are planted, thanks to another of his great roles – irresistible lover. Visiting the Kashmiri village of Pachigam, Ophuls lures a beautiful dancer, the ambitious (and willing) Boonyi Kaul, away from her husband, and installs her as his mistress in Delhi. But their affair cannot be kept secret when Ophuls has to go underground following the news of Boonyi's pregnancy leaking out, and when Boonyi returns home, disgraced and obese, it seems that all she has waiting for her is the inevitable revenge of her husband: Noman Sher Noman, Shalimar the Clown. Soon Shalimar is trained as a militant in Kashmir’s increasingly brutal insurrection, and eventually becomes a terrorist with a deeply personal mission of vengeance.

With sweeping brilliance, Salman Rushdie portrays fanatical mullahs who preach terror in pretext of preaching Islam; he describes villages that compete to make the most splendid feasts, and the celebrity of Los Angeles policemen, all with the same genius.

But the main story is only part of the story. In this stunningly rich book everything is connected, and everyone is a part of everyone else. The violent fate of Kashmir recalls Strasbourg’s experience in World War Two (where Max Ophuls is somehow able to survive the holocaust during which his parents are killed); Resistance heroism against the Nazis counterpoints Al-Qaeda’s terror in Pakistan, North Africa and the Philippines.

A powerful love story, intensely political and historically informed, Shalimar the Clown is also an involving story of people’s lives, desires and crises – India Ophuls’ (Max's daughter) desperate search for her real mother, for example; Max’s wife’s attempts to deal with his philandering (he is an expert at forging papers as well).

The Indian Army is portrayed as extremely brutal though, when a situation arrives where they have to consider every Muslim as a terrorist. You really feel sad when Rushdie decides to brutally rip apart every character and the Pachigam village of Kashmir as a whole, which with sheer nicety he had created.

Read it for his extremely poetic style of writing. The guy is a genius, and has exceptional command on the language. But be warned - it's not for the faint hearted. Some scenes are very brutal.


I am looking to buy ASURA next (http://www.amazon.com/ASURA-Tale-Van...=IYNVQ6VEDP87P)

Looks like an interesting take on Ravan's life. Has anyone read this?

Last edited by Oxy : 28th May 2013 at 17:04.
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Old 28th May 2013, 18:41   #752
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I read just about every day. Usually in bed before going to sleep. When I travel, and I travel a lot, I read on the plane, at the airports, hotels etc. I've been known to forget to pack toiletries, clean underwear and many other travel items, but I have never forgotten to pack a book.

I read probably about 80% what I would call "light fiction". E.g. Lee Child, Clive Cussler, Ken Follet and the likes.

The other 20% tends to be what some would consider literature, whatever that means. I also re-read some of my books endlessly. All my Ben Eltons I must have read 4-5 times over and the same for Douglas Adams.

Just reread some of my V.S. Naipaul. Just finished "a house for Mr. Biswas".
Also, recently finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Really enjoyed it, but then I was part of a circus for many many years!

Jeroen
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Old 29th May 2013, 06:58   #753
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Originally Posted by Oxy View Post
Finished reading Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie.
...
You really feel sad when Rushdie decides to brutally rip apart every character and the Pachigam village of Kashmir as a whole, which with sheer nicety he had created.

Read it for his extremely poetic style of writing. The guy is a genius, and has exceptional command on the language. But be warned - it's not for the faint hearted. Some scenes are very brutal.
...
I feel as if I just read the book: excellent review!
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Old 29th May 2013, 07:03   #754
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I read just about every day. Usually in bed before going to sleep. When I travel, and I travel a lot, I read on the plane, at the airports, hotels etc. I've been known to forget to pack toiletries, clean underwear and many other travel items, but I have never forgotten to pack a book.

I read probably about 80% what I would call "light fiction". E.g. Lee Child, Clive Cussler, Ken Follet and the likes.
... but then I was part of a circus for many many years!

Jeroen
What was that about your past in the circus?
How about Michael Connelly?

Rom
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:40   #755
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I though somebody would pop that question.
For many years i was part of a "youth circus". All our artists were in the age group from about 10 to 20.
I did several acts: acrobatics, balancing a whole bunch of saucers on various sticks without dropping them. I had an act on a bicycle and a mono cycle ( one wheel).
In between acts and changing costumes I also helped as a "stable boy" getting the various bit and pieces for all the acts in and out the ring. I also practiced the tight rope, but never performed in front of audiences. The equipment was to cumbersome for us to deploy.

We had several animals, but nothing that was dangerous. Think various ponies, horse, and two goats who did a lot of tricks.
We did not have a tent. We typically performed in large auditoriums and such.

This was, as you will have gathered not a professional circus. In those days, the 70s there were a whole bunch of these "youth circuses" in the the Netherland and also Germany and Belgium. We were one of the largest with the best acts. In all we had about 50 - 70 people. We would pack up early in the morning. Usually we hired.a few cattle trucks for our animals and all our gear and also one or two busses for all of us. Everybody had to help loading up and when we arrived everybody helped unloading, setting up the ring, the various equipment, quickly change for the big opening act, run the show and after a big finale, everybody would help tear everything down, load up and unload again when we got back home. Afterwards we would all be treated to French Fries!

We did on average 10-12 shows a year, with a lot of rehearsals and training in between the shows. For months I used to ride the mono cycle back and forth to school, just to practice. Most of the regular practice was done at somebodies home Mainly in the evenings or after school.
It was good fun and to date I'm still interested in circuses.

Jeroen
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Old 31st May 2013, 06:59   #756
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I though somebody would pop that question.
It was good fun and to date I'm still interested in circuses.

Jeroen
Thanks buddy!
All I can say is wow!!!
As a school kid, I wanted to run away with the visiting circus. Even now at 73, I am fascinated by the circus and the gypsies.
Have you heard of a whole town of past and future circus artistes near Talaissery in Kerala?
Do enjoy your stay in India. Coming from a happy Scandinavian country, to a country ranked 130+ in the happy country scale, you must be feeling like watching a circus.
Good luck!
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Old 31st May 2013, 15:18   #757
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Originally Posted by Oxy View Post
Finished reading Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie.
I just purchased it after reading your short review and am around 80 pages into the book. This is my first Salman Rushdie book and I should say that his writing is well, different. But the book is good so far....
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Old 31st May 2013, 15:43   #758
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I too read a lot and prefer fiction. Recently shifted to a Kindle and quite happy with it. Many of the books are available before the printed version is out. Also there are a huge number of free books in Amazon itself. Possibly not of the quality of the regular authors, but for a person like me who loves to read, its good to have such a wide choice to pick from.

Currently 80% through Dan Brown's Inferno. An interesting base premise, but a flimsy plot covered up with lots and lots of typical Dan Brown stuff like Symbols, history etc...
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Old 31st May 2013, 16:08   #759
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Thanks buddy!
All I can say is wow!!!
As a school kid, I wanted to run away with the visiting circus. Even now at 73, I am fascinated by the circus and the gypsies.
Have you heard of a whole town of past and future circus artistes near Talaissery in Kerala?
Do enjoy your stay in India. Coming from a happy Scandinavian country, to a country ranked 130+ in the happy country scale, you must be feeling like watching a circus.
Good luck!
What can I say, read the book about the elephants. The main character does (re-)join the circus at a very respectable old age! It's a very appropiate ending. So who knows what life hold in stock?

I've been to Kerala but had not heard about this circus town. I'll keep it in mind.

Prior to moving to Delhi, we actually lived in Kansas City, USA. Still, quite a change now living in Delhi. But my wife and I are enjoying it!

Jeroen
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Old 3rd June 2013, 10:23   #760
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I too read a lot and prefer fiction. Recently shifted to a Kindle and quite happy with it.
Second that. This is my 4th book on kindle (finished Shivas trilogy, now half way thru Sea of Poppies. Asuras is in the queue). The black-white non-glaring 'book-like' screen is so 'normal' to the eyes compared to staring at a LED/lcd screen for hours. With wifi off, battery lasts for a month almost, so no charging hassle. Kindle is so lightweight and rugged I carry it everywhere and steal every minute for reading.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 20:19   #761
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Finished the Shiva Trilogy. The first 2 were really fast paced and had a decent amount of twists. But the last one felt a bit dragging in some places and paled in comparison to the first 2 books. Yet the only possible ending was this to the third one.

Now reading Bankster by Ravi Subramaniam. Have finished through a third of the book. It is thrilling so far and a page turner!
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Old 3rd June 2013, 21:13   #762
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Quote:
Now reading Bankster by Ravi Subramaniam. Have finished through a third of the book. It is thrilling so far and a page turner!
Ravi Subramanian's books are page turners all right. Easy to read and definitely helps pass the tine on long journeys.

Havent read "Bankster" yet, but read two of the other four books, "Devil in Pinstripes" and "The incredible Banker". Both were good.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 23:14   #763
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Just started reading the Book "Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the North" by Alex Rutherford. Seems to be a good book, hope it continues till the end.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 23:38   #764
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Just started reading the Book "Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the North" by Alex Rutherford. Seems to be a good book, hope it continues till the end.
Good read. Would recommend the entire Moghul series by Rutherford to anyone interested in Moghul era.

Just finished Krishna Key by Avinash Sanghi. Good book. On the lines of Da Vinci code. Found it to be better than his other book- Chanakya's chant.

Last edited by Me-hul : 3rd June 2013 at 23:41.
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Old 10th June 2013, 15:29   #765
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Now reading Bankster by Ravi Subramaniam. Have finished through a third of the book. It is thrilling so far and a page turner!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Ravi Subramanian's books are page turners all right. Easy to read and definitely helps pass the tine on long journeys.

Havent read "Bankster" yet, but read two of the other four books, "Devil in Pinstripes" and "The incredible Banker". Both were good.
Thanks for this information. I just got and read 'The Incredible Banker' after seeing this post. Great book. Really enjoyed it. Unfortunately looks like Kindle Edition of other titles mentioned are not available. Need to check in my local library.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 10th June 2013 at 15:30. Reason: Spelling correction
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