Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: The Beast Must Die

"O I fear ye are poisoned, Lord Randal, my son!
O I fear ye are poisoned, my handsome young man!'

'O yes! I am poisoned; mother, make my bed soon,
For I am sick at the heart, and I fain would lie down!'

"But it was Lord Randal's young woman who did that to him, I thought," Georgia said.

"So he thought," said Nigel, with sinister emphasis.



Nicholas Blake's The Beast Must Die begins with the nightmare of every parent: The death of a child in an accident. When I read about the part where the distraught father collects the sweets that had fallen from the hands of his child, at the scene of the accident, and finds one with his child's blood on it, I almost left the book. But like the father I wanted the criminal brought to justice so continued reading the text.

Felix Lane is an author and a single parent whose 10 year old boy is crushed by a car. Determined to bring his killer to book, Felix starts his own investigation into the case. The trail leads to an unpleasant bully of a man called George Rattery. Felix is able to enter Rattery's house-hold as the tutor to his young son Phil with whom he soon develops a bond of affection. How will Lane execute his plan of killing Rattery? Will he be able to carry out his plan? And most important, is Rattery really the driver of that killer car?

The book begins well but eventually doesn't live up to its promise.

*

Opening Lines: June 20th, 1937. I AM going to kill a man. I don't know his name, I don't know where he lives, I have no idea what he looks like... But I am going to find him and kill him...

Title: The Beast Must Die

Author: Nicholas Blake (Cecil Day-Lewis)

Publication Details: London: Collins (The Crime Club), 1938.

First Published: 1938

Pages: 284

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The rest of the post contains spoilers so don't read any further unless you have read the text. However, I'd love to read your comments, so scroll down and leave one. :)

SPOILERS

I couldn't understand why Lena Lawson was treated so sympathetically. She was in the car, did nothing to stop the driver from running away, was having an affair with her own sister's husband. And despite all this, she was the Emissary of Light! Quite spoilt the book for me.

There should have been self-loathing in Lane for having fallen in love with her. That would have turned it into a great psychological study.

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The book might be available in libraries since I borrowed it from one myself.

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Submitted for Criminal Plots II Challenge [Author using a pen-name]

Also submitted for the following challenges: Borrowed Books, British Books, Mystery and Suspense, New Authors, Support Your Local Library, Vintage Mystery




Sunday, April 29, 2012

Z is for Zephyr

Zephyr is a light wind (or the west wind) that awakens everything to life in the month of April. It is one of the many reasons, that makes April beautiful for Chaucer (and for the pilgrims to Canterbury):


Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tender croppes...


And so we begin again...




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Indian philosophy like, I quite like the cyclic pattern of my A-Z posts.






Or as T.S. Eliot will put it:


"In my beginning is my end
In my end is my beginning...


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Entry for letter Z.


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Image link: http://coffeewithsundar.com/aha-moment-39-in-my-beginning-is-my-end/

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Satanic Sibilants: John Dickson Carr's He Who Whispers

'Prof. Rigaud!' called Miles. He lifted up his voice powerfully. 'Prof. Rigaud!'


Again as when the absent one had himself called for a waiter, only the rain gurgled and splashed in the darkness. There was no reply.



I had heard a lot about John Dickson Carr's The Three Coffins and so borrowed it from a friend and read it... only to be mightily disappointed. The atmosphere that the author had created was great and the mystery was top-notch. However, the convoluted way the murders were done was a major let-down. So I wasn't really keen to pick up a Carr again.



But then I saw He Who Whispers in a library and realised that it was first published in the year 1946 and since I have committed myself to reading at least two books from that year for the Birth Year Honors Reading Challenge, I picked it up.

And the beginning - describing the state of a person wandering about in Post-Blitz London and wondering whether it is all real - is a winner. I was hooked.

Nobel Winner, Miles Hammond is a lost soul after the second world war. All he wants to do is to bury himself in the country estate he has inherited after the death of his uncle. On his last day in London, he is invited to the meeting of the Murder Club (taking place after five years and a reminder that the war is now over and it is time to move on). However on arrival he finds only two people present: The speaker, Professor Rigaud and another guest, Barbara Morell.

The Professor narrates the story of the Brooke family with whom he was acquainted in France. Howard Brooke and his wife doted on their only son, Harry, who dreamt of becoming a painter and wanted to go to Paris to learn the art. However, his parents would not even hear of his going away. Into their midst came a girl called Fay Seton who worked as an assistant to Howard Brooke. Harry and Fay soon became engaged though the former's parents did not really approve of the match. Then rumours started circulating about the girl in the countryside adding to the Brookes' disapproval of the match. The affair had a shocking end with Howard Brooke found dying in a tower which nobody could access!

Shaken by the story, Hammond returns to where he is staying, only to find that the librarian whom he had hired to catalogue his uncle's library is none other than the same girl, Fay Seton. Against all reasoning, Hammond hires her. He travels to his country house with Seton and his sister. That very night, his sister almost dies of fright. Somebody was whispering to her in the dark...

The spooky atmosphere that Carr creates is superb but I didn't quite like the particular character for whom everybody seemed to have a bleeding heart. I am glad I read it though because I picked up another Carr after this: The Eight of Swords and enjoyed it immensely.

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My first candle for the Birth Year Honors Challenge.

Also submitted for the following challenges: A-Z Titles, AZRC, Back to the Classics (Mystery/ Horror/ Crime), Borrowed Book, A Classic Challenge, Merely Mystery (Locked Room), Mystery and Suspense, Support Your Local Library, Vintage Mystery.

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Opening Lines: A DINNER of the Murder club - our first meeting in more than 5 years - will be held at Beltring's Restaurant on Friday, June 1st, at 8:30 p.m. The speaker will be Prof. Rigaud. Guests have not hitherto been permitted; but if you, my dear Hammond, would care to come along as my guest...?'

A sign of the times, that letter in his pocket. A sign, in this year nineteen - forty - five, that peace had crept back unwillingly to Europe. And he couldn't get used to it.

Title: He Who Whispers

Author: John Dickson Carr

Publication Details: London: Penguin (No. 948)

First Published: 1946

Pages: 206

Other Books Read: The Three Coffins, The Eight of Swords


Y is for Yadav ji and Yadav ji

"Yadav ji?"
"Yes, Yadav ji."



This Tweedle Dee - Tweedle Dum act was done by actors Ashutosh Rana and Manoj Bajpai in the movie LOC: Kargil. Playing Indian soldiers, both named Yogendra Singh Yadav in the 18th Grenadiers, they constantly referred to each other by the surname with the respectful suffix ji at the end. Two of the finest actors in the Hindi Film Industry presented a crash course in hamming.

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Share the experience of watching a fine performer presenting a pathetic act.

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Entry for letter Y.

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xanadu



Xanadu, that fabled land which Coleridge immortalized in his poem Kubla Khan.






In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.


The land is magical:


A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover.


The poet continues:


The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves...
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!








What a vision! What a land!


Measureless caverns. Demon-lovers. Underground sea. Mighty fountains. Domes of pleasure. Caves of ice. Ancestral voices.


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Have you read anything on Xanadu? Do share.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for We the People


WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its
citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the
Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do
HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.



Thus runs the preamble of the constitution of India. So many decades down the line, I wonder how much of it has been realised.

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What are the things that you will love to see disappear from your nation?

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Entry for letter W.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Vultures

Vultures: Birds of prey that they say had once disappeared from the Towers of Silence in which the Parsees leave the bodies of their dead. They had all flown towards the newly drawn borders, as India was partitioned, where apparently they had become choosy, gorging on select pieces of the human anatomy.

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Have you read anything on the partition of India? Do share.

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Entry for letter V.


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Photo courtesy: BBC

Monday, April 23, 2012

U is for Unsettling

Unsettling is Blogger's New Look. I simply can't get used to it. It has taken away the pleasure of blogging.

I had done nothing to upgrade to the new look. It happened automatically.

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Has it happened with you too? Are you happy with the new look? Do you know how to get the old look back?

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Entry for letter U.


T is for Tea

"A drink with book and blog" (with due apologies to Julie Andrews).



Flavoured with ginger, cardamom, tulsi, or just plain, Tea to me is the greatest stress-reliever.

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Do you also start your day with a cup of Tea?

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Entry for letter T.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Skinging

A new word that I learnt today. " Rule Number Nine was Skinging. Skinging meant leaving the school premises  by day or night."

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Did you ever play truant and skinged out of your hostel/ boarding school at night?

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Entry for letter S.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

R is for Reach

"Ah, but a man's Reach should exceed his grasp
Or what's a heaven for?"

Inspiring lines to reach for those stars.

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Which is that one star that you want in your grasp more than any other?

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Entry for letter R.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Q is for Quicksilver

Quicksilver was the name given to Indian Revolutionary Chandra Shekhar Azad by his mentor Ram Prasad Bismil for both his agility and volatile nature.



A master of disguise, Azad at times went and sat in police stations and chatted with police officers under the very posters announcing rewards for his arrest.

Here is a cinematic representation of his last heroic stance. True to his words, he shot himself rather than be taken alive. He was not even 25.


Azad hi rahenge
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Are there historical figures who inspire you?

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Entry for letter Q.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

P is for P as in Psychology

"With a P as in Psychology," is the refrain of Thompson, a character in the Tintin universe. This phrase is used by him to distinguish himself from his twin Thomson.

 "Thomson and Thompson."
"Thompson. With a P as in psychology."

There is also P.G. Wodehouse's iconic Psmith (Ronald Eustace Psmith) who also spells his surname with a
P as in Psychology.

 His creator, though, has a fulfledged Pelham to his credit.


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Do you know of similar names?

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Entry for letter P.

Monday, April 16, 2012

O is for Ozymandias

Ozymandias is "the King of Kings" who now remains only a broken headless statue with a shattered visage toppled on the ground. Shelley's poem describes in a kernel the fate of all those fallen idols and broken icons.






`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away. 



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What do you think happens to all those statues that are carted away? 


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Entry for letter O.


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Image courtesy http://www.examiner.com

Sunday, April 15, 2012

N is for Nincompoop

Why Nincompoop? Because I rather like the sound of it. The Noon sun seems to be getting at me.

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Are there words you like just like that? Do share.

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Entry for letter N.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Games in the Dark: The Crime at Black Dudley

Abbershaw was suddenly seized with a violent objection to the whole scheme. The story of the dagger ritual had impressed him strangely. He had seen the eyes of Gideon fixed upon the speaker with curious intensity, and had noticed the little huddled old man with the plate over his face harking to the barbarous story with avid enjoyment. Whether it was the dank gloomy house or the disturbing effects of love upon his nervous system he did not know, but the idea of groping round in the dark with the malignant-looking dagger filled him with a distaste more vigorous than anything he had ever felt before.





I have an on-off relationship with Margery Allingham. There are some books of her that I rate very high, notably Tiger in the Smoke, but there have been others, like Police at the Funeral, that have left me disappointed. Since the latter was the last book that I read of hers, it was with trepidation that I borrowed The Crime at Black Dudley from the library. The only reason that made me pick it up was the fact that it is Albert Campion's first book. And this is how he is introduced:

'That,' she said suddenly, following the direction of his gaze and answering his unspoken thought, 'that's a lunatic.'


George turned to her gravely.


'Really?' he said.


She had the grace to become a little confused.


'His name is Albert Campion,' she said. ' He came down in Anne Edgeware's car, and the first thing he did when he was introduced to me was to show me a conjuring trick with a two-headed penny - he's quite inoffensive, just a silly ass.'

Abbershaw nodded and stared covertly at the fresh-faced young man with the tow-coloured hair and the foolish, pale blue eyes behind the tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles, and wondered where he had seen him before.

Interesting introduction to the hero of your series who might be the son of King Edward, but if on page after page, you continue to describe a person as foolish, idiotic, with a vacant (at times owlish) stare than it induces nothing but irritation.

Well, anyway the story is of nine young people trapped in a house where a game involving daggers turns deadly when a person is murdered by the very same dagger. The villain of the piece is the imposingly built and even more imposingly named Eberhard von Faber intriguingly described as the living image of the little busts of Beethoven. Poor Beethoven.

An easy read with some likable people with youthful spirits but not much else. I don't think I'll be picking up an Allingham anytime soon.

*

First Line: The view from the narrow window was dreary and inexpressibly lonely.

Title: The Crime at Black Dudley

Other Title(s): The Black Dudley Murder

Author: Margery Allingham

Publication Details: Middlesex: Penguin, 1971.

First Published: 1929

Pages: 208

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The book might be available in libraries or on the net. I borrowed it from a library too.

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Submitted for the Color-Coded Challenge.

Also for the following challenges: Borrowed Book, British Books, Criminal Plots II [Book published at least 10 years ago], Find the Cover, Merely Mystery [ Cozy], Mystery and Suspense, Support Your Local Library, Vintage Mystery

Friday, April 13, 2012

M is for Mahabharat

The Mahabharat is one of the two principal epics of India. The longest epic in the world, it is often considered the fifth Veda. To me, quite simply, the greatest tale ever told.

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Is there any book you rate above all others? Do share.

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Entry for letter M

L is for Love that dare not...

It is the fin-du-siecle and the whole of England is abuzz with news of a particular trial.In the dock is Oscar Wilde - till the other day, the Lion of London. The charge against him is that of 'gross indecency'.






The Prosecutor Charles Gill, quoting from the poem Two Loves written by Wilde's lover Lord  Alfred Douglas, asks him: "What is that love that dare not speak its name?"






Wilde replies: "The 'love that dare not speak its name' in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as "the love that dare not speak its name," and on that account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an older and a younger man, when the older man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it, and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it."


Lucid but lacking the dazzling wit that Wilde displayed when he declared so disarmingly to an American Custom Official that he had nothing to declare "but his genius."

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Which is your favourite witticism of Wilde? Do share.

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Entry for letter L.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kings





In Act III, Scene ii of Shakespeare's History Play, Richard II, the eponymous hero has a moment of epiphany.


For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings...



He continues in the same vein talking of all the pomp and power of Kings that disappears with the pricking of a pin:




"No," quoth the Cherub: "George the Third is dead."
   "And who is George the Third?" replied the apostle:
"What George? what Third?" "The King of England," said
   The angel. "Well! he won't find kings to jostle
Him on his way; but does he wear his head?
   Because the last we saw here had a tustle,
And ne'er would have got into Heaven's good graces,
Had he not flung his head in all our faces.




He was - if I remember -King of France
That head of his, which could not keep a crown
On earth, yet ventured in my face to advance
   A claim to those of martyrs — like my own:
If I had had my sword, as I had once
   When I cut ears off, I had cut him down; 
But having but my keys, and not my brand,
I only knocked his head from out his hand.


"And then he set up such a headless howl,
   That all the Saints came out and took him in;
And there he sits by Saint Paul, cheek by jowl;
   That fellow Paul — the parven—! The skin
Of Saint Bartholomew, which makes his cowl
   In heaven, and upon earth redeemed his sin,
So as to make a martyr, never sped
Better than did this weak and wooden head. 


"But had it come up here upon its shoulders,
   There would have been a different tale to tell:
The fellow-feeling in the Saint's beholders
   Seems to have acted on them like a spell;
And so this very foolish head Heaven solders 
   Back on its trunk: it may be very well,
And seems the custom here to overthrow
Whatever has been wisely done below."

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Have their been stories of kings that have impressed you? Do share.

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Entry for letter K.

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The images used above, are to the best of my knowledge in the public domain, but in case that is not so than please let me know and I'll remove them.




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for J. Alfred Prufrock

In 1915, appeared a poem that was to change the course of literature and leave its imprint forever.



T.S. Eliot's J. Alfred Prufrock is a hero in a very unheroic sense. He is unsure, timid, and insecure:

...an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two, 
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, 
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Poetic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous...

Prufrock represents all those anonymous, little men who fall in love but are afraid to reveal their feelings for fear of rejection because somewhere they know that in the prosaic life of theirs, romance is but a pipe-dream:

I have heard the mermaids singing each to each.
I do not think they will sing to me.


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Do you know of little men making a big difference? Do share.

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Entry for letter J.





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Inhumanity

All my thought-of posts are going for a toss. Just finished John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and immediately these lines rose in my mind:

Man's Inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

These lines occur in Robert Burns' poem Man was Made to Mourn: A Dirge. A poem published in 1784.

To me the best counter to this is one provided by South African writer and activist Alan Paton:

There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man.


*


Which particular instance of inhumanity - in literature or history - can you not get out of your mind? Do share.

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Entry for letter I

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hafiz

So there I was thinking of a post on Horses when I read a post on Hafiz @ Book Snob. So I decided to share a poem of his too. To the uninitiated, Hafiz was a Persian Sufi poet who lived in the 14th Century.


This was the first poem of his that I read but subsequently have found no reference to it anywhere, so have been wondering. But here it is, nevertheless:

It is not for you to say Hafiz
That the rose is one of God's creations
However heavenly it might smell
You have to think of the time
When you are both dead and gone
And people are interested only in your successors.

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Have you read Hafiz? Do share you favourite quotes of his.

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Entry for letter H

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Ginch.

Yes, you read that right.

Ginch - rhymes with Cinch, you see.

But what in Heaven's name does it mean? Could it be one of those fantastic creatures^ that are infesting Rob. Z. Tobor's (yes, you read that right too) house presently?

Enough of gibberish. I discovered this word quite incidentally today while reading John Dickson Carr's book.



Here it is, right from page 76 (I'd have said Horse's mouth but it is not the day for that letter. So hold your horses for Monday):

At this point the chronicler of Dr. Fell's adventures should, strictly speaking, apologize for introducing that luscious little ginch, Patricia Standish. Ginch... is the word that best describes her; a mysterious term whose definition will presently be made clear.


This apology should come from the fact that on one point all leading authorities are agreed: to introduce a heroine (whether or not the tale be fact) is bad. Very bad. ...you know what I mean: the grey-eyed, fearless Grace Darling with the cool philosophy, who likes to poke her nose into trouble and use a gun as well as the detective, and who requires the whole book to make up her mind whether she is more than casually interested in the hero.

... by the splendid grace of God - Patricia Standish had none of the traits just mentioned. She was not cool-headed or strong-minded. She could no more have accompanied the detectives with a gun than she could have brought down the villain with a flying tackle. Quite to the contrary, she was content to leave that sort of thing to the proper people, to beam up at you as though she were saying, 'What a man!' - and you threw out your chest and felt about nine feet tall, and said, 'Ha, ha'. 


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Have you come across this word? If so, where? Do share. (Yes, it rhymes).

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^To read about the fantastic creatures, go here:
http://robztobor.blogspot.in/

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Entry for letter G

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Memes (on Saturday)



Book Beginnings is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader where one shares the opening line(s) of the book one is currently reading. One can also share one's views on those lines.

Here's mine from The Eight of Swords by John Dickson Carr

Chief inspector Hadley had been almost cheerful when he reached his office that morning.

(Poor fellow. Soon his happiness will evaporate in the light of poltergeists, bishops who slide down banisters, and doctors with imposing names like Dr. Sigismund Von Hornswoggle who come calling.)



the Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice where one shares a couple of lines from page 56 of any book.

Here's one from Closing the Gate, the book I just finished.

"I know we just met, but you can trust us - we wouldn't leave without telling you and we definitely wouldn't leave owing you money." At least, you wouldn't know it until we are long gone.





Friday Finds is a meme hosted by MizB where one shares the books one has just come to know about and is eager to read.

Eager to read the book after reading a review of it by Bev.
http://myreadersblock.blogspot.in/2012/03/vintage-theme-1-complete-so-blue-marble.html

F is for Fish



"My mother is a fish," is perhaps the shortest chapter ever written. Chapter 19 of the great classic, As I Lay Dying, these enigmatic words are uttered by Vardaman, a ten year old child.

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What do you make of these words? Do share your views.

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Entry for the letter F.





Thursday, April 5, 2012

Entry Denied: Deb Simpson's Closing the Gate

James Edward Pirkey Jr. died on May 13, 1997. He was thirty-six years old, had never married and had no children. He had placed a gun to his head, and reached for the next level, the place where he hoped to meet the precious spirits already departed. 


This is the story of his life, of the childhood that left him lonely and searching, seeking something to make him feel worthy and welcome in the world. Instead, he found something which led him to leave the world.





In 1997, I was working in a small town in the desert state of Rajasthan, when one day I woke up to screaming headlines about a mass-suicide in US. Thirty-Nine people had been found dead in a house. There was shock and awe that day in the staff-room. For most of us, separated as we were from our families, and waiting for a transfer somewhere back home, there was an element of horror associated with the entire incident. Later, details trickled in: The Dead were part of a cult that believed there was a UFO following in the wake of the Haley-Bopp comet entering the earth's orbit at that time. The suicide was a means to exit their bodies so that their souls could be free to enter the spaceship which would take them to the higher level.

Such details, however, could not make the entire thing comprehensible. So when decades after the incident, I heard of a book called Closing the Gate which was about a former member of the cult who committed suicide five weeks after the mass suicide, I simply had to read it.

Closing the Gate is a work of catharsis. Written by Deb Simpson, it chronicles the life of her younger brother, Jimmy, who ended his life at the age of 36.  "It's past time for me to go," he wrote in his farewell letter. "The Precious Spirits have long since taken flight." But the book is more than just a biography of a troubled youngster. It is also a look at the underbelly of an advanced, modern society where traditional support systems have been uprooted, the close-knit family has disappeared and been replaced by a dysfunctional (de)structure where neglect and abuse are the norm.

Jimmy, born in 1961, to a mother who was prone to mental illness and an irresponsible, shirker  father who could never be a provider,  never did receive the love and affection that children need in childhood. Hauled from one dump to another by Jim, his rolling-stone of a father, Jimmy hungered for cuddles and kisses. At the age of five, with his parents separated - one in jail, the other in a mental asylum, he was sent to live with an aunt whom he barely knew. Growing up, taking up odd jobs, he grew into a secretive, solitary man who wanted more than anything to belong.

Seems like everybody else can find something they like to do - some reason to get out of bed. Something that makes them smile, sing, yell, anything, want to go to school or work or get married, have kids. Do something. Anything  - besides this dark empty space inside my head.

What if this is all there ever is? What if there is nothing special for me? Nobody wants to be with a stupid uneducated man who still lives with his mother and sleeps all day. Hell, I wouldn't want to be with me.....be better off dead than living like this.

He thought, he had found his true family, in a cult called Heaven's Gate: "They told me that I should pray about my searching to find the answers I was looking for.... No one had ever told me simply to pray for answers and then listen to the response."

So he joined the cult. And when they left, he thought he too must follow them. Sitting in his room with a gun in hand and contemplating, he hears a knock on the door...

We often take our loved ones for granted, hardly sparing any time for them. The book demonstrates how crucial it is to demonstrate our love for our loved ones and show them that we care. Greatly recommended.

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Opening Lines: On March 26, 1997, in Rancho Santa Fe, California, thirty-nine men and women were found dead in a spacious rented mansion, the apparent victims of self-induced drugs and alcohol. The twenty-one women and eighteen men, ranging in age from twenty-six to seventy-two years, were members of Heaven's Gate, and carried out the largest mass suicide to ever occur on American soil.

Author: Deb Simpson

Publication Details: Murfreesboro: Piney D Press, 2012

First Published: 2012

Pages: 339

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Having had a release in March, the book is easily available in shops and on the Net. I received an ARC from the author.

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Submitted for the A-Z (Titles) Challenge:

Also submitted for the following challenges: AZRC, Free Reads, Mount TBR, New Authors, Unread Book



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

E is for EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE






EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Yes, that was the sound that EMANATED from me when I found that I had posted a rough-copy version of the D- post along with the fair one.

So, I deleted it.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
(Please note the EXTRA EEES...... Yes, I counted them.)

The sound that EMANATED from me when I realised I had deleted the fair copy version which had two precious comments (ELIXIR for all those who bore blog) attached.

From then on it was desperately trying to contact blogger, and terms called Cache and Feed. All ENGLISH to me. (Latin and Greek, I am sorry, but it is E's day).

In the END,  EMBITTERED, EXASPERATED, and EXHAUSTED, I simply typed the post again.

I belong not to the E-generation.

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Have you EVER deleted a post accidentally? How did you retrieve it? EDUCATE us.

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ENTRY for the letter E.

D is for Dogs

It is 1939. Europe is sitting on a tinder box. The year begins on a tragic note. Nobel Laureate W.B. Yeats, having already witnessed a world war and other dances of destruction closes his eyes forever. Poet
W.H. Auden, having but recently shifted to New York, writes an elegy mourning not only the death of the poet but also of Europe:

In the nightmare of the dark
All the Dogs of Europe bark
And the dying nations wait
Each sequestered in its hate...

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The poem can be heard (in Auden's baritone) over here:
http://wn.com/In_Memory_of_WB_Yeats_by_WH_Auden_poetry_reading


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Have you ever lived through times of violence? Do share your experience.

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Entry for D
(The post got deleted, so posting it again)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (A day Late)




Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's mine:

"Well Standish has grave doubts about him. He says he caught the bishop sliding down the banisters". (Pg 6)

The Eight of Swords by John Dickson Carr