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Bugs in the story

Transmission: A novel by Hari Kunzru (First published in 2004) Computer virus attacks, so often reported in the media, cross over into fiction in this novel. The Transmission of the title refers to the spread of computer viruses. Arjun, an Indian IT graduate, goes to work in the USA. Fired […]

Giving Amis a miss

Martin Amis: 2 Yours Truly: 0 I tried reading Martin Amis’ novel, Money, for the second time, and for the second time I failed. I gave up almost near the end, though I did sneak a peek at how it ends. Amis, for all his literary talent (and he is […]

Rankin’s lovers

She yanked the padlock free, the chain coming with it. Pulled open the gate. And was picked up off the ground by Rebus, his hug enveloping her. ‘Ow, ow, ow,’ she said, causing him to ease off. ‘Bit bruised,’ she explained, her eyes meeting his. He couldn’t help himself, planted […]

Mistresses of crime

Men don’t read women authors, says Moorish Girl quoting an Observer report. I  wonder whether that’s really true when it comes to crime fiction. There are so many women crime writers it’s impossible to ignore them. And some of them are devilish good at it. Think of the queens of […]

Amis and Hornby and Rankin and more

Singapore officially on Saturday was on a reading jag. READ!Singapore, a 12-hour reading marathon, was organised by the National Library Board to promote the reading habit. Singaporeans swot for school and to climb the career ladder but fewer and fewer people read anything other than textbooks and professional books. So […]

The Da Vinci Code

There is no reason why a book written by an American should not win Britain’s Book of the Year award though Americans honour only American writings in the Pulitzers and the National Book Awards.  The British Book Awards, or Nibbies as they are called, don’t celebrate exclusively British books and […]

More Bellow

I discovered I had read one more Saul Bellow novel,  making it three in all.Mr Sammler’s Planet was the third book. I don’t remember anything about it except the title and the old European Jew Sammler’s confrontation with a black American pickpocket. I remembered that only when I went  through […]

Saul Bellow

Maybe I read him when I wasn’t ready to appreciate him. Still the death of Saul Bellow at the age of 89 marks the passing of a literary giant. Three other American writers have won the Nobel after he won in 1976 — Isaac Bashevis Singer in 1978 (only two […]

Macbeth defamed?

Is this a murderous villain I see before me? No, it’s a cuddly, peace-loving king, says The Times headline. And it reports: DOUBLE, double toil and trouble: Shakespeare’s portrayal of Macbeth as a blood-soaked assassin manipulated by a cunning wife has been branded a travesty by politicians who want to […]

The second Mrs Eliot

I was so surprised when I read today that TS Eliot’s wife is still alive. But Valerie Eliot was only 30 years old when he married her. He was 68 himself. Phew, she was not even half his age. And it was she who pursued him working as his secretary […]