The Book Tag Meme.
A varitaion on the book-tag introduced by Uma Mahadevan of Indianwriting: Books You Couldn't Finish Reading.
And now Uma Mahadevan picks up from a New York, weekly literary series, Lit Lite, and asks people to post: The Worst Books Ever/ The Most Overrated, Purple Paragraph, and Grossest Character Ever Created.
Well, here are my two bits:
Worst Books Ever/Most Overrated:
1. The Inscrutable Americans by Anurag Mathur. Fell for the hype, bought the book. One of my friends wanted to borrow it, gave it to him and said magnanimously "You can keep it (He looked at me in suspicion, for I never give away books)."
I don't think he has still forgiven me for the dirty trick I played on him.
2. The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo. I don't know why so many people like the book or swear by Paulo Cohelo (thankfully I had picked up only a pirated copy). With great magnanimity I gave it to the same friend above. A week later he told me that he had abandoned it in a local train.
3. The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Thankfully I had borrowed this one. Definitely one of the most overrated books along with Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things.
4. Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson. The boss at my previous job (a management type) waxed eloquent about it. Then harangued me enough about reading only stories (fiction) and not any book that will "improve" me. Borrowed it from him, returned it the next day and when he invited me to comment on the book, said something like "Mice spread plague."
About two months later I quit that job.
And I guess, you can add most (if not all) of Richard Bach's tripe to this. Has anyone read One?
This one is from a marathi novel on Karna called Mrityunjay. If I remember right, the author is Shivaji Sawant. The book is considered "required" reading for any Mahrashtrian. It is entirely in purple prose and long descriptions -- a soap opera in the form of a book. I remember this one passage where Karna is riding his chariot through a forest. The author describes the trees that Karna sees around him. There are about 45 (I think the actual number is 47) trees listed with some description of each. I thought I had picked up a botany text by mistake. Needless to say, I didn't finish the book.
Grossest Character Ever Created:
Scratched my brains quite a bit but couldn't recollect one. Should read more. Will update if I remember.
As an Aside:
I wonder what all the above authors must be feeling about this entire exercise.
- Do they hate us for panning them?
- Do they fantasize following us into some dark alley and cutting us into small pieces?
- Do they decide to give up writing all together?
- Do they say "Well, they are talking about me. Shouldn't be bad for the sales."