Book Excerpt: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Tom Sawyer is no stranger to most bookworms, the epitome of mischief and loafing as he is, Sawyer’s enduring evergreen appeal that has lasted over a century can be attributed to his indomitable spirit. In the following lines from the first few pages of the book, Mark Twain kind of sums up the essential Tom … Read more

Book Excerpts: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s foray into adventure began even before he was twenty. Post a cub reporter stint at the Kansas City Star, Hemingway volunteered for a ambulance driver job at the Italian front during World War I. A Farewell to Arms (1929) is a fictional take on these early intense experiences with violence, love and death. … Read more

Book Excerpts: Meet Mr. Mulliner by PG Wodehouse

If you are yet to read a Wodehouse, there is no particular book to get started on, it could be any of the several he wrote. For a PG Wodehouse book is meant for the laughs, laced with an apt treasure house of vocabulary, impeccable English, historical references, ice thin plot and a stage full … Read more

Book Excerpts: Londonstani by Gautam Malkani

At the time of writing I am getting through at a snail’s place through Malkani’s slang-decorated narration of Jas, a rich 19 year-old Indian brat growing up in London. First published in 2006, the novel is told from the perspective of Jas, a wannabe, confused affluent teen who pretends he is deprived of wealth and … Read more

Book Excerpts: I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale by Khushwant Singh

The monsoon has arrived! It fell upon the city without warning on the night of June 1, 2013, complete with lightning veins, thunder roll and a rush of drops that soon settled down to play a rhythm on all things that interrupted its airborne tryst.  As usual, the meteorologists got it wrong – the monsoon … Read more

Book Excerpts: Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

An opium filled opus if there was one, Narcopolis has Thayil take the garb of fiction to document a time of hallucination, ennui and quiet decay through a motley group of characters, covering three decades in old, derelict Bombay.  But what stands out in remarkable swing to the rest of the conventionally written content is … Read more

Book Excerpts: Jim Corbett on the Tiger

We dwell here on Edward James “Jim” Corbett (1875-1955). A British Indian Army colonel at a time when India was under imperial rule, Corbett’s transformation from a game hunter to a wildlife conservationist fits well into the adage – Truth is stranger than fiction. Corbett’s writing endures, engaging as the narration of his adventures is, … Read more

Book Excerpts: Bluebeard’s Egg and other stories by Margaret Atwood

First published in 1987, I have just begun reading Margaret Atwood’s collection of short stories. The author dedicates the book to her parents and the first story is a remarkable one, titled as it is – Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother. Atwood’s mother grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. These were conventional … Read more