Friday, August 30, 2013

Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me GoNever Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

You get a feeling that there is something different about the world you are reading about when you are already a few pages into the book.

It is not a usual coming-of-age book. Kathy reminiscences about her childhood, about her days at Hailsham, a premium boarding school that she went to.

Ruth, Tommy and the narrator of this story, Kathy were together in that school. There was a bit of a mystery hanging over the school. Although their teachers, called "Guardians" are as rigid as any teacher found in any boarding school, there is one Guardian who seems to treat them differently.

From her, the children get some ominous hints about their future.

We learn the story through the narrator Kathy, who reveals the story mostly chronologically.

This facility, Hailsham is not a school. It is a place where human clones are reared for their organs. The children are cared for because a healthy child will be able to yield healthy organs.

Will the children, Kathy, Tommy and Ruth, be able to chart a different life?

Are human beings capable of mercy? Can human beings deal fairly as far as other species are concerned? I think we know the answer to that already.

Kazuo Ishiguro treats this tale, which could easily drip with horror, with gentleness. The shocking facts of the fate of the children are revealed gradually and with a sparse and a deft touch.

The novel is immensely readable. Years ago, I picked up a book called Curious case of the dog in the nighttime, and found it un-putdownable. This book was the only novel I read from cover to cover at a stretch after that.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Cap Lesesne - Confessions of a Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon

Confessions of a Park Avenue Plastic SurgeonConfessions of a Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon by Cap Lesesne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the book.  It is a memoire of a plastic surgeon.  There are not too many 'revelations' about celebrity clients.  They are merely hinted at.

There are times when the book reads like a documentary.  He lists the steps a person seeking plastic surgery should go through, the ways in which a client should assess a surgeon.  There is a chapter titled "Failures (and what to ask a surgeon)".

He even had a section in which he mentions skin-care.

"Some of the best skin I've ever seen belongs to women who cleanse with cold water and soap, then apply a mild moisturizer on the dry spots."

He recommends use of sunscreen lotion with SPF greater than 20, and re-application every two hours.

Exfoliate the skin regularly, he says.  He even recommends microdermabrasion - spraying of fine crystals at the skin to loosen dead tissue.

Hmm.. I confess, I found this part of the book quite interesting.

As for the rest, he writes about his education, how he got into plastic surgery.  He has some interesting anecdotes to narrate.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Marie Desplechin -Sans Moi

Sans MoiSans Moi by Marie Desplechin

It was a wonderful book.  So different from the usual "stories".  It was about a year in the life of Anna, a writer and a single mother.  She hires a young girl Olivia as a babysitter.  Olivia is a recovering drug addict with several other issues as well.  On the face of it, Olivia is highly unsuitable as a babysitter, but yet she is a person with a lot of promise.

Anna and Olivia help each other out and develop a friendship.

It was likened to a novel by Colette, but it wasn't.  Do not look for anything naughty in here.

The book was about faith and trust and healing.  Excellent!

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