Book Review: Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer

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Born on the same day on opposite ends of the earth. William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a rich New York Banker, the other, a poor polish immigrant. Their lives destined to cross in the fight for supreme  power.

Jeffrey Archer’s Kane and Abel follows the lives of William Kane and Abel Rosnovski (earlier know as Wladek Koskiewicz) right from their birth till their death. The book is set over a time period of sixty years, it takes us through both the World War’s and the Great Depression. Each chapter alternates between their stories. Its the story about two different men, born into completely different situations, and how their paths cross during their lifetime. It is a story about two ambitious men and their fight for supremacy.

Kane and Abel is not one of those books that you can rush though, you have to take your time and understand what the author has written. Jeffery Archer has written this novel in such a wonderful way that while reading we tend to feel with the characters. We laugh, cry, hate and love with the characters. This is a book that can capture the mind of the readers, I found it hard to take a break from this book. Even once I stopped reading, the story kept playing in my mind. It holds the interest of the reader right from the first page to the last. This truly is a masterpiece.

Kane and Abel is a classic. Jeffery Archer has discussed human emotions such as sheer determination, hatred, love, anger and ambition in the book. These are the emotions that we feel day to day and can easily relate to it.

The main characters that you shall meet are:
1) Abel Rosnovski : Formerly know as Wladek Koskiewicz, Abel is the son of a Polish Baron. Caught up during the First World War, he is sent to a labor camp in Siberia when he is just twelve years old. After escaping from the camp he then makes his way to America where he makes is fortune. He shares a mutual hatred with William Lowell Kane.

2) William Lowell Kane : William Kane is the son of a wealthy Boston banker. Since he was a child he was brought up to take over the bank from his father. He is determined to to prove himself in the banking field. He shares a mutual hatred with Abel Rosnovski.

Being a total of 550 pages, it is a long read, especially for those who have just started reading. The book ends in a surprising revelation that will play on your mind again and again. Though it may take you a long time to complete this book, its completely worth it. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.It is a must read.

 

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Book Review: The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein

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This is the story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying thins altogether unexpected.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein is a fantastic tale of adventure and friendship. Written as a prequel to the Lord Of the Ring series, the book follows the story of one Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit who seems very comfortable in his easy life at the Shire. It takes us on a journey through MiddleEarth. With Goblins, Wizards, Trolls, Elves and Dragons the book is a fantasy favourite and has all the elements for a wonderful story. And yes, you can read this before or even after you read the LOTR series. It doesn’t make a difference. I read it before I read LOTR since I do not have the books but I know what is on my Christmas list this year.

A mere 389 pages the book is a light read as compared to the 1000+ paged novels I am used to reading yet it took me quite some time to finish the book. The Hobbit isn’t one of those books which you can read at a stretch. Not for me at least. I found myself stopping every ten pages to just go over what I read in my mind. An entertaining tale that you will find hard to put down.

Now coming to the story, the book begins at the Shire where we are introduced to Bilbo Baggins, a wealthy well mannered hobbit who enjoys blowing smoke rings from his pipe. Absolutely content with his routine life until Gandalf the Grey turns up at his doorstep with thirteen dwarves. The story then goes on to tell us about their journey to the Lonely Mountain where they face off with Smaug.

Lets us talk about my favourite characters now shall we?

  1. Bilbo Baggins – Cultured and well mannered, this hobbit enjoys his carefree life until he meets with Gandalf who takes him on an adventure he never forgets.
  2. Gandalf – Also known as Gandalf the Grey, he is the all powerful wizard who encourages Bilbo to go on an adventure with the dwarves to Lonely Mountain. My favourite character in the series, because who doesn’t like a great wizard?
  3. Thorin Oakenshield- Leader of the dwarf company that set out to take back the Lonely Mountain from Smaug. Serious about his work. Warms up to Bilbo by the time we reach the end of the story.

Now I know almost all of you have seen the Hollywood motion picture. So you may ask why should you read the book if you have already seen the movie. My answer to that is, you can never ever fully know and understand a story by just watching the movie. Read the book. Only then will you know how much they have added or left out. And that really irritates me. Why when you adapt a book into a movie, why do they leave so many things out or add so many things in? All for the sake of movie drama! Anyway, I loved the book and the movie too but I wouldn’t suggest people to quit reading the book just because they saw the movie.

The Hobbit is a perfect fantasy read. Good for anybody. Read it to your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews. Introduce them to the classic that is JRR Tolkien and join Bilbo on his fantastic adventure.

 

Book Review: To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

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A story told through the eyes of a young girl as she watches her father defend a black man charged with the rape of a white woman.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic tale written by Harper Lee. Set in the 1930’s, this book tells us the story of the sleepy little town of Maycomb. The entire story is told through the eyes of young Scout Finch.

Harper Lee has a written a story in which all of us readers would get to know the mindset of the general population of America during the 1930’s. There is racial intolerance towards the blacks and class in the whites. We get to know the prejudice between a black man and whites. This story also tells us about growing up. We get a look into the feelings and thoughts of a child towards the events happening around her.

The story is written beautifully. While reading it you feel Maycomb come alive in your mind. You can feel with the characters, laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. This book is not exactly a heavy read and even beginners will enjoy reading it. A total of 309 pages, this book is perfect for new readers.

Lets take a look at the main characters.

1) Jean Louise (Scout) Finch : The narrator of the story, Scout lives in Maycomb with her father and brother. The story begins with her starting school, where she is told off for knowing too much already. She is loved by her father and looks up to her elder brother Jem.

2) Jem Finch : The eldest child of Atticus Finch, he is Scouts elder brother. He looks out for his younger sister. An aspiring lawyer, Jem idolizes his father.

3) Atticus Finch : Atticus Finch is the father of Jem and Scout Finch. He is the lawyer chosen to defend Tom Robinson, a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. This leads to the family being taunted and ignored by the rest of the town. He advises his children on every situation in life.