The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2016-06-30

The book was recommended by many people. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the favourite works of fiction for many people in my social circles. I had repeatedly heard about the forty-two joke. An ex-colleague who quit the job wrote a farewell email with the subject "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish". I was exposed to such Hitchhiker's Guide's memes many times in the past few years. The title made it to my to-read list. My expectation of the coolness factor of the book kept on building up.

Last year, I travelled to Odisha. I bought this book to read during the waiting time in the trip. The book gripped my attention instantly. In all the reading sessions, one could see me smiling often. I admired the brilliancy of Douglas Adams whenever there was a crackerjack idea in the story. Douglas Adams has the gift of pulling up admirable humour out of thin air. From seemingly simple situations he weaves astounding plots. The book is a short read, but full of joy.

Douglas Adams secured a spot in my list of favourite authors. He stands first in my list of best authors in the comedy genre. I'm privileged to read such great literary work. Douglas Adams is a comedy genius and the book is a comedy gold.

The book will appeal to you if you like genres such as science fiction, space travel, time travel, aliens, etc. The book is not about these technical subjects, though. You don't have to have degrees in physics to understand the story. You just have to have some kind of fancy towards such subgenres. Does Start Trek ring a bell?

After reading the first part in the trilogy of five, I was constantly thinking of the next four parts. Pictures of the setting lurked in my mind for several days. One question constantly lurked in my mind: "How could anyone cook up such clever concepts and plots"? The book had impressed me many times with innovative ideas like the infinite improbability drive. So much so that I accepted "trilogy of five" as a joke. I could hardly wait for a few days and the impulse kicked in. Then I read the remaining four parts:

After reading the trilogy of five, I am content. I can peacefully move on to other other books.

Drunk Talk

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2012-09-16

The sweet talk of the other world
Transformed the role of the writer
The writer became the character
The melody of the music abound

The aroma of the sweetened pot
Intoxicated the cuisiner
The birds danced to the number
With rhythm, advanced the chariot

The wheel hit a protruding stone
The hen jerked in shock
The cock was surrounded by black
The journey was now bygone

The remnants of the flower remain
Two petals - memories and imagination
Breath rests on the shoulders of salvation
Drunk talk - name for the work of fiction

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2011-09-24

If you are a grammar Nazi, the first thing you might have noticed is the weird capitalization of this blog post's title. It is hard to spot such capitalization of titles in modern publications. I don't know if there's even a name for the style. I personally do not like writing titles with prepositions in lowercase and everything else capitalized. Somehow, a lot of book titles are written in this manner. When the book arrived, I was excited. As soon as I opened the cover, the sight of the title put me off. I thought to myself, "if the title itself is written like this, how would the entire book have been written?". Perhaps, the publisher chose to write the title in that style.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a highly acclaimed autobiographical novel written by James Joyce. Chasing my dream of reading all major literary works in English, I came across Ulysses. I read many reviews of Ulysses. Many readers had recommended getting accustomed to early twentieth century Irish culture and the author's style before reading Ulysses. Thus, I bought A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man. The book contains two hundred and thirty four pages. Not a long read. Due to various reasons like busy work schedules and several trivial things in life, I could not pay much attention to the book initially. It took several reading sessions to finish twenty five pages. But the narration and the story was good. Somehow, it took me more than a month to read up to fifty pages. The slow reading was definitely not caused by the book.

The 'hellfire' sermon incident in the story drew my attention. My soul was awakened! From then on, I could not put down the book before reading it completely. The book was published in nineteen sixteen. The punctuation is noticeably different. For example, the author doesn't enclose conversations in quotation marks.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

The narration is steadily engaging. It never slows down. The story gets you thinking about psychology, philosophy, religion, atheism, education and many other topics. It was a pleasant experience reading the book.


written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2011-06-20

1984 is a novel written by George Orwell. The book falls under the science fiction category. At the mention of science fiction, I can sense your disbelief, you hard science fiction fan. For some of us, sci-fi means robots from fantasy land and amusing imaginary journey in the outer space. Science fiction has many subgenres such as hard science fiction, soft science fiction, time travel and superhuman. 1984 belongs to the subgenre social science fiction.

I had read George Orwell's Down And Out In Paris And London more than a decade ago. Memories of my deep appreciation of the author is still green. I had heard about 1984 and its fame at that time. 1984 has been in my wish list ever since.

A few weeks ago, I ordered the book from Indian Amazon. They promptly shipped it in two days. After reading State Of Fear, I picked up 1984. After reading a few pages, I was impressed by the richness of the narration. Sometimes, after a reading session, I was curious what would happen next in the plot. Few humourous passages made me laugh out loud.

The story involves the invention of a new language called newspeak. Newspeak contains politically doctored words and phrases to control thought. For example, in newspeak, to express something that is not good, you would use the word ungood. I liked the idea instantly. I thought of saying this to an unsuccessful professional - "if you continue to be unskilled, uneducated and unmotivated you will soon become an unperson". If you read the novel, you will enjoy the other words of the newspeak language.

1984 is truly a great novel. If Ravi Shastry were to praise George Orwell's writing style, he would sure say terrific. If you wish to read all major literary works in English, you shouldn't miss 1984. There are several Wikipedia pages dedicated to George Orwell and his works. Many blog posts can be dedicated to George Orwell and 1984. However, I would like to mention just a trivium. George Orwell was born on 25 June 1903 in Bihar.

If you have read or eager to read 1984, I would love to read your comments.

The Boatman

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2011-05-09

In the sunshine
He starts the engine
He gently guides the boat
Towards the destination

Then comes the storm
Pausing the journey
At night while resting
He gazes at the stars
He thinks about the universe

At dawn, he resumes the journey
Chatting with his buddies on board
They leave when their islands arrive
The boatman rows on and on
He thinks about the journey

His eyes catch a glimpse
Of life everywhere
In the air
In the water
In and on the earth
He thinks about life

He becomes one with the serenity
Of the blue sky
And of the water
He wishes the peace to last for ever
He thinks about the wars

He builds a new boat
Solving a hundred problems
Buddies join him to celebrate
The marvel the boatman created
He thinks about harmony

The Chamber

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2011-05-05

I've been reading many books authored by John Grisham these days. Theodore Boone was an enjoyable read. Then I tried to read Playing For Pizza. That's the only John Grisham book I didn't like. I read about half and gave up. I even threw the book in the old newspaper lot at home. I wouldn't be surprised if someone else wrote the book and inscribed John Girsham's name on the cover. It was that bad.

A few years ago, I had read The Brethren and The Client. I was impressed. John Grisham suddenly secured a spot in my list of favorite authors. A few months ago, there was a book sale going on near to our office. I bought two sets. The first one had two novels packed together, The Firm and The Pelican Brief. Unfortunately, my brother lost that book in a train. The only fortunate thing about it is he had at least read The Firm before losing the book. A few days later, The Firm was broadcast on television. We watched it. Yet another movie in which Tom Cruise has played a lawyer. I don't know whether I will ever buy those books again. The other book set I bought contains two novels, The Chamber and The Rainmaker.

The Chamber was a fascinating read. I was hooked on to it till 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM the last few days. The book was on my mind throughout the week. Heck, the protagonist even appeared in my dreams.

The novel is a gripping narration involving the gas chamber, capital punishment, Ku Klux Klan and of course lawyers. I'm sure everyone, at some point has thought about capital punishment. Is it the right thing to do? Tit for tat? This is one of those subjects that makes me indecisive. After reading the story, I have been pondering over the matter. At the moment, I am leaning towards being against death penalties. What's your opinion?

After reading the book, I'm so full of praise for John Griasham, that I want to read all his works. Except Playing For Pizza. John Grisham has written twenty four books so far. Practically speaking, it will take a long time, really really long time to read all twenty four titles. When I started reading books my goal was to read one hundred books. That seemed to be a very good thing to accomplish. After a few years, I had read one hundred books. It was time to raise the bar. I decided to read one thousand books. After reading a blog post by Google Books, I have decided not to raise the bar again. Because there are 129,864,880 books on earth.

The Chamber deserves a good rating. I'm giving it four stars!


written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2011-04-30

It's the disease
It won't let you do
What you want to do
You were punished for not doing it
You thought you could get away with it
But you couldn't

You continue the race
Get stuck somewhere
Nowhere to go
Nothing to do
You start running back
But you don't want to

It won't let you go forward
It won't let you go back
You want the cure
Don't run back
Take a break
Rest for a while

Trash the illusion
Then proceed
Increase the pace
Win the race
Remember what you want to do
Reach where you want to go

Don't succumb to the disease
Make this the habit
The winning habit
Take my word for it
Victory is yours
Why lose?

The Brethren

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2008-06-15

I was once a voracious reader. I used to read an entire Sideny Sheldon's novel in a day. I remember my dad telling me, "if you read the text books like you read novels you will definitely top the academic charts". Well, I didn't read most of the text books with the excitement I experienced when I read novels in my school days. Let's debate the consequences.

After a few days, no months, wait, years, I motivated myself to read a book. I didn't even remember the last book I had read. Is this even possible?

I scanned my library. There were only a few books I hadn't read in the entire library. I have decided to not read some. The rest of them are yet to be returned by people who borrowed it and said they would return it as soon as they finished reading. No wonder, they haven't finished reading the borrowed books yet.

The Brethren by John Grisham caught my attention. John Grisham is known to write popular legal thrillers. Yes, you will find a wicked lawyer character, Trevor, in the novel. You also find wicked ex judges plotting ingenuous extortions from a prison. I read about a hundred pages a day and the entire novel in four days. Nights rather.

The thrill gets better with CIA manoeuvring the American presidential campaigns. The evil judges and lawyers hook a presidential candidate, Aaron Lake to their extortion scam. As a reader, you will definitely learn a lesson in life. Never reveal your hidden identities to strangers, especially to pen pals. The story is believable. Narration is superb. The plot is well crafted by master story teller, Grisham. You won't put the book down without reading a bulk of it.

Tell me what you think about this novel.

100 Best Movies

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2007-01-01

Status: 90% Complete. Last updated: 2017 January, 07.

Sudheer's 100 best movies list

The list will be completed in the near future. Or sometime in the next few decades. You can recommend your favourite movies to the list. I will try to watch them and if I feel they should be listed here, I will add them.

Here's the list:

The movies are listed in language and alphabetical order.

Rising Sun

written by Sudheer Satyanarayana on 2006-05-24

Hai kohai,

Michael Crichton is clearly a versatile author. I was stunned to read Jurassic Park, The Lost World and Congo a long time ago. Movies were made out these novels and they became super duper Hollywood hits. I had read these books before the movies were made. The story of dinosaurs was breathtaking. I could hardly imagine Crichton writing anything but technical thrillers. I was mesmerised to watch the movie, The Great Train Robbery authored by Crichton-san.

I was under the impression that Rising Sun was also a techno-suspense novel. As I started reading the first few pages I realised it was not. The novel is about Japanese economical aggression and how they influence America. The plot is carefully laid out with intricate sequence. The novel gave me fresh insight into racism, business strategies of giant Japanese corporations, the influence of businesses on the governments and its effects on the common man and most importantly the Japanese culture. The novel is as good as the author's other novels. You bet the Japanese would be astounded to read the gaijin's narration. I have decided to read all the remaining Crichton books.