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.
How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Gladwell writes about the unusualness of the usual things. The book is focused on epedemic sciece and the narration is quiet non-technical. You don't have to be a scientist to learn about this science. Good case studies - Airwalk, Hush Puppies, etc are described throughout the book.
It is a must read for marketing professionals, epidemic scientists, publicists, revolutionaries or whoever wants to spark off news about just anything.
It'd been six months sice I borrowed the book from Avi. Then I couldn't read more than twenty pages. I felt that it was disgusting novel as I skimmed through the first few pages. In fact my astrological scale had turned the other side. I was in no mood to read any books. I forced myself to read this one and I failed miserably.
And then the movie is in news. Every body sang real praise to Dan Brown's work except for the pontiffs. I started feeling jealous of myself for not reading the book. I made my mind and decided to read the book from the start once again. After all I remembered little but Saunnierre's murder. Christ! My brother had kept the book at home in Mysore. I felt at loss.
While I visited a book stall with Balu I spotted Tom Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears" and I grabbed it. I decided to read Dan Brown's novel after Tom Clancy's. I read "The Sum of All Fears" and I liked it. When I went home I brought "The Da Vinci Code" back to Bangalore.
First day I re-read the first few pages. This time more seriously. The book gripped me. The second day I was reading the book in my usual style - lying. I felt pain in the elbows for holding the book for a long time. I went on and on and on reading the book till midnight. The quest for the grail undoubtedly made me curious beyond expression. When I felt overwhelming sleep I looked at the clock. It was 02:52. It was early morning morning and I feared I'd get late to office the very second day!
The narration is marvelous and the plot ingenuous. Dan Brown has sent hidden messages through the fictional character Robert Langdon. I'll write more about it in the next post.
History is an inexorable process that which man cannot influence.
The existence of free will is questioned by the author. As he narrates the story of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, he illustrates how the (his)story takes twists and turns making the emperors silent spectators. If Napoleon Bonaparte was a mighty emperor why did he lose the battle against the Russians? A trivial cause like, he(Napoleon) catching cold just before one of the strategically important battles could be one of the possible reasons for his failure. And that happened without anybody but history's influence. If such a noble warrior could not influence history what to say of the common man?
'nyet' on #atheists once asked me why I chose the IRC Nickname after a dead man. If you didn't know, my IRC nick name used to be Bonaparte. And I replied, that I just am and quoted Tolstoy's deterministic world view.
History is not just the past. But it is an on going process which never stops. We think that we can influence it, but it happens on its own. So says the author indirectly.
Helen Bezukhova, Pierre, Natasha Rostova and Count Rostopchin are the characters that come to my mind when I talk or hear about the book. The narration is simply superb.