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Showing posts from June, 2013

Cataract City by Craig Davidson

When I first learnt of the book, the title Cataract City intrigued me. Naively, I assumed that the novel was going to be some sort of a sci-fi mystery, the kind that they make into a Tom Cruise movie. What I was happy to learn though was that the title was much closer to home.
Cataract City is in fact the grittier name for picturesque Niagara Falls – a city that never changes but changes you. Owen and Duncan, are childhood friends who both dream of escape from this city that consumes them. A traumatic incident during their childhood creates a bond that refuses to be severed even through adulthood as the two friends journey through two different paths in life. Duncan gets involved in the deep underworld leading him to do time in prison, while Owen finds himself on the other side of the spectrum – an officer of the law. A friendship is at stake, and you realize that underneath the pretty city your see in postcards, Cataract City is a city that engulfs its occupants and weighs them down i…

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

From acclaimed storyteller, Jhumpa Lahiri, comes a novel layered with political, social and personal entanglements. Two brothers, born just after the Second World War, in Tollygunge, are inseparable as children, unaware at that time that later in life their destinies are slated to traverse very different paths. But blood is thicker than the water, even though the younger brother, Udayan is drawn to the Naxalite movement in the 1960s, and Subhash leaves Calcutta to pursue his studies in scientific research in America, the two brothers find themselves forever intertwined as a result of the consequences of their actions. Udayan’s love not only for idealism, but also for Gauri, puts him in a constant strife with his parents, and as he writes letters to his brother in the U.S., it is endearing to see that the connection the brothers shared as children still continues to touch them in their adult life.
The Lowland transpires through two generations of a family’s struggle with the political a…