The Other Side of Midnight

The Other Side of MidnightSydney Sheldon, born on 11 February 1917, well known for his literary accomplishments in the form of a number of novels which are considered masterpieces in their respective genres. His novels reflect everything from the harsh realities of a poor man’s existence to the starry opulence of an actress’ life. Portraying the complexities and exotic facets of human emotions, his novels are the birthplace of some of the most extraordinary and memorable characters of fiction writing. He has also created various highly successful films and television adaptations of his works.

“The Other Side of Midnight” is another one of his commendable additions to the thriller genre. An intense infusion of passion, murder and intrigue in the terrifying backdrop of world war II, this book also introduces us to, perhaps, the most remarkable and dangerously unique of Sheldon’s creations, Constantin Demiris, who is effectively powerful in all its terrible glory personified.

The story traces the journey of Catherine Alexander leading a normal perfect life until she marries the rugged and irresistibly handsome pilot, Lawrence Douglas. Parallel to Catherine’s story, is the tale of Noelle Page, born but into the intolerable poverty of a fisherman’s home, sworn that someday she would rule her own kingdom. Her inhuman beauty and extraordinary talent along with her unquenchable thirst for revenge help her carve her way to glory.

As the story progresses, the fear and tension is almost tangible as the characters try to fight against their own terrible destinies and against the only man who can control even Fate.

This novel which definitely qualifies as great thriller will have the reader feverishly turning pages and is surely a must-read for every fan of the murder/thriller genre.

Devika V S

I PCME ‘I’

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

The Lightning ThiefRick Riordan is the author of the Percy Jackson series and 39 clues. Rick Riordan’s sense of humour keeps the reader captivated.  He also makes the story interesting and keeps the reader hooked to the book with the element of suspense.

“Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles.  Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life.  And worse, he’s angered a few of them.  Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus.  But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief:  he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.”

One can compare, Jackson and the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief with that of Harry Potter. Percy  Jackson is a mid-school novel full of adventure, friendship, the trials of school and peers, and Greek mythology. Adults as well as school age children will find something in these pages that is appealing.

In short, I enjoyed reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief and also found it to be a fast and captivating read.  I recommend this especially to mid-school and high school teenagers.

It is especially good to find a book that appeals to such a wide range of  individuals, particularly boys.  You will find it entertaining regardless of your age. Percy Jackson is considered one of the best books for a person who isn’t interested much when it comes to reading…..trust me!….it will change your opinion on books!

Rohith Roy

I PCME ‘I’

The Kite Runner

The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini was born in Afghanistan and his family received political asylum in the USA in 1980. He is a doctor and lives in California. The kite runner is his first novel.

The book is about Amir and Hassan who belong to different places in the society. Amir’s ambition is to win the local kite competition and gain his father’s trust ; be the son his father wants to see .In doing so he puts down Hassan , he doesn’t live up to his friendship .

This event on the day of the kite competition changes everything in Amirs life, he loses his companion, the kite runner (Hassan). Set in the backdrop of Kabul and Afghan, we see the blend of westernization.

 Amir soon settles in America, with a beautiful wife. After baba’s death he returns to his guide and role model, Rahim khan. He realizes that he has to redeem himself from the guilt he picked up in the winter of 1975.

He returns to Kabul, only to find that Hassan ,  the hazara, the person who was fed from the same breast as him self…was dead.

To conclude, the book is marvelous in its approach to the Afghan culture and also a true and sensational picture about betrayal, devastation and REDEMPTION !

It speaks about the most harrowing truth about the power of evil, personal and political, and intoxicates, like a high flying kite, with the power of hope….

Pooja Bohra

II CAMS J 

A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ is a bestseller written by Khaled Hosseini. Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. He moved to the United States in the year 1980. His work is a written epitome of all of his experiences in Kabul. His work also emphasizes the pain and torture inflicted upon the Afghan women.

 Khaled has been working to provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan through The Khaled Hosseini Foundation. The concept for The Khaled Hosseini Foundation was inspired by a trip to Afghanistan Khaled made in 2007 with the UNHCR. He lives in northern California.

 The story revolves around Mariam, the Woman protagonist, who is introduced to us as a “harami”, an illegitimate child who meets her father once a week. She enjoys every minute with her father and cherishes those moments. She loves her father so much that she wanted to live with him than her mother. So, she sets out to the city where her father resides. But he disowns her and ill-treats her. She soon learns that her mother has hanged herself because Mariam had left her for her traitor father. On the other hand Jalil, her father, finds her to be burden to his family. So he gets her married to Rasheed, an elderly widower from Kabul. Initial days of marriage seemed to Mariam like as though she had come to heaven but it soon started to deteriorate when she suffered a miscarriage. It revealed Rasheed’s true nature. She was subjected to brutal whipping and ill-treatment almost everyday. Mariam no more wished to live but it was as though she was forced to live to serve Rasheed and to subject herself to his malice everyday.

Nearly two decades later, Rasheed marries a young 19 year-old Laila. He feels that he finally has met his match but she to disappoints him by bearing a girl child. She too finds herself subjected to Rasheed’s malice. A strong mother-daughter relationship forms between Mariam and Laila. She soon confesses to Mariam that she is deeply in love with Tariq, her childhood friend. Both of them face many trials and tribulations given the circumstances that the Taliban have taken over and have posed innumerable restrictions for women. Mariam learns to fight for herself and finally gives back Rasheed for everything he has done to her.

This story is a really touching story as Hosseini goes into the finest detail. He exhorts the readers to not let such malpractices to occur in our society. At the same time he also emphasizes on the value and requirement of love and support during the hardest times in life. Mariam is really an inspiring character and she teaches us the value of life and love. She does not give up on hope even when she knows that there is no point in her survival. This is a touching novel worth reading and a humbly request everyone to read this novel. Only the insensitive would be unmoved after reading.

Aishwarya R

I PCMB C