Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

I am doing a book review on “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” written by Jeff Kenny. Jeff Kenny is on outline game developer and designer. He was born in 1971 in Maryland and attended the University of Maryland in the early 1990’s. He wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist, but he ended up becoming a children’s author because he wasn’t able to get his comics syndicated.

There are eight books in Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series and two additional series (The Wimpy Kid-Do It Yourself and The Wimpy Kid-Movie Diary). The series started off online on Funbrain.com in 2004 and made its print in April 2007. The book was published by Harry N. Abrahams Inc. The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid became the New York Times best seller as soon as it was released.

The main character in this book is Greg Heffley. The other main characters are Rowley (Greg’s friend), Rodrick (Greg’s elder brother), Manny (Greg’s younger friend), Greg’s mom and Greg’s dad. This basically tells about a guy who has his own problems, fun time and bad time.etc.

The book is written in a way which shows as Greg writing a journal about him. Greg writes this journal because he thinks he might become a famous guy and he can just sell his journal instead of giving his interview when people ask for it. He starts it off with the middle school scenery. He felt that grade levels should be based on height and not on age. He then says about how he got a friend called Rowley, who stays near Greg’s house and later stops talking with each other due to certain misunderstanding and comes back together in the end. And some stories with his family, neighbours, Halloween day and some school activities comes in between.

This book is done only on the first book in the series of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. It would be nice to read up the other series of this book. You may feel that this book is very childish. It actually gives a lot of meaning and morals when we start thinking deep into it.

For me, this is the first book which I read apart from my textbooks and some old story books. This book inspired to start reading other books also. Actually this is the only book which I felt like reading. I came to know about this book from many of my friends. In the same way I would like to let you know that, this book is awesome and it is worth reading. It makes you feel more young!!!

Jithin P Philip

II PPES O

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood in her novel, The Handmaid’s Tale warns us with her distinctive writing ability that the future is rather bleak for women. Referred to as a ‘scintillating wordsmith’, Atwood has been writing since her college days and has been the recipient of the Booker Prize once and a nominee for an astonishing five times. A miscellany of books fill her impressive track record such her Booker Prize winner, The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake, The Edible Woman, Alias Grace and many more. The Handmaid’s Tale, published in 1985 by McClelland and Stewart speculates a harrowing and theocratic dystopian society called Gilead that has overthrown present day America. Due to alarmingly low reproductive rates caused by pollution and rampant STDs, a certain sect of women called Handmaids are assigned to powerful couples who aren’t able to reproduce due to their age and lack of fertility.

This Speculative fiction fixates on Offred, an ageing Handmaid and her role as she struggles to be a surrogate for the third time to Fred, a Commander who had played a role in the seizing of United States Of America. Using a first person narrative, the unwilling life of Offred and her contained feelings of being made into an object of reproduction is brought to life in an illustrative manner. Stripped of her identity and labelled as a property of her Commander (Of-Fred), she is pressurised by Gilead to provide her Commander and his wife with a child before her fertility wanes completely through coerced and regulated sexual acts. Atwood silhouettes a world where Offred barely survives in a sexist, controlling and religious totalitarian, a society that denies her the simple freedom of walking the streets and dressing the way she likes, or even being addressed with her own name. Over the course of the novel, Atwood’s lyrical prose takes the reader through her winding recollections of a life before the formation of Gilead, a husband, mother and a university life. Seeing the warning signs that she had conveniently ignored before, her tender remembrances ironically serve to be her only rope in a drowning world, the one thing that keeps her alive, albeit disintegrating her ability to embrace her situation.

As she did in Alias Grace, Atwood uses unconventional and descriptive sentences, trickled with high forms of imagery and allegories, further coupled with headstrong and powerful protagonists who radiate repressed yet vehement feminism.

“The Night is mine, my own time, to do with as I will, as long as I am quiet. As long as I don’t move. As long as I lie still.”

Atwood, while seamlessly portraying a fundamentalistic and oppressed nation with the above Stream Of Consciousness, also provides Offred a sense of hope by allowing her to win the small insignificant things that don’t affect her freedom, but her peace of mind.

Without being overt at the least, she twines emotions of pain, sadness, depression and boils them down to a state of calm and apathy in Offred; a state far more daunting than conspicuous hatred, something a reader would expect. The book essentially raises issues of women and forced control of their bodies that is becoming largely relevant in today’s America, but also apprises us of the increasing leverage of religion in politics and the role it may evolve to have.

Though Atwood’s exposition and poetic artwork adds to the composition’s appeal, the lack of emotions creates a vacuum that cannot be brushed aside. Most dystopian novels tend to steer clear of the transitional stage that brought the protagonist from the chaos to control that came after but Atwood chooses to explore the sensibilities of one woman while constantly applying a stream of Consciousness as Offred reminisces. However, the indifference and slightly skewered language she adopts tends to strip some reality of how the people naturally reacted to a supposed religious regime taking over the Congress.

Driving a sharp parallel between Gilead and America, Atwood does not necessarily predict a similar future but rather reminds us to respect the struggle for women rights and freedom. Offred’s mother ironically was a radical feminist which further brings the lack of liberty to centre stage of the novel. This book should be read by everyone who can digest its sexual nature and instances of violence, as it opens a whole new doorway to forms of oppression. Though aimed at an adult audience, I personally feel this book can be enjoyed by the right teenagers who are mature enough to understand the inseparability of control and sex.Thoroughly enjoyable and horrific, The Handmaid’s Tale left me with lingering questions and a sense of satisfaction that I had received with her previously read works. As Offredrightly said, “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.” It’s time we start rising from these gaps.

Ranjitha Kumar

II PPES O

Delhi – A Novel

Delhi, A Novel by Khushwant Singh

Delhi, A Novel by Khushwant Singh

There is a certain element of raw reality to Kushwant Singh’s books. Delhi- A Novel is no exception. Published in 1990, it was written in Urdu which was translated to English in 1998 by Irfan Ahmed Khan. Written in first person, the protagonist talks about Delhi with the same amount of passion as he talks about his lifelong companion Baghmati, a eunuch. The book has various story lines set in different time periods, with its share of war, destruction, love, hate, lust, passion and loyalty regarding the city Delhi and her people. The book covers more than 6 centuries of events and happenings in the city of Delhi. The book categorized as a historical one describes Delhi, its glory and grandeur as well as its squalor and violence in minute detail. Kushwant Singh has portrayed his undying love for his beloved city through his protagonist who is an uncanny and intimidating journalist who has had his way with many women. Regardless of his enumerable affairs, he considers Baghmati the hermaphrodite as his companion for life. He compares his love-hate relationship with Baghmati to that of Delhi. In this context he speaks of how Delhi was used, thrown and abused like a whore by the power hungry invaders for centuries. On the brighter side he describes his experiences in the beautiful gardens, majestic forts and palaces, serene waters, tranquil mosques and temples, eerie graveyards and bustling bazaars.

What I liked the most was reading the fascinating stories about Timur, Mir Taqi, Nadir Shah, Kaki Nizamuddin, Bahadur Shah ,Moguls, Tuglaks, the sepoy mutiny, temptresses, poets, saints, Sikhs who helped British win in 1857. The facts on bodies burning on the banks of Yamuna, Englishmen taking over, builders of New Delhi, Aurangzeb, neo-converts to Islam, riots following the partition and assassination of Indira Gandhi and Bapu gives all the realistic tinge to this historical fiction. The most captivating details of this novel tells us about these above mentioned people who lend their blood, faith and their best and worst aspirations which adds up to the mystery and mystique to Delhi. Honestly, this book came as a surprise for me with its open and raw writing. It will always be one of the books that made me widen my focus of thought.  Though it’s a book with a little erotic and sexual content, it can be read by people with a certain level of maturity and knowledge.

Kushwant Singh was certainly one of the best laureates of India and a smart journalist. A train to Pakistan, The portrait of a Lady, The Company of women are some of his eminent works. I would like to conclude with a quote from Delhi-A novel:

“I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life.: Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib” – Delhi- A Novel by Kuhwant Singh.

Rachana R Pawar

II PPES ‘O’

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorain Gray

The Picture of Dorain Gray

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing”

                                             -Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The story revolves around one of London’s strikingly handsome, almost beautiful youth named Dorian Gray who models for a portrait by an artist who falls in love with his own creation. Dorian is then influenced by the artist’s friend who warns him of how one’s youth fades within no time and that beauty and fulfillment of senses are the only worthy aspects of life. A horrific turn of events occurs when Dorian decides to sell his soul; (akin to the Faustian theme) ensuring that he could preserve his youth and instead let the portrait age with time.

Poet, dramatist, writer of short stories and of his only published novel, a philosophical fiction, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland, to professionally eminent parents. After attending Trinity College he moved to Oxford University in 1874 where he stood out on various counts, among them: his ready wit, marked disdain for religion, flamboyance, and extraordinary etiquette. On graduation he came to London and worked as an art reviewer, and lectured in the U.S and Canada. – (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, Wilco Publishing House 2003)

In 1884, Wilde married Constance Lloyd. He then began writing fairy tales to support his two sons. His popular plays include: An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was initially quiet controversial as it was greeted with outrage by the British reviewers when it appeared as a lead story in a magazine in spite of the editors censoring around 500 words. Some of them even suggested that Wilde ought to be prosecuted. It was later altered by Wilde; he deleted certain controversial passages and added new chapters. The new version was finally published by Ward Lock & Co, in April 1891.

The story begins on a bright summer day in the studio of artist, Basil Hallward who was painting a portrait of a handsome young man, Dorian Gray, who was posing for the portrait. Hallward had always admired Dorian’s beauty. The portrait turned out to be a masterpiece, Dorian and Hallward were pleased. Lord Henry Wotton, one of Hallward’s wise friends keenly observed the two, he then taught Dorian about the importance of one’s beauty and fulfillment of senses, Dorian was carried away by his words and was very much influenced by him. Henry then tells Dorian about how one must treasure one’s elegance and youth to the fullest as they will soon fade away, influenced by his words, Dorian felt jealous of the portrait painted by Hallward because no matter how old and ugly he grew, the portrait will always hold on to its youthful charm. Realizing this, Dorian whimsically decides to sell his soul, ensuring that he could hold on to his youth and let the picture change with time instead. Eventually Dorian realizes that his wishes came true, but with consequences. For every sin Dorian committed, his image on the portrait slowly lost its charm, the graceful smile on its lips, was now an evil grin, with dark, hideous eyes that stared right back. It turned uglier and uglier with every sin he committed. Disgusted to even look at his own portrait, he hid it in his library and forbade his servants from entering into it. Affected by all of this, the once calm and composed Dorian completely changes into a different man, more selfish and unhappy. The almost heartless Dorian even ends up murdering Hallward in the end, accusing him of being the soul cause for all his problems and that painting his portrait was the reason for his suffering.

 Realizing all his disastrous actions, in the end, Dorian decides to repent by doing good things for people. After paying for his sins by doing good deeds, Dorian then wonders if the image in the portrait had changed, if it was any less horrific, but instead it had worsened, now with blood stains and more filth. Realizing that all the self sacrifice he had done to repent were not enough, he decides to destroy the painting and thought that by doing so his problems would be solved and he’d find peace. So Dorian took the same knife he stabbed Hallward with and plunges it into the painting. His servants are then woken up by a painful cry, they rushed into his room only to find the body of an filthy, old man lying dead on the floor. They realized it was their master only when they saw the rings on his fingers, the portrait however, returned to its original, youthful and elegant form.

The most interesting part of the story according to me is definitely the unique nature of the theme, the Faustian theme of how one sells his soul to the devil in exchange of worldly pleasures. The book was not accepted by the people in Britain in the 1890s owing to its supernatural theme. It also tells the readers of how harmful hedonism or self indulgence can be. The message that is being conveyed in this book is that there are far more precious things in life than material things, things like one’s good values, morals and goodness will be remembered by people. One must always be careful about what they wish for and be content with what they are given. The author very philosophically conveys this to the readers. The book undoubtedly grabbed my attention with the story’s mysterious happenings. Wilde according to me has presented his one and only novel to perfection and kept me wanting for more.

‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, is definitely a book I would strongly recommend to people with a craving for gothic horror, philosophy and endings with a twist.

Evelyn Charles

II PPES ‘O’