Although I have been buying books on and off, I realised I haven't done a book haul in months. I am trying to cut down on purchasing books and I know that - as all bibliophiles - I always say that and never keep my words but I have been partially successful this year. I have been avoiding secondhand bookstores like a plague and trying to pick more often from my largely unread library. I'm also starting to read off of my phone which isn't as painful as I thought it'd be.
These books were purchased at The Cancer Research Foundation Charity shop in Hounslow, London. BTW insane weather, even for you, London. When I went inside the store I was hot and sweaty and when I came out of the store, it was practically a thunderstorm. Anyway, the books were all 75p each and surprisingly they had a huge collection of travel books which are quite rare in charity book shops. The books are:
1. Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh 2. Nana - Emile Zola 3. The Women at the Pump - Knut Hamsun 4. The Factory of Light - Michael Jacobs
Today it rained all day and not just a weak and waning drizzle but true to the legend of the Mumbai monsoon. It rained to my heart's content and I'm as flooded with emotions as my city is with water. It has rained before; harder and intenser but today I went out in the rain unlike other days when I had to confine myself to the pseudo dryness and comfort of the windows and balconies of my home. I cannot live like a child anymore so I have stopped getting wet on purpose. But today I went to see the office for some work which wasn't really important but one has to keep up the appearances. And I waded in knee deep water, soaked to the soul, dripping clothes, scared that I might fall into a ditch and my umbrella even flipped once. Monsoon in its glory. Another great thing that happens when it rains so hard is people cocoon themselves in their homes and the great outdoors is relatively people free. Only the merry old hard souls who love the rain brave it.
I have been out of sync with my soul for the past few months. I think i am going to be alright now. I have rediscovered somethings. It have started to make sense. It's all happening now.
Blurb on the back: A prime number can only be divided by itself or by one—it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, both "primes," are misfits who seem destined to be alone. Haunted by childhood tragedies that mark their lives, they cannot reach out to anyone else. When Alice and Mattia meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit.
But the mathematically gifted Mattia accepts a research position that takes him thousands of miles away, and the two are forced to separate. Then a chance occurrence reunites them and forces a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface. Like Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, this is a stunning meditation on loneliness, love, and the weight of childhood experience that is set to become a universal classic.
My Thoughts: This is one of the those books that hold a lot of promise; the idea of it is beautiful on paper. But somehow, somewhere it has failed in the execution of it's promise. I don't hate the book - the book is brilliant - but with a title as beautiful as this one expects a little more luster, a bit more light to shine through. After the first three chapters, it turns as dull as ditch water and starts to show its true colours: YA. And then comes the onslaught of teenage cliches like how the lead pair are so uncool that they are actually cool or the cliche of the failed marriage or the cliche taking revenge upon your high school bully etc. Complete romanticisation of being "damaged" and "broken" and even self-harm to some extent.
But I still think that I haven't given the book its due and maybe there was something lost in translation. The writing is dry and minimal, just bare emotions without the burden of descriptive passages and that's how I like them. There are quite a few brilliant sentences I have underlined and that shows that the quality of writing is great, its the content which is lacking. I like the concept of people being compared to mathematical elements but the trick gets old really quickly. Maybe I should have read it at the age of 14. Maybe the dawn of its brilliance would have graced me then.
I was going through some of the reviews on goodreads before and am quite unsettled by the fact that most of them start with some variation of the line "A Prime Number is a number which can only be divided by itself and 1." Why is stating that necessary? Why isn't the word Solitude explained with equal zealously?