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Archive for June 2012

Name : The Columbus Affair

Author:  Steve Berry

Genre : Historical Fiction

Pages : 440+

Language: English

Publication Year: May 15, 2012

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book :

Awards :

Rating: 3.5/5

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I like historical fiction and mystery/thriller genre and Dan Brown is my all time favortite author of this genre. It’s been long time I haven’t read any Historical fiction books and then I find this one – The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry.

This is a high tension thriller with lot’s of historical facts thrown in between to make it even more interesting and gripping. After reading this book, I am still wondering who ‘Columbus’ was — Steve Berry here presented a very good hypothesis on Columbus which is totally different from whatever I read in history lesson’s as child.

The ultimate question here is ‘Why Columbus led voyages to new world’? – is it to discover new land or to prove earth is not flat or something else — kept as secret for almost 2000 years? A secret for which people are ready to kill or be killed?

‘Who is Columbus?’ as the author says ‘Who you want him to be?’.

Who is Columbus – here is a brief description from Wikipedia : Christopher Columbus (Spanish:Cristobal Colón; before 31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in what is today northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements in the island of Hispaniola, initiated the process of Spanish colonization, which foreshadowed the general European colonization of what became known as the “New World”.

Every chapter in this book will jump to a different perspective and end with a cliff hanger – I find this very frustrating because your are immersed into one chapter and wants to know what will happen next then suddenly you will dragged out of that perspective and put into some other perspective.  Some times the change of perspective is very often – in some places within one page the perspective changes for 2 or 3 times which is really frustrating apart from this the narrative is very good.

It’s very difficult to understand the real motives of the character involved in this book till the end except for Tom Sagan. There are many twist and mysteries surrounding the Columbus exploration of the “New World” and Steve Berry here binds both fiction and history in such way that it’s hard to distinguish between both. This book will also serve as un-learned history lessons about Columbus voyages to ‘New World’.

‘If You think you know Christopher Columbus – then read this book!’ your whole perspective about Columbus will change – that’s for sure!. We know very little about the history and even less about Christopher Columbus – even after 500 years much about Christopher Columbus remains a mystery.

He was called by many names—Columb, Colom, Colón—but we know him as Christopher  Columbus. Many questions about him exist: Where was he born, raised, and educated? Where did he die? How did he discover the New World?

None have ever been properly answered.

And then there is the greatest secret of all.

Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard-hitting articles from hot spots around the world. But when a controversial report from a war-torn region is exposed as a fraud, his professional reputation crashes and burns. Now he lives in virtual exile—haunted by bad decisions and the shocking truth he can never prove: that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy. But before Sagan can end his torment with the squeeze of a trigger, fate intervenes in the form of an enigmatic stranger with a request that cannot be ignored.

Zachariah Simon has the look of a scholar, the soul of a scoundrel, and the zeal of a fanatic. He also has Tom Sagan’s estranged daughter at his mercy.  Simon desperately wants something only Sagan can supply: the key to a 500-year-old mystery, a treasure with explosive political significance in the modern  world. For both Simon and Sagan the stakes are high, the goal intensely personal, the consequences of opposing either man potentially catastrophic. On a
perilous quest from Florida to Vienna to Prague and finally to the mountains of Jamaica, the two men square off in a dangerous game. Along the way, both of  their lives will be altered—and everything we know about Christopher Columbus will change.

Overall this book is a good historical/thriller fiction, if you are hardcore historical fiction fan and like Dan Brown kind of book (which I do) then this book is for you.

Name : The Sins of the Father

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Genre : Fiction

Pages : 370+

Language: English

Publication Year: 2012

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book :

Awards :

Rating: 4/5

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You can find the review of “Only Time Will Tell” – here.

Jeffery Archer is best known as a “master storyteller” and the stories he narrates are so non-put-downable, even though they don’t involve great deal of suspense/thriller/mystery. the character development is as amazing as ‘Only Time Will Tell’ and story is gripping, compelling and great read. Ending is nail biting and better than ‘Only Time Will Tell’. I really can’t wait for third book which is titled ‘Best Kept Secret’ will be releasing in 2013.

In the second book of “The Clifton Chronicles” – Archer continues the life saga of Harry Clifton, who is now assumed the Identity of Tom Bradshaw in order to solve the some problem but as soon as he set’s foot in New York – he is arrested for the first degree murder of his brother.

The letter he sent to his mother before assuming the identity of Tom Bradshaw – explaining her that he is alive remains un-opened and every one assumes that he is dead and berried in sea except Emma Baringatton, Emma sets to America to find the truth behind the Harry’s death.

Will she ever finds Harry? Will Massie will ever open the letter of Harry? Will Harry be able to prove his innocence – that he is not Tom Bradshaw? Will Harry and Emma ever meet again? to find out the answers, you have to read the book!

In Jeffrey Archer’s masterful hands, you will be taken on a journey that you won’t want to end, even after you have turned the last page of this unforgettable yarn, because then you will be faced with a dilemma that neither you nor Harry Clifton could ever have anticipated.

Only days before Britain declares war on Germany, Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of long-buried family secrets recently revealed,
and forced to admit that his wish to marry Emma Barrington will never be fulfilled, has joined the Merchant Navy.

But his ship is sunk in the Atlantic by a German U-boat, drowning almost the entire crew. An American cruise liner, the SS Kansas Star, rescues a handful of sailors, among them Harry and the third officer, an American named Tom Bradshaw. When Bradshaw dies in the night, Harry seizes on the chance to escape his tangled past and assumes his identity. But on landing in America, he quickly learns the risks of such a scheme, when he discovers what is awaiting Bradshaw in New York.

Without any way of proving his true identity, Harry Clifton is now chained to a past that might be far worse than the one he had hoped to escape.

Name : Calico Joe

Author: John Grisham

Genre : Sports novel

Pages : 246

Language: English

Publication Year: April 10, 2012

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book :

Awards :

Rating: 4/5

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Most of us know that John Grisham is an author of number of good and best-selling legal thrillers. He himself is lawyer and best know for his legal thrillers. John Grisham apart from author is big baseball fan and coaches his son’s team.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a fan of baseball or not, this book is a must read for all! This is a story of family, passion for sport(baseball in this case), disappointments,forgiveness and resilience.

The story narrated from the perspective of 11-year-old Paul Tracey son of Warren Tracey. Warren Tracey was a pitcher for Mets and best known for his beanball’s (“Beanball” is a colloquialism used in baseball, for a ball thrown at an opposing player with the intention of striking him such as to cause harm, often connoting a throw at the player’s head (or “bean” in old-fashioned slang)).

Every child sees in his father a hero and every child want’s become like his father but this not the case with Paul Tracey. His father Warren Tracey –  who abuses alcohol, his wife and his son. He is also known for hitting opposing batters. He is not kind of father that child will adore.

Calico Joe – has the fantasy of every growing up child, Big dream debut, bringing back the dead team to life, scoring three home runs in his debut match,broken records and huge fan following. In one night he becomes the hero, role model for every child and an idol for baseball aspirants.

Paul Tracey – 11 year old son of Mets picher Warren Tracey, he loves baseball, follows all major league and his idol is Calico Joe – he watched all his matches, he knows everything about him though his father play’s for mets he secretly prays for cubs because Calico Joe is in cubs.

One game changes the lives of all three – this is a story of that game and aftermath of that game. The game when Mets and Cubs face off at Shea Stadium. The game in which Calico Joe faces for the first time Warren Tracey. The game which ruined the career of Calico Joe and Warren Tracey. After watching this game Paul Tracey never watched another baseball game.

Whatever happened to Calico Joe?
 
It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a twenty-one-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz.
 
In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen.  The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records.
 
Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…

A very good, short,  story that is gripping with a good conclusion and a good moral at the end.

Name : 11.22.63

Author: Stephen King

Genre : Science fiction , Alternate history

Pages : 849

Language: English

Publication Year: November 8, 2011

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book : 11/22/63

Awards :

Rating: 4.5/5

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11/22/63 by Stephen King is a supernatural, quasi-historical, philosophical, science-fiction love story of a time traveler and this is my fist King’s novel and I am glad that I picked this one.

The protagonist Jake Epping’s friend discovers a time portal in his kitchen that leads to September 9, 1958 from 2011. You can spend as much time as you want in past even years but when you return to 2011 it’s always two minutes later and every visit is a reset (means – whatever you changed in past – if you visit again, it will be erased because you will visit in same time Sept 9, 1958.). Jake Epping learns that he can change the past but it’s not easy, there is some force which don’t want the past to be changed, he faces many difficulties to change small event’s in the past.

Jake Epping has a mission when he visit’s the past and a mission every one want’s to accomplish if they visit 1958 – prevent John F Keneddy’s assassination and to see what will happen to the world if JFK is not assassinated?

The story revolves around Jake Epping and his mission to save JFK but halfway through his mission he falls in love with a girl in 1958 and think that he will never return again to 2011, will he complete his mission or the some kind of force is preventing him from doing it?

Overall, 11/22/63 is a well-plotted, good character development and satisfying novel that blends a bit of the supernatural and time-travel with history. The best thing is the ending which is totally unpredictable and works perfectly with the plot of novel.

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed forever.

If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you? Would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls,
Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his
storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high
school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life
that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

Explore the Possibilities……


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