Book review entries

March 07, 2007

Summing it up…

Book front cover
Title:
The World is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century
Author:
Thomas L. Friedman
ISBN:
0141022728
Rating:
1 out of 5 stars

The World is Flat can be described in a single no less eloquent sentence: “The dummies’ guide to the modern world for those who just woke up from a 10 year long coma”. There is a very simple idea in this book that is being blown into a massive waste of paper. The idea is that the world is now ‘levelled’, which is really an altogether different concept to ‘flat’, but given the Americans’ love for shorter words it’s only fair he calls our world flat. What he really wanted to say (but failed to) was that the world is increasingly interdependent (too long a word for him to spell), making the balance of powers a very tricky thing whether in the arena of politics or economics and trade. The very word Flat is being repeatedly raped by the author to fit into every other sentence in any shape or form he finds suitable: flattened (v.), flattening (adj.), flatness (n.), flattener (n.).

This book is painfully long and painfully detailed in places that matter least. The author sees just about everything as symbolic, dismissing the fact that god is a dude with a sense of humour. Not every sentence has to sound like the revelation of your lifetime. There are audio versions of this book that can serve as very soothing bedtime tapes as they just go along like a story told. Worth listening to for the comic effect, but please don’t do the author the honour of buying this crap.


April 11, 2005

The Buddha of Suburbia

Book front cover
Title:
The Buddha of Suburbia (FF Classics)
Author:
Hanif Kureishi
ISBN:
0571200435
Rating:
Not rated

I've only just finished reading the first chapter of this book. It's cutting edge satiric and at the same time shocking. Having watched the film My Beautiful Laundrette, also written by Hanif Kureishi, I can say that I recognize the theme of race and sexiality set back in 70's when it was all an entirely new and unknown field. The multicultural intergration is discussed with a warm feeling of irony, as opposed to the familiar voice of oppressed ethnic minorities. The new sexuality is looked at with the urge to discover new dimensions of human relations. It doesn't speak of lust, but more of curiosity and eagerness to new experiences. Here are two absolutely amazing quotes that reveal the theme of the book.

Men and boys got erections just being in the same room as him; for others the same effect was had by being in the same country.
...I knew it was Daddio because he was crying out across the Beckenham gardens, with little concern for the neighbours, 'Oh God, oh my God.' Was I conceived like this, I wondered, in the suburban night air, to the wailing of Christian curses from the mouth of a renegade Muslim masquerading as a Buddhist?

I will do a proper review of this book when I finish reading it. Reading this book (up till now) has been a truly refreshing experience, entertaining and at the same time contributive to my degree.


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