Kill Your Friends
Author: John Niven
Genre: Crime Fiction
Keywords: Dark. Extreme. Hilarious.
Normally, I wouldn’t read a book like Kill Your Friends because I tend to stick to other genres, but I’m glad I stepped out of my reading comfort zone for this one. From the get go it’s gripping, irreverent and dark. Told in the first person, the narrator is quite simply, a real asshole, with absolutely no moral compass or character whatsoever. His attitude and behavior is unlike anything you’ve read before. The second half of the book gets darker, as his evil side comes to the fore. This book is not for the faint of the heart or those who are offended by foul language and even fouler ideas. The writer has really got under the character’s skin, something that few can do with such flair. I read it in two or three sittings, as I couldn’t bear to stop. A refreshing, endlessly entertaining and slightly chilling read.
The Lives Of Others
Author: Neel Mukherjee
Keywords: Family. Epic. Political.
In this well-titled book, the author takes us deep into the lives of a large joint family who live in Calcutta in the 1960s. There are the elderly parents, their children, and their children, growing up and growing old together. There are the servants, who play a critical role in the household in more ways than one. Within this one building we see different characters, their insecurities, fears, their political leanings, and how they clash and merge with one another. One character leaves home to help farmers in the Marxist struggle. Another struggles to accept that she is perhaps too dark-skinned to get married. Their lives are a fascinating labyrinth of emotional connections and intersections and arguments. They are just one family, but they are a world within themselves and that makes this book a fascinating read.
All My Sons
Author: Arthur Miller
Genre: Realistic fiction (maybe)
Keywords: Moving. Intense. Disconcerting.
I don’t read many plays but All My Sons is more than just a play. Based on a true story, it reveals the deeply complex and fundamentally flawed nature of human beings. It delves into ethics and idealism, and questions how personal greed and selfishness allow people to ignore their moral responsibilities. Its broader themes hint at the corruption prevalent in any system, and it questions the American dream of the 1950s. All My Sons is so relevant to India today; it will strike a chord in many readers’ hearts. A story that stays with you, and haunts you for a while.
The New Yorker