Mark’s second novel was almost a treat for that category of readers who rather like reading the novels which are little slow in build up and rather simple in nature but mature in theme and sufficient in plot; in short, the readers who don’t appreciate very much the bombardment of emotions heavily pinned upon themselves by the authors who like to arouse the sentiments this way… American Maharajah appeared to me a read like this, to start the conversation with my readers here. I have read three novels recently and this one by Mark Stephen Levy, a frequenter to India, was also on that list. Two others were debut ones and so their impression wasn’t that strong on me. Mark’s, however, seemed to me mature in handling the sensible content that the novel offers. It is about a myth collaborating with modern realities. Continue reading “American Maharajah – book review”
Hamid Baig’s debut novel, Little Maryam, has been received very warmly by the readers of fiction and being specific, by the lovers of the romance genre. The novel was released on 26 January 2018 and has gone to become one of the hottest new releases of the year on Amazon and other platforms. I have also got a chance to review this novel and have read it recently. For the readers, here is my review of Little Maryam.
Little Maryam is a novel which features a love story of Maryam, the girl and Saadiq, the boy. They meet when they are too young to love and start knowing each other. When they grow young, the eventually declare their love for each other and then, the dreaming phase starts. However, the situations turn overnight when Saadiq is jailed in an unintentional murder case, the murder of his friend Ritesh, a local MLA’s son. The situation forces the separation of the two lovers and Maryam is married to someone else. Saadiq’s father, Haji, dies before he could even come out of the jail. Having no one to come to in Dehradun, after being released from the prison, Saadiq leaves for Mumbai and from there, with his hard work, he reaches the USA on a full scholarship to become a doctor and moves on to win the Nobel Prize in the medical science! Dream run, isn’t it?
The novel has been, you can say, divided into two phases – separation & success and reunion and complication. Hamid has kept Little Maryam a very engaging read. He has used the most accurate techniques of fiction writing at the most appropriate points in the novel. You cannot separate the novel from any of the characters who appear in it! The narrative is persuasive and the plot is very cleverly constructed. Little Maryam is a novel which runs in flashback in the first part and then shifts to the present tense style before finally moving in letter-narrative phase when Miller, the journalist, reads a letter left by Saadiq for her.
I will not reveal the entire story. However, let me say that the novel is very wonderful. The author does not believe in the explicit way of writing romance and you will find it quite amazing. The love depicted in the present fiction seems real except for some parts of it. It runs like a suspense movie for sometimes and ultimately, takes the readers to an emotional phase. You cannot miss the ending – who will win the wife? Are there any more secrets to be told? Does Dr Saadiq Haider know who this new Maryam is? Does Maryam remember everything when she meets Saadiq again, almost after 20 years of their separation?
You will love reading this work and the language is fairly supportive of quick-reading. You can finish it in two days! Get your copy of Little Maryam right now from Amazon India:
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review by Naman for Desi Readers
What are you reading this week? If you haven’t yet found something good to read, here is your chance to read one of the best books which have been released the last month and the author Mark Levy is going to be in India this month as well – American Maharajah. The clumsy tell of reincarnation and American connection to it has been told in a very lucid and interesting way and you will just love the book. Before you get started, here are the 5 reasons why you should be reading the novel American Maharajah by author Mark Stephen Levy:
Suspense: The novel has suspense in plenty but not the same way that you see in those head-boggling novels which leave you nowhere with the progress! It is straightforward and clearing suspense which will be attractive for the readers as they make the progress in the terms of chapters.
Legend and Present: The book has connected the Rajasthani legend of a king and his prince beautifully with the modern-day situation of Ravi and his curious case of identity in the form of Amar. You will find it very interesting as well as a well-designed fiction once you cover the chapters and finish the read.
The City Lights & Dilemma: For the first few chapters, you will find it wonderfully mentioned and detailed. How do relationships make and break within the matters of seconds behind the glow of the city lights which seldom fade… I commend Mark for his understanding and also his writing skills which could beautifully capture what transpired between Ravi and Melissa.
The Language: You cannot deny, once you begin reading this novel, that the language is compelling and it keeps you engaged with the text throughout. Out of the many novels that I have found recently launched and sold, I have found Mark’s American Maharajah really a reader-friendly novel which does not look to confuse the readers with over-rich lexicon; it just tells what needs to be told in a very good manner – the story and the tale!
Reading Satisfaction: Believe me, once you finish the novel, you will surely write to Mark congratulating him on this great work of fiction! American Maharajah is a wonderful novel which keeps you busy with the tale and ends it on a very wonderful not. Ravi (the protagonist also known as Amar) comes to his spiritual kind of voyage to India and he discovers something amazing about this place which he could seldom find in American life. You will almost join him on his journey and then you will also discover along with him – the new things and the new relations and the new secrets! You cannot miss reading American Maharajah!
Interested enough? Get your copy of this wonderful novel from Amazon India today and start reading it now!
book preview by Raman S for Desi Readers
Raskolnikov is the embodiment of sin and redemption together in the novel Crime and Punishment by the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. Moreover, if anyone wants to ascribe more to the character, he can well be seen as the living example of a chaotic psyche who almost goes bizarre as the novel deepens.
Crime and Punishment is one of the finest novels ever produced by an author from any country without the language barrier. It unfolds the situations and circumstances and the predicament that are of the highest order ever seen in the novels. Yes, you can surely find the parallels but to find something better might be doubtful to a large extent.
About the story and the plot, you can find very much on the internet and there is no need virtually to say further. There is a person (may be seen as a potential criminal as well) who plans to get rid of his troubles by using a shortcut and he does so after so much of consideration. However, digesting the sin isn’t easy for him and his behaviour becomes suspicious for the investigating detective and he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the semi-old lady. He develops a relationship with a certain prostitute who is virtuous and begins the phase of atonement. He eventually goes to jail and begins the redemption from his sin only there.
To the readers:
As the novel is a little lengthier than the usual novels, you might need to invest some time reading this and also need to be alert because the events and the characters demand the readers’ attention more than you might see in the usual novels and by the usual characters. The plot is simple and straightforward but has been designed very decoratively by the author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Yes, the theme is somewhat grand or you can say it is wider than you might expect even after reading this. This is not a usual crime psyche story magnified into a novel form!
During the read, you will be fixed. Though not interestingly because at times the novel may fail to capture your attention because of the lengthy conversations and overtly protracted descriptions of the internal and external situations. Still, the novel will hold you in a grip and you will like reading it till the end. Classics are a bit offtrack, sometimes!
If you are interested in reading this novel, you can find the Amazon link to the paperback copy of Crime and Punishment below.
review by a regular contributor to DR
One Indian Girl is a 2016 novel and thankfully the last novel by Chetan Bhagat, at least for now! This is nothing sort of an Indian version of mini El James kind of sexual excursion taken by the protagonist Radhika Mehta who remembers nothing else about her feministic rights but just having sex and having worked for big companies and having a lot of money. Well, Chetan Bhagat might have talked to the feministic women of his liking, maybe. However, he should know that many patriarchal women too have sex and he might be one of the products of one such woman!
One Indian Girl has nothing to do with the lefts and rights of the novel writing tactics as it purely aims at pleasing the readers by different means and mostly the sexual-textual-ramblings. He has been successful as well, one has to admit this without any denial. Most of the modern authors try to woo their readers just by offering them something to have with them in their bed and enjoy – like a movie which has many item numbers and many sex scenes.
Radhika Mehta, like many other Chetan Bhagat’s protagonists, a typical IIM-A and IIT girl who leaves the country just like the author did. She lands a good job as well as a somehow good boyfriend who is afraid of marriage. She breaks up and leaves for another country only to find another boyfriend who is rather older than her but her feministic instinct does not forbid her from sharing a bed with a married guy. These are the new feministic ideals, nevertheless!
You will find a lot to read again and again if you are also one of those readers who enjoy reading one part by El James 9 times! Otherwise, there is nothing in the book which could let you feel like reading a novel. It’s just a first-person overly erotic story which you can read on many sex-stories websites. Nevertheless, there, the storytellers are not Chetan Bhagat!
Have a happy reading!
The Guide is a 1958 novel written by famous Indian novelist R. K. Narayan. It is entertaining as well as enlightening in a perfect way and it walks the talk which was proposed by a famous novelist Thomas Hardy that a novel is the uncommon feelings of common life. We see the characters like Raju and Rosie and Marco who are the common people next door by they manage to show us that life can be really bizarre at times and really awesome at other times. R. K. Narayan has managed to keep the readers indulged until the last page is turned and we see the blank paper in front of us announcing that the novel has ended. Have you read this novel yet?
The Guide has been praised by most of the readers and Indian book critics who have read this novel. It takes a philosophical turn after the simple writing which keeps the readers from going off track. We find Raju who is a shrewd tourist guide and we find Marco and Rosie who are husband and wife. Marco is a self-absorbed person who cares the least about his wife Rosie. On the other hand, Rosie is a woman who believes in independence – internally and externally. She is the daughter of a temple-dancer and is married to Marco so that she can lead a normal life, unlike her mother. However, things don’t go as planned and Rosie rather finds herself happy with Raju who believes in her dancing abilities. Their union invites problems for them both and they have to leave Malgudi, the famous R. K. Narayan’s town which also breathed!
Success, fame, problems and Raju is enlightened. He goes to jail because of an unconscious mistake that he does to secure Rosie does not leave him. When he gets out of Jail, he does not go to the world he left once and there the novel takes turn… you find the full flow of R. K. Narayan’s theory of Karmic philosophy. Raju turns into a compelled saint and he has to do something which a thug could never do… will he do it? You will find this only when you read the novel The Guide. I don’t want to ruin your pleasure reading this wonderful fiction which fetched the fame for Indian English literature and pushed it to a further height.
The language by the novelist, as usual, is very decorated and you will find the work attractive with the use of words – English as well as native ones. The art of storytelling is always a gift with R. K. Narayan and he uses it to the maximum. The theme is wide and deep and the dealing is equally bright. You will be reading something which can be termed as a complete fiction in the truest sense in the context of Indian English literature. You will seldom find something like this in the modern fiction produced by this generation of Indian writers. Have yourself some good time reading this wonderful novel.
Review by Ravi
Despite Stolen Dreams is a collection of emotions – the protagonist and the antagonist – everything about the world created by Anita Krishan revolves around the emotions… Despite Stolen Dreams is a novel written by Anita which is also her latest one and it succeeds the previous one entitled Tears of Jhelum. At the centre, it’s about the problem of terrorism in the valley of Kashmir which forces a family, the Wali Khan family, to flee from Kashmir and take refuge in the Indian capital Delhi.
The novel is interesting and certainly something which might be called a literary fiction in the truest of its sense. It has the best set of characters; it has a well-knit plot and a serious theme and the best part, to me, as a reader as well as a critic, seems the narrative of the novel which certainly revamps the memories of reading the classics of the modern age – Lawrence, Forster or even Hardy. The language used by Anita Krishan in her latest novel Despite Stolen Dreams is just fascinating and wonderful as well as perfectly synchronising with the theme she has chosen!
It can be construed as an agonising journey of Wali Khan who has to leave his own house and homeland in Kashmir. His life in Delhi and then ultimately his final confrontation with the terror are the attraction in the novel. Despite Stolen Dreams offers a tale of terror and a tale of love and affection. On the one end of the yardstick, you will find Wali Khan and his family and on the other end, you will find Hashim and his terror-prodigies. On one side, there are love, affection, adaptation, progress and emotions and on the other side, there are murder, ruthlessness, cold-blooded violence and hatred and ultimate dejection! It will be a wonderful experience reading this novel by Anita…
In the contemporary Indian English writing, there are very few writers who can be put on the highest pedestal and undoubtedly, Anita Desai is one among them… her fiction tells it. Her writing style is broad and it has all the essential elements in the proper proportions. Despite Stolen Dreams is a novel which might be entertaining for the youth readers because it has a plot full of unexpected turns and whirlwind-like twists. At the same time, it can be a serious read for those who come from a literary background because it tells us how a novel can be constructed in its truest spirit! The novel offers the readers a wonderful fusion of two contrary perceptions – hope and despair; affection and hatred; love and enmity; life and death… Anita Krishan, moreover, with her language, has further added a new dimension to this pleasant novel. A perfect read for the readers, Despite Stolen Dreams, the novel is certainly a must-read for anyone!
Where to get the novel?
You can get the novel from Amazon. We have made it further easy for you by adding a link to Amazon below. Just click on the link and it will take you directly to the page where you can buy the novel:
review by Rahul for Desi Readers
With You; Without You is a Hindi novel written by Prabhat Ranjan. He has tried to describe the situations of an ordinary youth and then a young man who has been in love and did make some mistakes to get the one he loved and then later, tried to compensate his sins with some good deeds but that also didn’t work out well for him! What happened then? With You; Without You is a novel full of thrill and excitement and also a pinch of suspense which keeps the readers indulged until they finish this debut work by Prabhat Ranjan! Have you had your read yet? I am going to offer a non-spoiler review of the novel so that you can be sure why do you need to have a read asap!
The novel has three characters who are the most important ones for the fiction’s sake – Aditya, Nishind, and Rami. These three people are the best friends to each other and their childhood and school life are spent together. When they knock at the door of youth, things change dramatically! Nishind falls in love with Rami and Rami thinks of Nishind as only her friend. On the other hand, Rami falls in love with Aditya and it creates confusion in the mind of Nishind because he loves Rami excessively. And there it happens; Nishind tries his best to separate Aditya and Rami but, instead, he does something which becomes the reason of all the three friends parting from each other only to meet after many years!
The agony and remorse of that mistake always make Nishind weary and he is constantly looking for the opportunity to make things ‘right’ again. The author grants him that opportunity when he meets Rami once again. However, Rami falls in love with Nishind this time and Nishind is unaware of this. He thinks that he should do everything to unite Rami and Aditya but things don’t work out and many things which are hidden come out in open. Can he make things ‘right’ once again? Can Rami and Aditya be united again? Or Rami will get her love in Nishind? These are the things which will be found only if you read the novel because by exposing all the plot, I will not kill your thrill of reading the novel.
To assure the readers, there is a lot in With You; Without You which will entertain you and excite you! You need to read this once and you will see for yourself what the author has served in his very first work. Get your copy from Amazon India link below and start reading Prabhat Ranjan’s novel:
Bleeding Queens by Palak Kundra is a novel written in Hindi (with a special reservation for few Punjabi phrases). And this is her debut novel as well – and a bold debut, if I may say – because her work does not hold any punches back (as aggressive is the author herself to counter anything against women justice). Palak Kundra seems more a revolutionary when you read her novel and her dear character, Diljit, reflects her thoughts very well. Strength, endurance, wit, humour, aspiration, inspiration – there is everything in Diljit which makes her an idle female protagonist for the novel’s theme – violence against a woman and her reaction to it. In general cases, you can see a man helping out a woman who has been harassed or treated ill. However, Palak Kundra has turned the story and tilted it in a rather feministic side and gave the lead female character a real leadership – Diljit commands herself as well as she plans everything which needs to be done and the ways in which to do. And she has her justice awarded to herself by none other than herself!
Bleeding Queens is a novel which focuses on a girl with dreams. Diljit wants to be an actress like Deepika and she praises her a lot. But midway, she faces the ugliest crisis in life; she loses her father; she is raped by four men; she loses almost all the courage she had; she sees nothing but darkness.
The latter part which is all about Diljit’s courage and the support that she receives from her brother and lover is just amazing to read. You may find the story exciting as well as compelling. Palak has given almost everything to her debut novel and she has made us feel that Bleeding Queens can also take revenge and see for themselves what needs to be done. Though you might not subscribe to all the views the author has extended but you do need to read what those views are and how far Palak Kundra has been able to justify those views.
To conclude, Palak’s novel Bleeding Queens is a novel which is not in the league of some kind – this is different and it had to be so. The language part is simple and plain Hindi with some injections of Punjabi phrases and it is natural for the author, as well as her characters, come from a Punjabi background. The novel has a different or you can say alternate opinion about the crime against women and the possible ways of curbing those and you do need to read what the author has to offer in her debut work! Get a copy of the novel from the Amazon link below and do leave your feedback about it once you are done!
review by a Desi Reader Staff
It hasn’t been so much since I finished this novel by Amish Tripathi, Sita: The Warrior of Mithila 3 days ago. For the starters, I truly liked this novel as it’s a novel. Indeed, it’s a novel – a work of fiction. Nevertheless, I truly wonder what a novel could be out of this if the characters in the novel were to be some common men and women like we are? Could we ever give two dimes to such a work? Could Amish make his lady hero out of some Smriti or Sushma or Sima from Mithila? Why did he choose Sita? Why did he choose the legendary heroine and a Goddess? It intrigued me and then I gave some random page-readings to this novel once again. And I would like to share what I found with all the readers who have already read or would read the book in near future.
The book has nothing to do with the original Ramayana. This is a work of pure fiction and take it as it is. Read it; dust it; forget it; and wait for the next fiction from the author… There are the instances which have been re-created to give the story of Sita a cinematic touch which might soon be converted into some overrated Bollywood movie where we might see some Deepika or Priyanka playing Sita and challenging some character who might play Rama! The story of Sita: Warrior of Mithila is a story by the author whose knowledge about Mithila seems scanty. He does not seem to be knowing any other thing than some fugitive story telling skills entertaining people by telling them that Gods are Nagas and they are the parts of different tribes. I just hope he could also re-tell the stories of Gods belonging to other ‘tribes’.
As per the fiction present in the novel Sita: Warrior of Mithila, the novel purely gains its fuel from the legend of Sita without whom the novel could just be another vain attempt at luring the minds of the readers. You can surely enjoy the fiction and enjoy the descriptions of Sita training in the camp where she envisions the dream of being the next Vishnu. (Are you serious? As far as I know, Indra might be a post…) And there are the scenes featuring Jatayu meeting Sita in the camp. Hanuman as some Naga and many other instances which might baffle a serious being who might have read the original versions of Ramayana.
Still, for those who want to enjoy the story by Amish, here is the link from to the book on Amazon. And the best part is you will also get a huge discount of almost 50% if you buy it right now:
(this is a cynic and critical review)