Once upon a time there was a book I bought at a book fair two years ago which sat on my book shelf waiting to be picked up. Sometime ago, on a Saturday morning I picked it up and started to read it when I got bored of doing my French verbs.
For a reader like me who likes to visualize everything, the tone of the stories was a little difficult to adjust to. There are no flowing descriptions, just enough to get you started, visualizing the people, the places, the sounds, the smells and then the astute observations come with melancholic undertones as grayness wraps the words.
Having been swept in the world of Anton Chekhov I have slowly come to admire his style of writing. There is an amazing detached quality, of watching everything from a distance as the characters struggle with their mundane, sad lives and putting it into words. It has to be read to be experienced.
And now I am so addicted to this big fat book which is a compilation of Chekhov’s greatest works, both short stories and plays, that every evening I come home from work, read a bit and then do anything else.
After my Khaled Hosseini hangover this is quite a change.
Hosseini’s stories weave a visual magic. You can feel the wind blowing, see the blue skies, taste the Afghan food, the characters leap out and you feel their pain, their agony, their happiness.
And he has the distinction of being the only writer who made me cry. I remember bleary eyed, awake at 3.00 A.M reading about Amir and Hassan in the Kite Runner, tears streaming down my face, not caring I have to go to office the next day.
And for days I wondered if someone could be like Hassan and if such a man existed, what would he be like? Just like I imagine him to be? I am already dying to see the movie version of the book and keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t disappoint me like most books-turned-into-movies have.
They are two very different authors, with very different styles of writing, generating very different reader reactions but both have one thing common - they have produced literary enchanting works.
So, my fellow bloggers, what have you been reading?