Tag Archives: adventure

Interview with Dr. Vivek Banerjee

Dr. Vivek Banerjee, the author of ‘The Long Road’ is a self-confessed “full time pediatrician (by choice) and part time author (by chance)”. Also known by his pen name Ben, for his blogs earlier, Vivek shares snippets of his writing career with us. Read on.

Could you share with us your earliest memories of writing? What got you blogging and finally writing a fictional tale?
The earliest memories in writing are contributing to my school magazine and later editing it. Blogging started as an experiment and then became an addiction. Rediff iLand (the earlier and hugely successful avatar of now moribund Rediff Blogs) provided the proverbial fuel to the fire. The Long Road started as a serial story called Doctors on Rediff iLand. It was hugely popular and my fellow bloggers got more and more involved as the story progressed. Eventually, the idea of presenting it as a full-fledged novel came to me and I decided to take the plunge.

What kinds of books grab your attention?
I love fiction. From adventure to science fiction; thrillers to classics and novels to short stories, I love them all.

How was the experience of writing a novel, given the fact that your profession barely leaves you time for other activities? What inspired you to come out with a full length novel?
Agreed! There is hardly any leisure. This novel and all my writing is generally done deep in the night. Many a time, I have to attend calls at odd hours and find it difficult to sleep after returning.  The only option left is to pick up the laptop and start typing.


Any character from the novel that reflects or resonates with the real you?

No, I don’t think so. I do wish that I could be like Prof. Patil from the book.

The language used is quite simple and coming from a highly specialized industry, one tends to use the jargon of the field. How easy or difficult was it writing a book based around your profession?
It was very simple to write a book based on my profession and many parts of the book are inspired from real life happenings. I did make a conscious effort to avoid medical jargon or get too technical. I hope that I have succeeded in this aspect.


Would you like to share a memorable incident that happened during the writing process? Or an instance that clicked the writer in you (while at work), wherein you felt that the incident would make for an interesting mention in the book?
Considering the fact that I joined Medical College in 1983, I had a rich reserve of memories and experiences to draw from while writing the novel. But one repetitive incident that causes me a lot of anguish and finds a mention in the book is our inability to prevent very sick children from dying despite best efforts.

An ebook or a hardcover– your pick? and Why?
I guess I am traditional in this matter. I am a huge fan of printed books. If you visit my home, you’ll find a lot of books everywhere. E-books are not for me.

Name some your all time favorite reads.
To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an all time favorite.
I am partial to almost all the books by Isaac Asimov, Wilbur Smith and Jack Higgins and have read them multiple times.

A Quote that inspires you – in personal life / professional life.
This too, shall pass…


A book/author in the recent past that has captured your interest?
Anish Sarkar’s Benaami and the Urban Shots series.

Any other genre that you’d like to explore now? What next do we see from your desk?
I am writing short stories. In fact, there are two projects in the pipeline. One is a collection of stories about the paranormal in collaboration with Faraaz Kazi. An anthology of stories about the darker side of human nature is the other project. Upneet Grover, Saksham Agarwal, Amit Kumar Gupta, Anandita Chawla and I team up for this one.

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Book Review of “Horn OK Please-HOPping To Conclusions” By Kartik Iyengar

Horn OK Please – HOPping To Conclusions

By Kartik Iyengar

Now this is what I call a fun-tastic read.

Kartik Iyengar chronicles his “journey” all the way to Ladakh – Chief Redbull, Goose Goldsmith and Derek Demonia in an SUV called ‘Motormouth’ jot their passion in overcoming problems during their adventure; write about subjects that need delicate handling wrapped with humor; share their experience of meeting new people and exploring new places; capture the essence of their “journey” to finally bringing meaning to life – a remarkable achievement in my eyes!

Every chapter beings with a sarcastic poetic snippet, goes on to set the context, present his points of view and culminates in a warped moralistic end from a virtual community. (Taken from the description – sorry this was the most apt sketch about the book and I definitely couldn’t ace it.)

The book is hilarious. It has anecdotes from the journey; snippets of randomness that end up instigating brain waves to ponder on the reality around us; and the foreword by The Dalai Lama himself.

The writing is lucid, raw and pertinent. Ample of humor, wit, nutty takes whilst on the journey, but great insight about things we turn a blind eye to. Describing the difficulties in proceeding with the journey, yet not deterred to stop mid-way shows great persistence and will power. Covering the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Guarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttaranchal, Punjab, J&K and Himachal Pradesh and the memories binding the adventure make for a great read.

The blurb on the book said, “50% of this the proceeds from this book has been dedicated to the Mahesh Memorial Trust, Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and the Tibetan SOS Village in Leh (Ladakh) by the author. This copy was printed at an orphanage.”

Talk about urban Indians and their sense of responsibility. I bought 2 copies and gifted one to a f(r)iend. I hope he writes the review soon.

I urge you to go ahead, pick this up and release your mind of the mundane chores. And yeah, do your bit of charity, beginning right here.

A MUST READ FOR ALL!!! *smack*

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Book Review of “Three Fates” By Nora Roberts

Three Fates

By Nora Roberts

 

I’d have to say that this is amongst the finest suspense-thriller-romance-humor work of Nora Roberts. Not to forget “girl power”.

The story highlights the life and adventures of the female heroines (of course) in quest of bringing back their family heirloom.

When Lusitania was sinking, after being attacked by a German torpedo, a small time thief – Felix Greenfield was stealing one of the Three Fates statues from the cabin of a certain Henry W. Wyley.

(The Fates were a triad, “each with a specific task. Clotho, who spins the thread of life, Lachesis, who measures it, and Atropus, who cuts that thread and ends it. None could function alone. A thread might be spun, but endlessly and without purpose or its natural course. [For] without the spinning, there’s nothing to measure, nothing to cut…three parts…one purpose.”)

When Felix realizes he is in danger of going down with the town, he pockets his loot and escapes. On being rescued, he settles in Ireland; raises a family; and mends his way to become a better man.

Now Felix’s descendants, the three siblings – Malachi, Gideon, and Rebecca Sullivan possess the heirloom. They decide to acquire the other two statues to complete the triad before selling the Three Fates for a good fortune. But as fate has it, Anita Waye, a black widow, seduces Malachi – sleeps with him and runs away with the statue.

The Sullivans wow to get it back and so begins their quest. Traveling from Ireland to Helsinki, Prague, and New York they meet many a people, some who help them – while some who pledge to do anything to obtain the Three Fates, esp. the greedy, scheming Anita.

The trio sticks together to avoid getting killed before they can accomplish their mission. But how they do it and what all they undergo is what you have to read.

Fans of Nora Roberts are sure to love this fast-paced adventurous romantic thriller.

The characters have been etched to perfection and the plot is gripping. The dialogues are lively and memorable. You might feel the whole talk about fate and free will is stretched a bit too much but I feel it is readable.

This tale of luck, love, fate, suspense, legend, destiny, and a whole gamut of thrill is sure to impress you. This one is a winner all the way!

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Book Review of “The Defector” By Daniel Silva

The Defector

By Daniel Silva

 

The Defector looks like Silva’s best and strongest work in the action/adventure genre.

Gabriel Allon – a tough (yet sympathetic) art restorer and preeminent Israeli secret agent, is sent on a secret mission – to get back a man he previously rescued, who is now kidnapped by a Russian arms dealer.

First time readers of Silva’s work will have no trouble catching up with the plot as there is enough background detail to illustrate the real motive of the actions of all the characters and the plot.

The author’s impeccable writing skills bring in a horde of suspense and thrill and unending excitement with splendid twists, keeping the pace of this multi-continent mission sleek and fast. The rich content and quality of the otherwise stereotypical Russian military show a new flavor of his writing and ideation.

Tension builds with every word. The plot is captivating and definitely thrilling.

Apt descriptions and believable plots/situations/characters make it a quick read for all of Silva’s fans. His brilliance in portraying emotions, motivation and appeal are simply aweinspiring.

The compelling political backgrounds; the complex yet charismatic character of Allon; the appealing characters; the links and revelation of plots – sometimes seem predictable but they still seem better off than many other thrillers provided by other authors.

 

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Book Review of “Deception Point” By Dan Brown

Deception Point

By Dan Brown

 

A stupendously fantastic work of a master author – Dan Brown.

The plot is thrilling, intense, thought provoking, complex, well researched, authentic, chilling, adventurous, bold, inventive, and definitely gripping to say the least!

The sparkling characterization of each protagonist integrated with a peep in the political world, edged with high-tech research as well as abstruse scientific facts sets the pace of Deception Point.

The conflict between the US President and a Senator; deceptive moves to gain power; unfathomable discoveries revealing the truth – all meshed together to churn out a saucy thriller is truly a work of art.

Every minute detail is so well put that it makes you feel like a part of the clandestine saga. The complexity keeps rising and defers you from keeping the book aside till you read the very last word.

Rightfully said, Dan Brown is to science fiction-thriller and symbolism what Stephen King is to Horror, John Gresham to Legal and Robin Cook to medicine science stories.

 

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Book Review of “Changes” By Jim Butcher

Changes

By Jim Butcher

 

By far the best work of Jim Butcher, Changes highlights Harry Dresden’s character with a variety of hues that were never seen before.

Harry Dresden is a wizard who lives and works as a detective in Chicago, Illinois. The story begins with Dresden receiving a call from his ex-love – Susan informing him that he is the father of a daughter who is now kidnapped.

There begins the perfect blend of urban fantasy and adventure as a father begins one of his most challenging missions – retrieval of his daughter from the clutches of the Red Court vampires.

With touches of sarcasm and humor (Dresden style), the story with its umpteen gripping twists and astounding climax behold the reader until the very last page.

Be it the vampire centric stories full of assassins or the exhilarating supernatural and mystical theme, danger lurks on every page.

 

The dramatization and descriptions look absolutely real and believable, with some totally acceptable exaggerated action, making it MUST read.

 

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