Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Favorite Books 4

Book Review Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, Maxim Gorky, Comrade, Victor Hugo, Toilers of the Sea, 'Les Travailleurs de la Mer', Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Anisul Haque, Maa, The Mother
Book: Comrade
Alexei Maximovich Peshkov (Maxim Gorky) (Russian, 1868-1936)

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Original Language: Russian
Year: 1906
Category: Socialism/Salvation/Enthusiasm
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Story: This is not a story really, may be merely 4/5 pages. It talks about a gloomy city, day, and people who suddenly had a spiritual awakening by the word 'comrade'. It portrays the power of the word 'comrade' in the gloomy facade of the day-to-day life of ordinary people.

Comments: In Russian Maxim means 'The Greatest', Gorky means 'Bitter'. This was the pen name of the author. The story is an
excellent example of how concisely and deeply one can draw the scenario in his writing; that's why he is a Maxim. His portrayal of resemblance of various stages of the story is very profound and correct.

Links: Free online reading at: Comrade

Some other Gorky stories at the root: Gorky Books

Book: Toilers of the Sea (original in French 'Les Travailleurs de la Mer')
Author: Victor Hugo (French, 1802-1885)

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Original Language: French Year: 1886
Category: Fiction/Adventure/Romance.

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Story: Gilliatt is a solitary fisherman in the island Guernsey, who is thrown a love gesture by Deruchette. On promise of Deruchette to marry anybody who can bring back her wrecked ship-engine, Gilliatt sets on the task risking his life fighting with cold, stravation and octopus. On successful return, he declines to marry as he came to know that she is already in love with someone else. He arranges for her marriage, and...
Comments: I read the Bangla translated paperback published around 1960 - the book was given to my mother as an accolade to her academic merits; may be they knew she herself would become a toiler of the sea. You can distinguish a skyscrapper from surrounding buildings; so can you distinguish this book. The ending pounds on your heart, might enrage you with the betrayal of Deruchette.


Book: The Call of the Wild

Author: Jack London (American, 1876-1916)

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Original Language: English

Year: 1903
Category: Adventure
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Story: The story revolves around Buck - a stolen dog being used for sledge-pulling. The ups and downs in Buck's life and finally reaching the hands of a good man Thornton are the climaxes of the story. Later Thornton won a bet for the strength of Buck. At the end Thronton was killed by nomads and the revenge of the dog is the other side of the story. Finally he found his niche in the wilderness by socilizing with wolves, but he comes back each year to mourn his master's death.

Comment: It is a touching pet story where the pet is the main character. Wonderful reading.

Link: English PDF Download Link made available by ibiblio: The Call of the Wild

Bangla translated paperback should be available at Seba Prokashoni, at Segunbagan, Dhaka.

Book: Maa (translate as 'Mother')

Author: Anisul Haque (Bangladeshi, 1965-)
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Original Language: Bangla
Year: 2003
Category: Drama/Fiction/War
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Story: This is the story of a mother who discovered the brutal tortures upon her only son by enemy soldiers; but even then she urged the son not to disclose the names of companion guerrilla warriors. This is the story of a mother who didn't eat rice or sleep in bed for the rest of her life after she had last seen her son sleeping on floor of jails and wanted to eat rice. This is the story of a mother who left a palace and lived a poor life because of betrayal of her husband.

Comment: All the stories in the world on 'mother' are somewhat very touchy. Every mother has some story of her own and it is the adept writer who can portray the story, and make us cherish. This is a very nice 'Mother' story by Anisul Haque.
Bangla hard-bind is available at
Aziz Supermarket Bookstores at Shahbagh, Dhaka. Price is about 200 BDT.

Let us buy paper books. Let's enrich our mind and home library.

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