Saturday, November 3, 2012

Favorite Books 11

Book Review King Solomon's Mines Henry Rider Haggard Allan Quatermain Sir Henry Curtis Captain Good Tibetan Dream Yoga Lama Surya Das Bhalobasa, Prem Noi Sunil Gangopadhyay
Book: King Solomon's Mines
Author: Henry Rider Haggard (British, 1856-1925)

Original Language: English
Year: 1885
Category: Adventure/Thriller

Summary: Allan Quatermain, Sir Henry Curtis, and Captain Good set on a journey to the fictional Suliman Berg mountain range in Africa with a map directing to King Solomon's hidden treasures. On way they had terrible pieces of adventures through desert - fighting death, thirst, hunger, and cold. They had a terrible fight with Kukuana tribal cruel king Twala with a view to coronate the real real king Ignosi. They used tricks like the rifle as the powerful stick, taking in and out Captain Good's false teeth set, and the lunar eclipse to establish the belief that they came from the land of stars. Finally with the despicable witch Gagool, they reached the Solomon's mines. But Gagool trapped them inside the mine. Now life is ticking by only to reach death. Can they escape?

Comment: The ultimate classic on adventure. Thrilling in every line. I think I dreamed in my childhood searching for Solomon's mines. Mr. Henry spent a significant amount of time in Africa. So in his writing African rituals, tribes, hunting, and languages are prominent.

The book established Ivory hunting as an elite hunt - to which I feel abhorrent. May be in his time the perspective was like that and it was legal. There are some racist remarks - but may be these were used to oppose racism.

The taking in and out of the false teeth of Captain Good is actually a plagiarism where Mr. Henry copied the idea from Joseph Thomson's book 'Through Masai Land', which was his own travel experience. Mr. Joseph actually did it really and could establish himself as a magician to them.

The Bangla ebook has a stamp of 'Umeshchandra Public Library, Khulna'. Just reminded me of my childhood - the library where I had a chance to explore world literature. Good old days :)
Free online reading (English):King Solomon's Mines


Book: Tibetan Dream Yoga
Author: Lama Surya Das (born as Jeffrey Miller, 1950-)

Original Language: English
Year: 2000
Category: Philosophy

Summary: Dreams are a strange element of sleep. But if meditated, this can be a useful element of life as well. With Yoga on dream one can find it as a pleasurable sensation as well as a guide to powerful insight of life. But with spirituality in concern, this is far more difficult to achieve. When the mind is dead (as in sleep), it is difficult to awaken it subconsciously - but the dream yoga has an answer...

Comment: This is an introduction to this very interesting thing. But it would require significant amount of time and patience to practice and master. We seldom have time in life.


Book: Bhalobasa, Prem Noi (may be translated as 'Love, Not Amour')
Author: Sunil Gangopadhyay (Indian, 1934-2012)

Original Language: Bangla
Year: Unknown
Category: Drama

Summary: Kamal is a benevolent young man in America whose only view to life is benevolence to everybody in whatever way he can with however hardship he has to go through himself. When he married Julekha, he felt the ultimate bloom of love in his heart that radiated every corner of his world. He was a man of a pure heart - with no suspicion, no hatred. That's where he started being defeated, and bruised by the treachery of his beloved persons who had apparent amiable appearance.

Comment: This is a book of love, hate, treachery, selfishness, selflessness, benevolence, cruelty, and betrayal. It is unimaginable that, things might happen this way at times. The last theme is an excellent one where Mr. Kamal learnt to diffuse love to estranged people of the world when he had a sudden encounter with a prostitute (a similar appreciation as in 'Crime and Punishment' by Fyodor Dostoevsky).

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

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