Urban Shots Bright Lights and Urban Shots Crossroads

Urban Shots Crossroads and Urban Shots Bright Lights.
These babies have arrived in bookstores nationwide, and the feedback we get is that they’re flying off the shelves.
Urban Shots Crosswords (Rs 199)
edited by Ahmed Faiyaz (me)
Edited by bestselling author, Ahmed Faiyaz, this anthology explores the conflict, chaos and confusion in the lives of interesting and colourful characters in Urban India. The reclusive kid with a beautiful bicycle; a migrant to Mumbai with Old Monk on his breath, trying to get off a Virar Fast at Borivali; the misunderstood watchman at the library who befriends a little girl;a playstation loving spoilt brat, who is smitten by his mathematics tutor; an old widower who longs for some intimacy with the opposite sex; a confused writer who has to choose between his wife and a seductress; the gargoyle who is the boss s pet at a call centre; a mild-mannered doctor whose love for yoga puts him on breaking news; a project manager who hates handing out the pink slip; an emotionally scarred woman in the bazaars of Kamathipura; the baraat on a silent night in a one-horse town in Rajasthan; the neighbourhood didi with dark secrets of her own and a lot more.. 

Racy, compelling and heart rending stories by popular writers such as Pantosh Uttam, Reeti Gadekar, Sharath Komarraju, Malcolm Carvahlo, and a number of popular bloggers and debutant writers.
Available on Flipkart – http://www.flipkart.com/books/9381626429?_l=gWxQa0snNjHUHKJhnj_y0w–&_r=aP6abwP46nfnpjqs5YCebg–&ref=daa27853-bf28-4a0b-9395-b916358882f3
More on – http://www.greyoak.in/UrbanShots-Crossroads.htm
Urban Shots Bright Lights (Rs 199)
edited by Paritosh Uttam
Edited by bestselling author, Paritosh Uttam, this anthology offers snapshots of interesting characters in Urban India. The ten-year-old mathematics loving girl, haunted by memories of her dead mother. The man who buys expensive gifts for married women; an Indian kid who can name every American state in alphabetical order; a boy who knows more than he should about the extra marital affairs of his parents; a baby with secrets of his own; the pesky Maami in the neighbourhood, with a cure for every ailment; the beefy sportsman with a peacock hairstyle; the seven-year-old who wants to get married; a retiree on his last day in a dead end job; the salesman who fails to meet his targets; the grouchy physics teacher with a love for literature; the chatty cab driver who was once a film maker; the philosophical mehndiwala on the sidewalk; a struggling artist in love with his fabled city; the retired pilot with life advice in the window seat and a lot more…. 

Racy, compelling and heart rendering stories of urban lives and characters by popular writers such as Paritosh Uttam, R. Chandrasekar, Malathi Jaikumar, Ahmed Faiyaz and a number of popular bloggers and debutant writers.
Available on Flipkart – http://www.flipkart.com/books/9381626412
More on – http://www.greyoak.in/UrbanShots-Bright_Lights.htm

They're finally here.

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein

The cover

A New York Times Bestseller

Published by Harper Collins

A Review

I happened to be in Borders, and saw the picture of the top of the dog’s head on the cover. I picked it up to take a closer look. I was intrigued, and knew that I had to read the book. Have you ever looked at a dog and wondered whether there might be more to him than meets the eye? Enzo, a Labrador – terrier mix knows he is different from other dogs. He still thinks that you can’t beat chasing birds once in a while, but he is almost human. Through listening to the words of his master, race driver, Denny Swift, Enzo, has got a deep and real insight into the complex world of people. With its unexpected twists and turns, he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply going fast.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his much loved family have been through. He remembers Denny’s sacrifices, his love for Eve, and her loss to a terminal illness, the longing to be with his daughter, and the painful court battle to gain her custody from a set of manipulative grandparents. Enzo, heads into light, hoping to return in another life as a man.

The story of Enzo’s (a dog who loves fast cars) life and his family told from his perspective was one of the memorable experiences of my reading life. I could identify with the deep, strong feelings that the dog and characters expressed. I believe this is a truly inspiring, and beautiful story – heartbreaking, philosophical, witty, hilarious and poignant in its handling of the husband – son, father – daughter relationship. Gareth does well to bring Enzo alive as the narrator who is nearly human. Its a compelling tale of the battle against all odds and the triumph of the human spirit. Its about where good karma can take you if you have resilience and patience, as Denny does after losing his wife, his daughter, being under debt and being accused of an act he did not commit. Fans of Tuesdays with Morrie, Johnathan Livingstone Seagull and Marley and Me can rejoice.

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

This is a short novel by the award winning author of Amsterdam, Saturday and Atonement.

The Book Cover

. Set in the early sixties, Edward and Florence, both 22 and in love, arrive at a hotel in Dorset for their honeymoon, having got married that morning. Set in an age where discussing sexual difficulties were frowned upon, the novel begins briskly by setting the scene and drawing up their backgrounds briefly. Edward, from a modest upbringing, has joined Florence’s father’s firm, while she is an upcoming musician. The author brings out the conflict within the first few pages, over the elaborate dinner, where Edward is excited and nervous, fearing what others had described as ‘arriving too soon’. While she dreads what is to come, she feels ‘a helpless disgust as palpable as sea sickness’. She’s always dreaded it, but has been unable to confront him or discuss what her fears were. Over an awkward dinner where each of them are going through the motions with different anxieties and expectations in their head, we move back and forth through time wraps, where they met and fell in love, a description of her parents and her family life, and his life in the village and tragedy that his family had faced. Both are at a point where they imagine a future for themselves, his career, her music, their friends, a home and life they would build. The story is built up as a fairy tale romance, except that Florence has an aversion to the physical act, even with the man whom she loves. All these dreams go to dust soon after dinner, when they fumble over the act, and the attempt to consummate their love. The rest of the story plays out on the beach, after Florence bolts from the bedroom after the awkwardly comic, failed intercourse, and Edward comes after her shortly afterwards. Their exchange on the beach is bitter, each trying to get at the other, fighting over their pride and ego, and ends when he calls her ‘frigid’. The novel ends with next few decades of Edward’s life played out over a couple of pages, where he hopes to go back to that moment that could have ended differently. Mc Ewan has a carefully constructed plot that is built up beautifully, bringing out class differences, the repression of sexual desires, the dream for a perfect future and all the silly things Edward and Florence innocently imagine with each other. The characters and the scenes are elegantly crafted; the dialogue is at times sharp and witty, and at times bitter. A subtle, evocative and devastating tale set over two hours, where McEwan displays his brilliance.