Tag Archives: bestseller

‘The Book Of Air And Shadows’ By Michael Gruber — Best Imitation Of ‘The Da Vinci Code’?

by Anura Guruge



Click image to access the Amazon listing.


Quite the book, and quite the story. Incredibly clever, with twists within twists and a level of detail about so many diverse topics that leaves one in awe. I have never heard of Michael Gruber before but I have to acknowledge that he is one heck of a storyteller, writer and intellectual. Bravo. The sheer detail he just throws into the story reminded me, more than once, og one of my favorite authors, the incomparably brilliant, John Irving. That said, this book, intentionally or not, is very much ‘The Da Vinci Code‘ redux. Nothing wrong with that. I know that many have tried, but Gruber does a great job getting close.

Is it as good as ‘The Code’? Maybe not — but Dan Brown had a even more compelling and intriguing subject to base his story than William Shakespeare.

To be honest parts of the story and plot are too far-fetched, trite and totally implausible. Life is never that pat, neat or tidy. But, others parts make up for this failure.

I was surprised at how harsh some of the Amazon reviews were. I really don’t think it was that bad. Actually, it is a GOOD book. I already gave it to an English scholar and told her that she will enjoy it. Plus, I am, of course, recommending it here! And even that seems unnecessary. It was, as it says on the cover, a ‘New York Times Bestseller’. So, it sure doesn’t need my imprimatur.

If you enjoyed ‘The Code’ you should give this a try. I doubt whether you will totally regret it. A tad hard to get through the first chapter, BUT then it gets more compelling and towards the end it is indeed a page-turner.


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by Anura Guruge


‘The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey’ By Rinker Buck — Interesting, But Not As Compelling As I Had Hoped.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access Amazon book listing.


I had seen this book at a bookstore during our trip to ‘Moosehead Lake‘, Maine in April, but bought it, used, from Amazon as is my wont with books like this.

The ‘Oregon Trail’ and all stories of the 19th century Western migration intrigues I mainly because I was lucky enough to have read a few very compelling books on the topic, ket among them: James Michener’sCentennial‘, Irvin Stone’s mesmerizing ‘Men to Match My Mountains‘ and J.S. Holliday’s ‘The World Rushed In‘.

Well, I am glad I read this book. I learnt a LOT, about the history of the trail, about mules (that I knew next to nothing about), the seemingly incredible ‘Buck’ family and some American history. Given that I am a history buff (in my old age) this book had some wonderful information and insights.

But, this book left me ‘hungry’ — and a lot of that, quite literally, was because Rinker was so stingy with his details of how and what they ate! I kid you not. I was hoping that this would be more of a trail diary — maybe a journal. Lots of stuff, on a daily basis, about what they did, what they saw, how they got from A-to-B, what they ATE, where they slept etc. Well, there isn’t that much of it as I would have liked. That was the let down. It was also sparse on the exact route they took — whether they were on main roads, back country roads, dirt roads etc. I got two maps (below) to try and and follow the trail. I also used Google Maps.

It was OK. Obviously it was a bestseller. So, he obviously hit on the right formula. Good for him.

Yes, I will recommend it with a slight hesitation. Do what I did. Pick up a used copy. That way you won’t feel as bad if you felt let down by the entire trip narrative. SMILE.



 

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by Anura Guruge


‘Central Pain Syndrome’ Book — An Amazon ‘Bestseller’ Now That It Is Free!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and be amused here. Use link below IF you want to go check for yourself.


Click here to check for yourself —
but ranking will change over time!


I am sorry BUT this always amuses me. As some of you know this is NOT the first time I have been here. But, it is CUTE and I am glad. To be fair, I have made the list, with some of my books, even when folks had to pay for them.

Anywho, what is important is that folks are getting access to the book.

As I said in the Preface I did not write this book in the hope of making any money. My pricing reflects that.

So enjoy. Thanks.


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by Anura Guruge