Dec 3, 2020

Charlie Chaplin A Graphic Novel

 The Stars Of History - Charlie Chaplin is a graphic novel written by Bernard Swysen and illustrated by Bruno Bazile. Thanks to Net Galley for allowing me to review the graphic novel which was given in pdf format. I have reviewed a couple of graphic novels but this one was in high resolution and a delight to read.

Europe comics had a great idea of introducing celebrities' biographies into graphic novels. I very much appreciate the idea. Charlie grew up in poverty and becomes a celebrity and great comedian of our time. Charlie Chaplin is legendary the graphic novel closely follows his story and gave good illustrations of his career. 

First time I shed tears over an illustration, small boy Chaplin hugging his mother as she has lost her mind. Chaplin had spent his childhood in a state of depression. His entry into theatres and into the United States his triumphs in cinema, his celebrity status, his lost love, and how he got ideas for some of his movies are given neatly. I very much enjoyed the book and I strongly recommend this graphic novel.

Nov 17, 2020

Journey of the Pharaohs

From the blurb.

Kurt Austin and the NUMA crew risk everything to stop a cutthroat arms dealer from stealing a priceless ancient treasure in the thrilling new novel from the #1 *New York Times* -bestselling grand master of adventure.

In 1074 B.C., vast treasures disappear from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. In 1927, a daredevil American aviator vanishes on an attempted transcontinental flight. And in the present day, a fishing trawler--along with its mysterious cargo--sinks off the coast of Scotland. How are these three mysterious events connected? And, more importantly, what do they mean for Kurt Austin and his NUMA team?

As they search for answers, the NUMA squad join the agents of the British MI5 to take on a wide-reaching international conspiracy. Their common enemy is the Bloodstone Group, a conglomerate of arms dealers and thieves attempting to steal ancient relics on both sides of the Atlantic. Kurt and his team soon find themselves wrapped up in a treacherous treasure hunt as they race to find the lost Egyptian riches. . . before they fall into the wrong hands. 

Sep 16, 2020

Review: Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli

Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli by Maximilian Uriarte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Sep 4, 2020

Solaimalai Ilavarasi - Book Review

I was awestruck by the plot of the story. I only read the historical fiction of Kalki's work. This short novel "Solaimalai Ilavarasi" had two stories spanning 100 years, both the stories are interconnected. The characters Ulaganatha Devar, Manickavalli, King of Solaimalai, Kumaralingam, Ponamma, and the father of Ponamma are one and the same.

Ulaganatha Devar rises up to fight the British in the 18th century and Kumaralingam is a freedom fighter in the 19th century. Ulaganatha Devar the Prince and later the King of Maranenthal country dies in the hands of the British. The same story repeats and Kumaralingam believes that the story will end like Ulaganatha Devar. Is the story ends like that?

A wonderful story, written by Kalki.

Aug 7, 2020

Review: Makkal Thilagathin Thiraipada Patiyal

Due to the Tamil font support problem, the 200-page book was republished with 11 pages. Less information for MGR fans.

 Book Link


Jul 18, 2020

Review: James Bond, the Spy Who Loved Me

Roger Moore acted as James Bond in seven movies, of this I liked Live And Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only. When I saw The Spy Who Loved Me book, I grabbed without hesitation.

The famous opening scene from the movie.

There are some differences between the movie and the book. Most of the gadgets and jokes are missing in the book, character names changed, such as Karl Stromberg as Sigmund Stromberg. SMERSH attacking James Bond, which scenario removed from the movie.

The author Christopher Wood's book follows the plot of the movie and also the author added descriptive backstory for the two main characters Jaws and Stromberg. Christopher Wood pulled out some of the cinematic moments such as Lotus Esprit car chasing scene, fight scene with Jaws on the train, water scooter in the climax, and have replaced with a darker and more realistic tone for the novel.

The Super Tanker
This book is excellent and has the touch of Fleming novels.

Some of scene grabs from The Spy Who Loved Me movie.

Jun 29, 2020

Udayar First Part - Historical Tamil Novel

The complete set of Udayar novel.

This book is the first part of the 6 part series of author Balakumaran's magnificent novel "Udayar". It is the story of one of the greatest Indian King Rajaraja Chola's ambition of constructing a Lord Siva Temple (Rajarajesvaram or Peruvudaiyār Kōvil or Brihadishvara Temple) in Thanjavur.

The book elucidates how the temple was constructed amidst the obstacles created by his nemesis the Pandyas and Cheras.

In the first part, the king Rajaraja Chola expresses his wish to construct the biggest temple. His prime minister Bhramarayar and his spiritual mentor Karuvurar help advise him in selecting the place and time for initiating the construction. The book acquaints us how the people of Tamil Nadu lived in the medieval period. The characters are mostly true and some of them were added for the entertainment value.

Eagerly waiting to read the 2nd part of the novel.

Jun 22, 2020

Murder Aboard the Flying Scotsman

Murder Aboard the Flying Scotsman

From the blurb

One blustery day in October of 1924, newlyweds Mr and Mrs Basil Reed travel aboard the recently christened Flying Scotsman, a high-speed steam engine train that travels from London to Edinburgh, for their honeymoon. With only one short stop at York, Ginger anticipates time with her new husband will fly by.

She’s wrong. Something terrible has happened in the Royal Mail carriage, which forces the train to stop dead in its tracks. There’s been a death and Chief Inspector Reed has been asked to investigate.

It’s a uniquely disturbing murder and Ginger and Basil are eager to puzzle it out together. What do the first-class passengers have to do with the dead man? With another crime shortly discovered, Ginger and Basil soon realize they’re not dealing with a run-of-the-mill killer—they’re dealing with a mastermind who’s not done playing with them yet.

My review:

Murder and jewel heist, crime on board the Flying Scotsman a captivating read. This is my first reading of the series.

Apr 8, 2020

Review: James Bond: Vargr - Volume 1

James Bond: Vargr - Volume 1 James Bond: Vargr - Volume 1 by Warren Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Warren Ellis James Bond Vargr is a different take of James Bond character, the Bond is elegant but brutal and cold-hearted. The story starts with a vengeance mission in Helsinki and he is been asked to assume the work of fallen 00 Agent. A synthetic drug with horrific side effects takes the toll in the UK, Bond takes up the work and visits Dr.Slaven Kurjak who had lost his arm in action and is a developer in prosthetic technology. Later Bond comes to know that Kurjak also the person behind the synthetic drug. How James Bond finishes Kurjak's empire forms the rest of the story.

From henchmen to Villain the characters are generic, what makes this graphic novel stand apart from the basic plot is the artwork and little comic relief. The action scenes in the panel are superb. Commendable work is done by Jason Masters on illustrations. A must for Bond fans.

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Review: Red Dust

Red Dust Red Dust by Greg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting start to the Wild West series. The story has distinct characters, the colour and artwork are superb. A little disappointing factor is the text are not legible in some panels.

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Review: Red Dust

Red Dust Red Dust by Greg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Feb 28, 2020

Review: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story is told in two worlds. One is reality (a little bit) and fantasy. No name is given to any characters. In the Wonderland part, the protagonist encounters a unicorn skull, mad scientist, gangsters and a chubby girl, and whereas in End of the World it is about surrendering one's shadow, librarians and dream readers, mysterious forest and a Wall.

This is my first reading of Murakami. Not disappointed will try his other books too.

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Feb 6, 2020

The Titanic Secret - New Book

When Isaac Bell attempts to decipher the forbidding deaths of nine men, he encounters a secret so powerful it could dictate the fate of the world in this riveting thriller by the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.

A century apart, NUMA Director Dirk Pitt and detective Isaac Bell team up to unlock the truth about the most famous maritime disaster of all time.

In the present day, Pitt makes a daring rescue from inside an antiquated submersible in the waters off New York City. His reward afterwards is a document left behind a century earlier by legendary detective Isaac Bell–a document that re-opens a historical mystery…

In 1911, in Colorado, Isaac Bell is asked to look into an unexplained tragedy at Little Angel Mine, in which nine people died. His dangerous quest to answer the riddle leads to a larger puzzle centered on byzanium, a rare element with extraordinary powers and of virtually incalculable value. As he discovers that there are people who will do anything to control the substance, Isaac Bell will find out just how far he’ll go to stop them.

An audio sample from the book.


Jan 1, 2020

Review: The Second Sleep

The Second Sleep The Second Sleep by Robert Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The year is 1468, a young priest named Christopher Fairfax was assigned by Bishop Pole to officiate the funeral of Father Lacy in Addicott St George village. There Fairfax after the funeral finds the collection of Father Lacy, some odd things which did not belong to that period.

Everything after this page I cannot write because whatever I write will be a spoiler. A good book to enjoy. This is my second book by Robert Harris. I have to thank my fellow book reader and friend Leah who introduced Robert Harris books to try.

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