September 8, 2008
Books for Thoughts
During this lacunae in my life for active activities of any sort, I try to read. Books piled high by my bedside is being read at the rate of 3 per weeks. This is on top of the reading of the Quran which is force on me by my guilty conscience as it should be the more read book than the others. Here a few ideas from some of the books I've read the past 1 month. "Grotesque" by Natsuo Kirino (translated by Rebecca Copeland) When two prostitutes were killed within 1 year of each other, the connection between the two of them is revealed through the eye of the sister to one of them. Being born beautiful, Yuriko descent from being the popular and promiscuous girl to a prostitute that was willing to sleep even with any client however low the price. Kazue Sato, her classmate, was only moonlighting as a call girl but her night profession made her loses her day job. All three of them, including the sister, was a product of an elite school called Q School System where one enrols from kindergarten until university. The division between the haves and haves not is apparent and becomes a constant issue to the sister. This novel teach us the pro and cons of mix marriages (which the sisters are in) and the cost of an exam oriented society. Wealth as a yardstick to one's success also becomes a bane in a society which does not tolerate failure. The book also explore the issue of superficial beauty in contrast with being brainy and successful. It is also a commentary on women having to look beautiful however smart they have become. It teaches me of how lucky I am to be a man and the evil that men do to get ahead. "The Appeal" by John Grisham - The story is about a the success of civil litigation against one of America largest chemical company is not the end of the rainbow for the plaintiff. After amassing $41 Million in award, the plaintiff has to go through the heartache of waiting for the money to arrive. The justice system of the US of A is further explained on how an appeal to a higher court can be manipulated by unseen hands for the benefit of certain quaters. By reading it, as a lawyer, I can connect with the frustration of the litigants when a decision by the court affect their everyday life and how people will go to great length in fighting for their own survival. The justice system may not be perfect and even in a country where transparency is supposed to flourish, it can still be manipulated. It is a stark reminder that any human-made system can easily be abused without the proper check and balance. "Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs" by Irvine Welsh - As pornographic as it sounds, this book has nothing to do with sexual prowess of a chef but a journey of two persons, Danny Skinner and Brian Kibby, who seems to have a supernatural connection to each other. Irvine Welsh, the writer of cult favourite, Trainspotting, used his native Scotland as the backdrop with the words such as 'ken' and 'nae' peppered throughout has shown again why drugs and alcholisms are the way of life for people living on one of the coldest territory in Great Britain. The search of Danny Skinner for a father he never known and with little help from his mother who wants to forget her punk history shows that even without any faith, a person would always want to know his or her hereditary even in the face of adverse resistance. Having a rival in his work colleague, Brian Kibby, who seems to supernaturally absorb all the abuse that Danny piled on his body, made this tale of searching for one's father an intriguing modern tale of the macabre.