The Help

“I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it.”

Book Review The HelpI risked to read this book when I had an exam coming up at the end of the same week. It just sat on that shelf, staring at me, waiting to be read so I told myself that it wouldn’t hurt if I read no more than a couple of chapters in a day. Because that’s the kind of excuse I give myself every time, believing that I’ll stick to it, but never do. Obviously this time it was a lie too, because I finished it in 5 days (just 2 days before my exam) going along with a hectic routine, and procrastinating all my homework. All because it was just SO unputdownable. I literally used to spend all my time thinking about going back to this book at the end of the day.

This book, in simple words, is basically time machine which takes you back to the 1960’s America, a time when racism was hugely prevalent. This book is alternatively narrated in first person by 3 people. Two black maids, Aibileen and Minny, and a white woman, Skeeter who’s writing a book on the lives of black maids in Jackson, Mississippi and the relations they share with the white families they’re working for. It is, obviously, a clandestine project because of the sensitive topic which could put them at a great risk.

Kathryn Stockett did a wonderful job on this book, especially considering that it was her debut novel. The plot is really strong and powerful, and the way she breathed life into the characters of this book, it all really came alive for me. Not just the three protagonists, but all the secondary characters were fairly well developed. This book doesn’t just tell us about how the lives of black people were dominated and controlled by whites to a large extent, but it also has just as much to say about how important freedom is. Freedom of expressing opinions, freedom of fighting back, freedom from societal norms, freedom of living the life on our own terms and nobody else’s, freedom of loving someone irrespective of their color and freedom of living as equals. Because there’s one thing which is common in all of us and which goes beyond any differences of race, color, gender, etc. and it’s that we’re all human beings. All of this and so much more in one book, all with a pinch of feminism to make this book stronger. Like one of the quotes from the book… “Wasn’t that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.”  

Kathryn shared a quote at the end of this book by Howell Raines whilst talking about her inspiration for writing this book which was…

There is no trickier subject for a writer from the South than that of affection between a black person and a white one in the unequal world of segregation. For the dishonesty upon which a society is founded makes every emotion suspect, makes it impossible to know whether what flowed between two people was honest feeling or pity or pragmatism.

I’d say it may be a tricky and sensitive subject but Kathryn handled it brilliantly, especially with the thick southern dialect which made the characters all the more real. I was only 10 pages into this book and I already knew that I’d love this one. It’s just that gripping. It stays on a very serious note for the most part, but turns effortlessly amusing at times. And most importantly, it ends on a rather positive note saying that it’s never too late to start a new life or start doing something you’ve never done.

I would love to say a lot more about this book and right now I’d want nothing more than to discuss and talk endlessly about this book and my favorite parts but that would ruin it for you if you haven’t read it. So I’m going to keep this review spoiler free. But there’s one thing I’ll say… There are a lot of books which i have read and loved but there’s only a few which have actually teared me up. And The Help is one of them.

So I ain’t on tell you how good this book be in my words any more. I on tell you in Minny’s words. Law! This book be real good. So you don’t walk your butt to a book shop and buy it, you run it!

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Breaking Bad

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“Just get me home and I’ll do the rest.”

I managed to finish this show last Wednesday and waited all week for the weekend, to sit down and write a post on how perfect it was.
It was as perfect as it possibly could be. Actually, a little more than that.

To all you Breaking Bad viewers, who couldn’t take your minds off of this show for a period of 2013, whether you stayed with it for 5 years or whether you binge watched it in a week, who started the show rooting for Walt, then rooted for Hank or Jessie for a brief period and finally Walt again in the finale, who still can’t help but say ‘ Yeah! Science Bitch!’ every time something scientific happens, who still feel disturbed by the fact that it’s over, and who still get that empty feeling knowing there will never be another episode, I feel you. I feel you all.

And well, when I say it was perfect, i don’t mean just the finale but the entire show, with all it’s sudden twists and turns, going from normal to crazy to bloody genius in seconds. When the show started, who would have thought where this story of a middle class cancer stricken school teacher with limited means who has  turned into a meth cook and has broken bad for good, would lead to. But as the show went on, it turned out to be a Pandora’s box, unraveling the devil, leaving us all in utter amazement as the bodies piled up at every lag of the show. I, for one, didn’t see that coming when I began it, to be honest.tumblr_ll09jmdvIn1qfp0hlo1_500-4036

But anyway, coming back to the finale, I think Vince Gilligan did a brilliant job on it. Not only did he answer all the unanswered questions and wrapped up the story immaculately, he also picked up every lose end and tied it into a beautiful bow. But I reckon that the finale wasn’t just the final episode, but all the last three episodes, where we get an idea of how Walt could have ended up in three different ways. One, where his two lives cross and create a bloody mess and where he likely could have ended up behind bars. Two, living in hiding, sick, alone, forsaken in a bleakly desolated place waiting for his inevitable death. And three, where he comes back with a bang, like the devil he is, and kills every last person who deserved this fate. And no doubt, Vince left the best one for the last. The machine gun shootout scene was definitely a mindblower, and absolutely unexpected. And he proved that he isn’t called the devil for nothing, being not just ruthless but an extraordinary prodigy, by single handedly bombarding a room full of his adversaries, or to say ‘zero handedly’ bombarding them, technically. And leaving everyone just speechless with an expression of “What. The. Hell. Just. Happened?”

In the end, as Badfinger’s Baby Blue kicks in, “Guess I got what I deserved”, he lies there, in the meth lab, surrounded by all the big steel machineries which made him feel ‘alive’, having freed Jessie, having made sure that his family is provided for and having redeemed himself in every way possible and being content with where he was and this was how he wanted to go. This was exactly the end this legendary show deserved.

This show has definitely raised the bar for tv shows, by going on an unconventional and never before explored path of story telling. Respect to Vinve Gilligan, the mastermind, Bryan Cranston for being the perfect Heisenberg and Aaron Paul for playing emotional, angry, moody and a freakish meth head Jessie who despite of all, was an adorable charachter all along and all the other ones, who were just so fit for their roles and contributed in making this show an unforgettable one in every way.

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The Fault In Our Stars

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It’s been a while since I last posted anything on here. And I feel kind of gulity for abandoning this blog for about a month. And I don’t really have anything new to post here. So here’s a book review of The Fault In our Stars which I wrote an year ago on my other blog. SAnyway, it’s currently the most talked about young adult fiction, now that it’s movie is due next month. And also it’s one of the only few romantic books that I’ve read and loved. So here it is, until I come back with a brand new post. 🙂

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