Daily Archives: October 24, 2011

Booker Quiz

Hello everyone! This is me – The Hungryreader and I am hosting this quiz on Booker Prize Winners on my blog today. Please leave your answers in the form of a comment. Please do not forget to include your name and email address. The 2 winners will receive a copy of “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes and “Pigeon English” by Stephen Kelman. This Quiz is only open to residents of India. Please submit your responses by the 31st of October 2011. The winners will be picked by lots.

Here we go:

1. Which book won the first ever Booker Prize in 1969?
2. Which Thomas Keneally book won the Booker?
3. In which month is the Man Booker prize shortlist usually announced?
4. In 2008 which novel won the 40th Anniversary ‘Best of Booker’ award?
5. Who, at 32, was the youngest ever winner of the Man Booker Prize?
6. Which author famously said that she planned to spend her prize money on building a swimming pool in her house in Provence?
7. In which year were only two books shortlisted?
8. Who was the first Irish novelist to win the prize?
9. Which book is the fastest selling Man Booker winner ever, selling over half a million copies in th the UK alone?
10. Name the Penelope Fitzgerald title that won the Booker?

So start commenting and posting your answers.

All the Best…

The Hungryreader…

Book Review: The Beautiful and the Damned by Siddhartha Deb

Title: The Beautiful and the Damned: Life in the New India
Author: Siddhartha Deb
Publisher: Penguin Viking India
ISBN: 978-0-670-08596-5
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 253
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

India as a country is not easy to understand. It never has been, with its glaring differences in strata of societies and not to mention the similarities sometimes, it is almost like a maze with no fixed end point. And that is because it is constantly evolving and ever-changing. With these changes moving at their own speed and yet the past not letting us get very far, Siddhartha Deb’s book, “The Beautiful and the Damned” – Life in the New India gives us new perspectives to think about.

Siddhartha Deb has undertaken something so huge with this book – to be able to unveil Modern India for us. To give the readers a sense of what is Modern India all about – from its economic viewpoints to cultural backgrounds to the way we think and sometimes trying to understand why we think and act the way we think and act.

The book is a series of four chapters that touch on Modern India – from the lifestyle of the BPO industry to the state of farmers in the country to the steel and mill workers and finally the women of the country. The first chapter that focused on IIMP and Arindam Chaudhari has been banned from being published in India. So the book does not have that included. So much for modernity and the fact that we live in a so-called democratic environment.

Siddhartha Deb is just chronicling his observations so to speak in this book. The fact that the chapters aren’t inter-related is refreshing, keeping the conclusions open to the reader. At the same time, I also feel that probably one book and four chapters aren’t enough to talk about New India. It sure does require more paper and thought space.

Having said that, the writing is taut and not too many words are wasted in getting through to the reader. Siddhartha Deb’s writing style is simple and clear. There aren’t too many metaphors, which could be the case while writing this kind of a book. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and to some extent it also gave me a different viewpoint on Modern India – its pros and its cons.

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The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India