Tag Archive | Bad Sequels

Be Careful What You Wish For- Jeffrey Archer : 25/52

This is the Kyunki Saas Bhi… of the English fiction world. And now we have to wait another year to know who died. Again.

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It is a extremely irritating, leaving the reader hanging for a year. I read the first three parts in one go and as tiring it was, there was some continuity. And then I had to wait a whole year to see whether Sebastian actually died in that accident. And spoiler!, he didn’t. What else did you expect anyway?

This book was about Sebastian, and Jessica who gets wasted (no, not that way) and a bunch of new characters whom you don’t fully get. What are they doing in the book? Harry gets not more than a couple of passing mentions and Giles, some. You tend to forget the back story of the characters from the previous installments. Why is Don Pedro Martinez so bent on destroying the Barringttons? Who is Alex Fischer and why is he the bad guy? What’s Lady Virginia still doing in this book?  And then you have to think hard to remember the Rodin statue and some war thing and a messy divorce that happened in one of those other three books. Everything is very superficial. Maybe the IRA was something big, but I somehow am not able to take them seriously as terrorists with a cause. Their role in this book seemed so contrived and plugged in.  Yawn.

And as with the other books, the nagging feeling that Emma and Harry might be siblings lingered throughout. I don’t care who lives or who dies, but I hope we get an clear answer and explanation to that in the final installment.

 

 

The Carrie Diaries- Candace Bushnell : 23/52

Ok. I judge myself. This is not a book that a 30 something should be reading. Or even a 20 something. Or anysomething for that matter. This book shouldn’t even have been written. Or atleast shouldn’t have been hyped as Carrie before Sex and The City.

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But as I said, I read Summer in the City first  and so my OCD did not permit me to let part one of the series just go unread.

I really don’t know what the author was thinking. Almost everything is a total contradiction to the Carrie we know and love ( and sometimes hate). She took that horse-faced, curly haired, sexually liberated, funny, witty, independent, shoe crazy woman and turned her into an average teenager with  boy problems. Atleast in Summer and the City she was out of high school, in New York , sleeping with an old (thirty year old! gasp! ) man and partying with Samantha Jones. But for the whole thirty five chapters in this book she’s just smoking, drinking ,not losing her virginity, and feeling jealous of classmates (named Donna LaDonna and such) who are trying to steal her boyfriend. And then doing that some more. There’s no story, no plot, no twist, no turn, no direction. I won’t mind reading a good old Crosswinds or First Love from Silhouette now (Yup, that’s my vintage)  to get the bland taste of this one out of my mind.

Read this book if you want to un-Carrie Carrie Bradshaw.

 

 

Summer and the City- Candace Bushnell : 20/52

What better way to recover from Stephen King’s Carrie than a dose of good ole Carrie Bradshaw. Or that’s what I thought. Having loved the SATC TV series, I thought I’d give the books also a try

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Thinking that The Carrie Diaries would be too teeny bopper, I started off with Summer and the City assuming that it was about a more grown up Carrie. I was wrong. It is about a not-yet-eighteen Carrie experimenting in the big bad city. Experimenting with writing, fashion and older men. In no particular order. Set in the eighties, it takes some effort to deal with rubber, vinyl and plastic garments (loved the scrubs, though) , lack of hard disks and mobile phones and firebrand feminism. Oh, scratch the last one.

But what I absolutely couldn’t deal with was a Carrie who cooks and a Samantha who is engaged and wants to ‘settle down’. Very, very un-Samantha. Way to bring the characters we watched and loved come crashing down. Miranda is Miranda, on the right path to becoming Miranda. Charlotte too,making an entry at the very end, is very Charoltte. Carrie comes out as clingy and whiny at times, but that’s what she was with Big, so her clinginess with Bernard isn’t something new. And Bernard, though he sets a foundation for Carrie’s Big obsession, certainly is not Big. Not that it matters much, but I don’t know what genre this book comes under. Was it Young Adult fiction or Age-No-Bar Chicklit? If it was the former, I have problems with the unapologetic underage drinking and excessive smoking. If it is not, I don’t. (What does that make me?) Bleh and a half stars for the book, but I will certainly read The Carrie Diaries and Sex and The City only because my OCD won’t allow me not to.

Gone With The Wind

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When my mother was halfway through Gone with the Wind, my neighbor who had lent it to her, asked for it back since she had to return it to her college library. For some reason, she wasn’t able to renew it for a few more days. Some agonizing weeks and desperate, futile inquiries later, a family friend got her a copy from his college library, a government college library where it had been collecting dust over the years.  Thrilled, she spent long nights sitting on the kitchen step after her chores, picking up the book from where she had been rudely interrupted.

My mother has the habit of making characters from the book she is currently reading a household name. She tells us anecdotes from the books or makes character comparisons to real life people.  So even before I read the book, I had a pretty good idea about Scarlett O’Hara, the size of her waist and the political situation in the United States back then. I once even referred to the civil war in a school essay, totally out of syllabus.  And then, some time later, I sat through two video cassettes of the movie, without a clue as to what was going on. But at 13, I knew that Gone with the Wind was something big. Something I had to put down on my List.

Three years later, digging into the shelves of the public library, the one where all books had a uniform uncharacteristic brown binding and were stacked two deep in wooden cupboards that smelled of Book, I stumbled across a fat copy of Gone with The Wind. It had last been checked out almost seven years ago. It was my time to discover Scarlett O’Hara.

I was all of 16, the age where I believed that First Love could be the only love. Oh, how I rooted for Ashley. My penfriend from Calcutta was reading the book at the same time and we exchanged blue inland letters filled with our thoughts about goody-goody Melanie, the cad that Rhett was and kept our fingers crossed for Scarlett to finally get Ashley. She didn’t ,and I shut the book totally disappointed.

More than a decade later, I picked up a copy from a footpath in Bangalore. It was like reading it with Lasiked eyes this time. The book seemed completely different from the last time I’d read it. Scarlett had matured with me. I no longer related to the frivolous girl, flirting with the twins and yearning for a wimpy Ashley. She was the woman fighting the war now. I wept the tears Scarlett didn’t, thought the thoughts she’d planned to think Tomorrow and ran through the mist with her, searching for Rhett.  Suave Rhett. With the image of Clark Gable flashing in every smirk, every smile , Rhett was The Man this time. The cad, the lover, the father and finally, the husband. The one I rooted for.

And then I went and big fat read Scarlett. I had to read Gone with the Wind again. To remove the bad taste the sequel had left in my mind.

And also, since I hoped that this time Rhett would change his mind and stay.