Monday, 16 June 2014

Three Most Scandalous Books read by Me : The Alchemy Of Desire by Tarun J Tejpal


The third and last book in my list of the three scandalous books which I have read.
On the front of it this book seemed to me pretty ordinary with the story revolving around a young married couple who truly love each other and how a chance finding of a trunk load of personal diaries  belonging to an English lady living in India prior to our independence, changes their lives forever.
But when you start reading the book you are taken by surprise by the explicit sexual content of the story. This was exactly my reaction on reading  such graphic scenes by an Indian author and that too from someone like Mr.Tejpal ( I am sure I must be sounding like a prude, but this was my first and honest reaction to the book!). I have definitely read books worse than this but this book was a bit of a shock for me as the sexual content made me a tad bit uncomfortable and I was not able to sync it with the story.
I have written a post about this book earlier and in it I have praised the story and Mr.Tejpal's way of writing. I have been and am still pretty impressed by the topics chosen by him and the way he has moulded his stories be It the Alchemy of Desire or The Valley of Masks to keep the reader engrossed in the story. He is undoubtedly a master storyteller but I was not comfortable with the way sex was used in the story. It seemed kind of forcefully added to the story and not being a part of the story.
I was once discussing this book with a cousin of mine and I told  him that even though I have read many scandalous books of many genres since I was a teenager but this book had the ability to stun me even now, when I thought I was mature enough to read any sexual content without it affecting me.
Overall it is an interesting read if one can get over the sexual content and enjoy the story of a young couple who though are financially very weak but are very happy to be with each other.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Three Most Scandalous Books read by Me : The Grey series by E.L.James

This is my second entry in the list of my three most scandalous books.
The Grey Series needs no introduction, rather I should say that it is one of the most over hyped books which was published in the last five years. This is one book which was preceded by it's sheer publicity and controversies even before it was released in India. I had read about it so much in the newspapers that the moment it was available in my city ,I went and brought all three.
I finished the  first book - Fifty Shades of Grey in two days flat, with almost two sleepless nights in tow. This was because this book was unputdownable. I am not saying that I loved the book but one really could not help but keep turning the pages to find how it all ends in the first part of the trilogy. The whole setup of a BDSM relationship in the form of a story and glorifying the act by saying that in psychiatrist's terminology BDSM relationship is not sadism or a mental disorder but is another way of having a consensual relationship is way out of my league. Hence I had this morbid pull for the book and I had to finish it fast.  The way the female character, Anastasia was introduced to this relationship by the central character Christian Grey was very shocking and the Red Room with its sexual toys was just unpalatable for me. It felt very demeaning to me as a woman and I was utterly confused as to why would a sensible woman even try such a thing.
When Anastasia walks out of Christian's life in the end of part one, I immediately started the second part- Fifty Shades Darker to see how the story moves ahead. But this time since I was more knowledgeable and knew what to expect, I skipped certain parts and moved ahead with the main story and similarly read the last part too- Fifty Shades Freed.
There is one thing which I realised after reading the entire series is that whatever people say, a book will not sell if it lacks a proper story, irrespective of all the sexual content you put in. This theory applies in the Grey Series too.
This is a story of a young girl who finds the love of her life, but, instead of being a white knight in a shining armour, Christian is a normal man who has his flaws and a terrible past which makes him very fearful of love and commitment. It is a tale of two young people who endeavour to fight and slay their personal  demons to spend their lives with each other, happily ever after.
I am not justifying the book or defending the heavy sexual content, all I am saying is that if we try and read the book and look at it beyond all explicit content, this story can be like any other lovestory, full of ups and downs, misunderstandings, ego clashes but a happily ever after in the end.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Three Most Scandalous Books read by Me : Once Is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann

This was the first dirty or rather should I say trash in fiction which I read and that too when I was just 15 years old. I know that girls far younger than what I was, read trash these days but this was way back in the mid nineties and I was growing up in a small town called Guwahati, where things were really simple and I had a very sheltered upbringing. So this book was a very big shock for me, in terms of the story, the sexual content and even the dialogues. And the best part was that I had stolen this book from the attic during the pre Diwali cleaning. Should I be ashamed of myself for stealing and reading such a book? Some might say yes, but I do not agree. I was very curious to read such a book and that's what I did, though, I did not enjoy it much. I was rather very shocked and shaken up on reading this book, as till then all I had read was Enid Blyton, P.G.Wodehouse and a few Nancy Drews here and there.
I was not comfortable about this whole incident and later I confessed my crime to my mom but she surprisingly took it very lightly. Hence, I have never felt any guilt about it.
Now let's talk about the story- the story is set in the seventies era and the central character is a young girl, January Wayne, daughter of a big-time Broadway producer. The entire story revolves around her and how she grows up in this misleading and confusing glamorous world. January is very very fond of her father but not in a daughterly manner, it is more of incest here.( This was shock no.1 for me). Then there is her stepmother who is having a roaring lesbian affair with a middle aged movie actress( shock no.2 for me). Scenes full of drug abuse and explicit sexual content was like "the cherry on the icing" in my shock intake. 
Now when I think of this book, all the content which shocked the innocent me seems very dated and boring. But at that time I was truly scandalised and firmly believed to have grown up with a full understanding of how the world operates, after reading this one dirty book. 
Once is Not Enough is a typical no brainer and I would not read it, now at this age, even if I had nothing else to do. I would rather watch trash then read trash.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Three Most Scandalous Books read by Me

This is a very interesting topic and I have been thinking of writing on this for quite sometime. Infact this idea popped in my mind while putting together the top ten favourite books list. I even discussed it with Sri ( my partner in all crazy things- be it reading trash or watching Pakistani serials on YouTube) and Sri being Sri loved the idea and gave me the go-ahead. So here I am with my latest list of the three most scandalous books I have read, till date.
I was a very boring, obedient and a  completely non adventurous child who enjoyed being in everyone's good books,  to the extent that I was probably the only girl in my batch who had not read a single mills and boon by the time I reached class 10, and only because I was very scared of my mom and did not want to be scolded by her. But having said that I would like to add here that though I had not read any trash till then but my curiosity for reading it was very high and this lead to my first brush with a dirty book.
I have read these three books at different junctures of my life and each has been quite an experience.
I am going to post one book each for the next three days and would really enjoy reading your comments on it.