58 days without any posts-No it's not loss of interest or lack of creative juices. In fact the 58 days have been a period without any lazy Sundays or for that matter any lazy day. New assignments at job, a promotion, a trip to home, two Grishams, shedding around 10 kg of weight, search for a new place to stay, conflict of head and heart, news of Dad's health, unprecedented expenses, Diwali celebration and today an early morning where the 58 days of memories boiling in the cauldron of the restless mind wants to release on the screen. If I got down to weave all my recent experiences the result would be perhaps an interesting novel. OK if not interesting, a bad-seller none-the-less at least a novel.
Exposition for such a long narrative is always a problem. I guess I can begin with Grisham since reading is something I would otherwise be doing all the time, if I was a lucky 'rich unemployed son-of-an-industrialist-with-3-contributing workaholic elder-sibling' (The lack of English terms to describe crazy imagination has been always appalling.)
John Grisham- I was hooked onto him when I read into him for the first time in "The Runaway Jury". Unlike Sheldon's dramas and thrillers, that would rightfully do well as a Hollywood flick, Grisham's novels retain a classic touch of a slow narrative which, I find appealing. The protagonists of his novels are contemplative and ironically dispose themselves very well in a delayed narrative that begs the readers to follow each line as the author would want it to. Read "The Chamber" and you will understand what I mean. A few months ago I had picked up an omnibus of two of his recent novels- "The Brethren" and "A Painted House." A trip to hometown meant that I could relish the investment over the journey and stay. I began with "The Brethren." Divulging very less of the plot, I will simply rate the novel a 5 out of 10, because though a very interesting thriller, I found it as a run-of-the-mill stuff. Scheming judges, a US Presidential candidate, an intelligent and crippled CIA director, an unusual secret and a very well devised scam-perfect ingredients for the Hollywood flick(I checked on the net and as of now no news of any producers wanting to produce it. Maybe someone should read this blog!!!)
It is "A Painted House" that managed to stimulate me into an intellectual orgasm. This is not the usual Grisham-"A Painted House" is perhaps Grisham's attempt of a memorable Classic that would one day qualify for literary interests. Set in the Southern US city of Arankasas in 1952, the novel is a pale but firm shadow of two of my favourite classics- George Eliot's "The Mill on the Floss" and Harper's " To Kill a Mocking Bird" I don't know if the latter classics were revolving in his mind, but I were him it certainly would. Unlike his other novels, "A Painted House" has a narrative of a young 10 year old-Luke Chandler and his decriptive experiences gloss the tense, deep rooted worries that occupy the adult mind. At the same time Grisham manages to unfold the topical issues of the state and its inhabitants during the era. The cotton plantations, the look-out for labour, the Mexicans, the impending threat of weather and floods of the great Mississippi, the worries and orthodox views of farmers vis-a-vis farming versus working in the city etc are issues that blend very effectively with personal issues like being educated in the city, a child's outlook to the fragmentation of Christianity, adolescence and the love of baseball through the eyes of the ten year old Chandler. And to envelop everything, the icing in the cake is the metaphor of a house being painted. What Grisham manges to do int this novel, is to take the readers into a world which is real. For instance the worry of families whose relatives were part of the great American Vietnam mission and the fierce support for every body's personal baseball favourite teams is in the pulpit of the narrative. Read the novel, not because of the beautiful things I have written, but because it will stimulate you, keep you alert-much more than any thriller.
I did feel in one case that Grisham hurried the ending but that's my personal opinion like all of the above. One should read the novel and experience it for all that matters. The novel has been adopted into a CBS television movie/telefilm for "Hallmark Hall of Fame." Go ahead, pick it up from the shelves.
Next time-"A new place to Stay"