Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stranger to History

I have been reading this Book for many months now. Interrupted by work load, travel and general laziness, I wouldn't actually describe the book as un-put-down-able.
I picked it up at the Strand Book Store in my office campus when I was casually browsing through the new arrivals there. What compelled me to buy the book was that it was written by a young writer, almost my age. Though buying the book was an impulse decision, I had minimum expectations. My experience with new age Indian English writers wasn't very inspiring. But Aatish Taseer's Stranger to history has been a pleasant surprise.
It is very difficult to classify this book into a genre. It is part biography, part travelogue, a bit of world history and much more. Aatish uses his journalistic experience to describe places, situations and societies. But more appealing is his ability to express himself - his precise emotions, dilemmas and idiosyncrasies of people and groups of various nationalities and faiths. The book outlines his journey from Istanbul to Pakistan, where Aatish seeks answers to many questions, some personal and a few not so personal.
If you like reading stuff that asks more questions than it answers, if you entertainment is not the sole driving force for your reading, this d├ębut novel is on my recommended list.
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