Patience and Prayer

Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded, (45)

~Surah Al-Baqara, Quran

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Airman by Eoin Colfer ~Book Review

The more I read Eoin Colfer, the more I fall in love with his books and the more I crave for ‘more’.

After I finished the Artemis Fowl series, I wasn’t sure I would like any other book of his. Airman, bought from Liberty Books at the 9th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF), stayed in my shelf for a long time before I picked it up a few weeks ago and immediately all my doubts shattered. Eoin Colfer’s other books are just as good, it seems. Because Airman was just too good!

The book is set up in late 1870’s when ‘flying’ has not been accomplished yet. The story starts with narrations regarding Conor Broekhart’s (interesting name, isn’t it?), the protagonist of the story, fascination and inclination towards flying. Anyone who has met him will tell that he is a smart boy, clever for his age. An incident having to do something with fire and saving a life and Conor’s brilliant escape lands him under the guidance of a scientist named Victor Vigny. Victor takes up the tutoring of Conor, and not only teaches him science and the art of fighting, but also involves him in his experiments to fly. Soon enough, Conor begins to contribute in the experiments. But a sudden turn of events lands Conor in jail for the murder of the king. His parents also believe that he is a murderer and all this compels him to escape from prison, not to prove his innocence but to flee away to another country and start a new life. There is just this one problem; the jail’s on an island, in order to escape, one would need to FLY.

Luckily, our hero has a passion for just that.

The story continues with how Conor survives in the jail as Conor Finn and how he longs to fly. But how can that be done from a jail when it wasn’t possible when he was free and under the guidance of his tutor Victor?

You will love this book. It is an interesting page turner which will keep you hooked till the very end. The characters of this book, like the characters in Eoin Colfer’s other books, throw away witty comments which will make you smile, if not laugh. This book too is light with light-hearted fun and no ramblings of the unfair attitude of life. The characters stand up to the challenges and fight the obstacles with wit, cleverness and calmness.

They say these are books for ‘young boys’. I am not a boy and not so young either, but I still love these books. I liked Supernaturalist, I liked Artemis Fowl and I liked Airman. It’s time to try his first adult novel ‘The Plugged’. I have placed an order using Liberty Books Request a Book service. I hope it’s on its way now. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

If you live in Pakistan, you can order the book from 786cart.com

Favorite lines from the book:

‘What I need you to do is close your eyes and picture the man who sent you here. Use your hatred of him to awaken the killer instinct.’

Conor did not need to concentrate for long. Bonvilain’s face sprang into his mind’s eye, complete with hateful eyes and derisory sneer.

‘And now, Conor, tell me, do you think you can kill?’

Conor considered everything Bonvilain had done to the Broekhart family.

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘I can kill.’

Praise be to Allah

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, (1) 

The Beneficent, the Merciful. (2) 

Owner of the Day of Judgment, (3) 

Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. (4) 

Show us the straight path, (5) 

The path of those whom Thou hast favoured. (6) 

Not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray. (7) 

~Surah Al-Fatiha, Quran

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom ~Book Review

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom [A Novel]

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom [A Novel]

This was my first novel by Mitch Albom and I hate to say that I am disappointed.

My expectations from this author were high. And the reviews I read promised an exceptional experience. As the novel started, it kept up with my expectations, but as the story progressed with nothing of the thrill that makes a novel a pure page-turner, my expectations began to die. The book was not exactly ‘boring’, but not exactly an ‘interesting read’ either.

The story begins with a phone ring. (What else were you expecting?) This ring was the world receiving its first phone call from heaven. And that is where it all starts, as people of this world start receiving calls from the one beyond. The callers preach about heaven. The calls are often staccato and have been received by only a few people from the town. And like everything else nowadays, this phenomenon too attracts media attention. And from something that starts from being considered a cheap hoax becomes a miracle and eventually ends up in attracting religious fanatics and devout from across the country as well as non-believers.

In the meantime, the protagonist (for the want of a better word), who has lost his wife and whose son’s eager to receive a call from his loving mom, sets on a mission to prove that all this phone call business is nothing but a prank playing on people’s emotions.

What is interesting is how people can come to believe in heaven and continue to defy it completely. How people can even use something like this to the fulfillment of their own worldly motives.

If you are a Mitch Albom fan, go ahead and read it.

If you are not, then I think you may already have skipped the review.

And if you haven’t read him before, I guess it’s better to begin with other highly acclaimed novels of his (though I haven’t read them, so no recommendations).

 

If you live in Pakistan, you can find the book at:

1. 786 Cart

2. Liberty Books