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This summer,graphic novel lovers will be acquainted with a hotel at the end of the world—where travellers share their tales over rice and pork curry.

Written by Alaka Sahani |
May 3, 2009 2:56:35 am

Summer ‘09 book picks are a mix of new thrills and old favourites

This summer,graphic novel lovers will be acquainted with a hotel at the end of the world—where travellers share their tales over rice and pork curry. When Parismita Singh’s graphic novel The Hotel at the End of the World releases this month,these storytellers will create a magical yet real world with her narrative and artwork. Drawing from various oral storytelling and folklore traditions,and with influences ranging from Commando war comics to World War II history and Buddhist art,Singh will keep the readers engaged as rising mercury levels makes afternoons unbearable.

Since there can’t be a better substitute to thrillers when it comes to spicing up vacations,Random House has The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall. It has portly detective Vish Puri delving into the investigation when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant. With his team of undercover operatives—Tubelight,Flush and Facecream,Puri ingeniously combines modern techniques with principles of detection established in India more than 2,000 years ago. Author Tahir Shah calls Puri “the most original detective in years”. “Picture Hercule Poirot with an Indian accent,eating chili pakoras and riding in an auto rickshaw,” he adds.

However,for those looking for some thrilling moments in international settings,Penguin is releasing Daniel Suarez’s Daemon soon. This hi-tech thriller set in the information age shows the collapsing boundaries between reality and cyberspace. A programming genius is dead but his final creation lives on to execute his last will and testament. This is a must-read for those who lap up the late Michael Crichton’s fiction.

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This season,master storyteller Mario Puzo’s page-turner Six Graves to Munich written a year before he completed The Godfather and published under pseudonym makes its debut in the Indian market. The novel takes the reader to the final days of World War II. An American intelligence officer is tortured by a group of Gestapo officers. A decade later,he returns to track and kill his tormentors,one by one.

A two-decade-old secret haunts four school friends in Secrets and Lies with a cover reminiscent of a Sex and the City poster. Jaishree Misra shifts the action to the early ‘90’s Delhi. Four friends reuniting after 15 years,forced to confront the fact that Lily,a newcomer,was found dead on the night of their school prom. Dead on Time by Meghnad Desai has all the trappings of becoming a major summer release when it releases in June. Author Ruth Rendell says,“Dead on Time is a compelling read,a treat for politics aficionados.” Some readers might prefer the tried and tested. Random House has launched Summer Paperbacks. Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth is released with a new cover along with Mohammad Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes,Moni Mohsin’s The Diary of a Social Butterfly and John Grisham’s The Associate.

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