The Alienist

Hey Booklovers! August is almost over and am wrapping up this month with my review on The Alienist. How has your month been so far?

Based on the book of the same name written by Celeb Carr and featuring an excellent screenplay, The Alienist starring Daniel Bruhl, Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans is a historical crime drama. It is one of the best pieces of work I have seen in a long time. The story is about an alienist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler by whom we mean one who studies people who are alienated from themselves (i.e, mentally unstable) played by Daniel Bruhl, the new assistant to the police commissioner Sara Howard played by Dakota and an illustrater cum friend of Dr.Kreizler John Moore played by Luke.

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The story is about a serial killer on loose who is targeting young boy whores by mutilating them in the most harsh manner I have seen in a series. Its absolutely heartless and brutal. Dr. Kreizler has a way with kids and tries to learn their minds which is his favourite part of the job so naturally when there is a child killer on loose he is more than interested to solve it especially when the police themselves aren’t interested in doing so. Barring the new police commissioner, Theodore roosevelt played to the point by Brian Geraghty, rest of the police force are corrupt including the ex chief who keeps making unnecessary appearances.

Meticulous in its detail, and lush in its recreation of 19th-century New York City, the series is nothing short of a cinematic experience. The casting is perfect and the acting is top notch, so much so they are the characters they play. Luke’s John Moore is unsure of himself having been left at the alter by his fiance recently. Both Kreizlar and Howard have their own daddy issues to resolve. The story also involves two forensic science detectives and its fun to watch them learn much of what we take for granted today specially in the area of fingerprints.

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Dakota specially is fantastic in portraying a woman in a mans world. Sure of herself but unsure in the presence of callous men. Trying to make a mark for herself despite none taking her seriously just because she is a woman. Every emotion she conveys comes across on her face, naturally. She is a born actor. Where as Daniel Bruhl commands every frame he is present in with ease. All have deeper mysteries, no doubt to be explored further in the rest of the series.

The alienist is one series I would not recommend you miss. Its crafted with such detail and atmosphere that once you start watching, you cannot stop. Thankfully season 2 is under production based on the book The Angel of Darkness by the same author.

Bibliogyan rating – Turn off the lights, forget everything else and Binge watch… The Alienist!

I am Watching You #13

Hey Booklovers! So I finished reading this book – I am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll despite not having it on my TBR list! I happened to come across this book while I was browsing for other books in the library. The book cover and the synopsis had me interested and once I started reading I was not disappointed.

So the story. Two girls on board a train in London. Our protagonist mostly known as The Witness is also on the same train. She happens to see them mingling with recently released convicts. Young and attractive they strike up a conversation with the girls. At first she panics for their safety but later decides to ignore it for reasons best understood whilst reading. The next day one of them turns out missing. One year later the case gets fresh lease of life. What happens forms the rest of the story.

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The author includes a lot of personal data for our characters. It’s not just about the missing girl anymore, you see. It’s also about her family, her best friend who was with her and her family. Their issues. Everything comes out in the open. It made everything seem more personal instead of just reading something as a third person.

I loved the writing style. It was clever, not too much, just enough to hook you. The characters were fresh and given enough meat to justify their presence. The villain was lacklustre to be honest. Could have been given more attention to it. The story unfolds rapidly and there is no dragging here unlike the many authors who do so.

Again the villain is the only weak point in this book which can be overlooked as you reach the end once its all revealed anyways.

Bibliogyan rating – A perfect weekend read.

Ready Player One – The Movie

Hey Booklovers! Recently I finally caught up to watching Ready Player One movie based on Earnest Clines novel of the same name.

I couldn’t stop raving about the book which was so detailed and where the world building was fascinating. It’s not every time I get to read a book so engrossing and adventurous at the same time. It’s a book I would love to read over and over again. But the movie? Not so much.

The movie is completely different from the book. In a good way of course. For those who haven’t read the book (highly recommended) it maybe perfectly alright as it is but otherwise it’s a let down. At least for me.

Yes, there were the same names, same worlds, same story but the quest was different. And what was that video archive in the library? Somebody is actually recording all this? Was technology that great between the 90s till the events of the book? That was a horrible thing to add in the movie.

The acting is nothing great. They do their part. But I couldn’t find myself invested in the characters like I did in the book. Sure for legal reasons you had to change a lot of things in the book and add news ones. But it was very rushed and kinda taken for granted. One of the Co-screen writers was the author himself who salvaged what he could but if you love the book this is gonna be a disappointment.

For someone who hasn’t seen the movie here’s the gist of it:

It’s the year 2045. The world has changed rapidly. For better and for worse. Poverty, famine and environmental disasters loom large yet technology has made leaps and bounds. One such technological marvel is the Virtual reality programme called the Oasis. It lets you immerse yourself in another world where you can be anything you want. Enter our hero Wade Watts aka Parzival.

He narrates a story about the creator of Oasis – James Halliday who is now dead and has left his entire fortune as well as the ownership of Oasis itself to the one who will complete three quests to find the Easter egg.

To reach this you must find three keys and unlock three equally difficult riddles. It’s been ages, five years to be precise, and nobody has cracked anything yet. But Parzival finally gets it and our journey starts from there. How does he find the next two keys forms the rest of the story with a very convincing villain in IOI who thwarts their every step mainly Parzival and his friends – Aech, Art3mis, Sho and Daito.

All the pop culture reference in the movie is a way to find the egg by Halliday who was a big fan of the 80s. There is a scene taken from The Shining that is so convincing and unbelievable at the same time. It was seriously out of the world even if it was in a movie to watch it happen like that. To me this was the highlight of the movie about Virtual reality. Imagine if you could be a part of it for real like right now. Just Wow.

So was it a good experience? Yes. Steven Spielberg makes sure you have a great movie experience but was it a good book adaptation? A big NO. They rarely are. But it’s fun for what it is. Pure cinema entertainment.

Bibliogyan ratings – Enjoy with a large tub of popcorn but get back and immerse yourself in the book for the real experience 🤗

13 Reasons Why

Hey Booklovers! Today I ain’t reviewing a book for you guys. This time am giving my two cents on a Netflix show based on the book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

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Briefly stating, the story is about a teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves thirteen tapes stating why for thirteen people and our lead is one of them.

We meet Clay Jenson in the first episode to whom the tapes are delivered at his doorsteps by someone unknown. Once he plays them we get to meet the rest of the main characters including our other protagonist Hannah Baker, the one who has committed suicide.

I don’t know what it is but I found the whole series a little ridiculous. Sure bullying is a serious problem and should be handled with the right attitude and seriousness but committing suicide? I don’t think so.

Of course, there’s the whole backstory to why she commits suicide through various characters and how they behaved and treated her which is pretty much accurate with regard to high schoolers. I hated all of them. I couldn’t imagine tolerating anyone of them in school, even the ‘nice’ ones.

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I remember some people wanted to boycott this show because it glorifies suicide by making it look pretty and personal. Millions came forward because they identified with the story and I can see why but except for the flaws in the characters none of them including Clay Jenson made any impact on me.

Maybe am been harsh having seen better series and a bunch of high schoolers and their problems seem to be silly and I confess I haven’t read the book either, so maybe the book is better? It’s a good time pass for sure but reaches nowhere near Stranger Things which has achieved cult status for me (and everyone, duh?).

Definitely the topic portrayed in the series must be discussed and teens must find a way to open up and have proper support system. In that sense the series is spot on. I have read many a reviews where it has heavily influenced them and find it easier to talk about their problems more openly. But that’s all what I find redeemable about it.

The acting is top notch. The supporting characters have done an outstanding job so much so that I seriously dislike many of them or maybe the writing is just that good?

Sometimes I felt like it was dragging on for too much. After some point I found myself annoyed at Hannah bakers character as to why if she could take so much time and thought to make those tapes then why not divulge something to your parents instead (whose sorrow is heart wrenching to watch) especially her mom whom she was clearly close to. But no. She rather make those tapes.

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I understand it’s a TV show whose purpose was to showcase teenage bullying, angst and high-school problems but it just seems more glorified for no reason. Even Clays character was weird and what the hell was up with Tony?

Clearly they have decided and at the time of writing this review released the second season but suffice to say am least interested in watching it. Maybe I will watch it some time later but not just yet.

Bibliogyan rating – Not worthy of binge watching…But watch it for the message.