My Name is Gauhar Jaan! The Life and Times of a Musician: Vikram Sampath

Review by Sadhana Ramchander I have been fascinated by Gauhar Jaan's life ever since I came to know about her. I bought this hard-bound book in the bookshop A A Hussian some years ago but it sat on my shelves for a long time. I finally read it, and am so glad I did because …

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A Broken Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen’s Secret Chord—Liel Leibovitz

“Lots of writers have dared walk up to the edge of reason and stare into that great chasm, into the abyss. Very few people have got there and laughed out loud at what they saw. It’s the divine comedy.” —Bono, on Leonard Cohen You either love or hate Leonard Cohen’s music. I bought Songs of …

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Going to the Movies: A Personal Journey Through Four Decades of Modern Film—Syd Field

What makes a movie great? Why are some movies memorable while others disappear into obscurity? The foundation underlying the performances and the directing is the screenplay. A screenplay can make or break a film. Going to the Movies is a combination of memoirs and a lesson on the art of screenwriting by a man who …

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Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch—Nick Davies

“If you shut up truth and bury it in the ground, it will grow and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through, it will blow up everything in its way.” Emile Zola Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The first sign of trouble was a report in 2007 …

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Meena Kumari: Vinod Mehta

For many years, I’ve enjoyed the writing of Vinod Mehta, the editor of the Indian newsmagazine Outlook, so I was looking forward to reading his biography of Meena Kumari, an iconic Indian actress who died in 1972. But the biography was written on a commission soon after her death, when Mehta was a young man. …

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Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen

It was in the early 80s that I first heard Bruce Springsteen. Looking for new music, I raided the tiny music shop in Secunderabad (India) and picked up Born to Run. I was hooked. The music spoke to me, although I was from a different culture and a different continent—it was the feeling deep down …

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Sergio Leone: Something To Do With Death—Christopher Frayling

I hesitated about writing this review because you have to be a real fan of Sergio Leone films to enjoy this book, and I wasn’t sure how many of the readers of this blog are. But you know that I can be a bore about films I love—so here goes. Sergio Leone was an Italian …

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