Review of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones

Books, Reviews 2 Comments

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, New York, Boston

Year of Publication: 2002

Price: $7.50 US/$9.50 Canada

Paper Back. 372 pages.

Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones I thought was one of those mesmerising books as the blurb promised. It also assured to be a ‘whodunnit’, by the way I am a great admirer of ‘whodunnits’ . So with great excitement I took the book along with me when I travelled to Bhubaneshwar Well,  I managed to finish reading The Lovely Bones but I must say it was disappointing. The story is set in the year 1973 in a small town in US. Susie Salmon on her way from school at the age of 14 is killed by a neighbour, Mr. Harvey. Susie then goes to heaven where she befriends Holly and also learns that heaven is not such a perfect place. The story is narrated from her position of an onlooker who watches what is happening on earth. She is also able to come to earth now and then which we readers can expect to be a ghostly visit. Her eerie presence is only felt by another young girl –Ruth–in the town.

On earth, her family is totally devastated by her death and her father goes into shock and starts neglecting his family. Due to this Susie’s mother leaves the family and goes away. Len the police officer wishes to catch the murderer but is unable to do so. The story then proceeds to unravel the trajectory of Susie’s sister, Lindsey and brother, Buckley’s lives. The novel ends by Harvey been indicted not for Susie’s death but for other murders he had committed earlier. Susie’s parents reunite and Lindsey gets married. The birth of Lindsey’s daughter, Abigail Suzanne is the note of hope and regeneration in the novel.

What really put me off about the novel is its pathetic slow narrative movement, maybe that is the reason reviews have called it captivating and gripping. It may be emotional drama but definitely not my cup of tea. Also the fact that Mr. Harvey gets off with all the crime that too in a nation like US of A is somehow a bit too much to gulp down. Added to this is the fact that the police seem ineffectual and useless. Personally I was disenchanted by the novel. Maybe it may appeal to some.

The Hindu – Beta

Other, Reviews 1 Comment

One of India’s Leading newspapers and my personal favorite for Indian news has finally launched a new, and much better content management system. I, was among the very first to congratulate the editor. I will list a few nice things about the system and some negative points that I as a web developer, and an ardent online news reader ( I read “The Hindu’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘The NY Times’ and ‘The Economist’ regularly) observed, while browsing through the site. Well first things first… here are the screenshots

The Hindu - Beta

The Hindu - Beta - Courtesy the Hindu 😉

The Hindu - old

The Hindu - old

As you can see, there is a lot of improvement, the CSS (styling) and code has tremendously improved. News is more visually accessible. The 3 column index page layout and 2 column news page layout is a nice spread. There are lots of added functionality like comments, tags, etc. Latest news and Todays news sections of the old version seem to be combined into one system. That’s really great. The top menu bar (which resembles NY Times top menu a bit) with sections are perfect. Somehow, I feel at home with the website. Well complements apart, there are a few things;  Really minor ones which if implemented would make a difference…

First of all the News Flash section seems out of place. The font doesn’t seem to matchthe  rest of the layout. This is really a subjective choice, but I geninely feel there is  room for improvement here.

Second. After every comment there could be a horizontal rule i.e. is a line which would help separate it from the comment. I am sure that will make it easy to read.

Third. The Textual Google ads looks out of place. If the CSS of the ads were to be tweaked, I am sure they would fit perfectly into the site.

I am still exploring the site will definitely post any suggestions here… if there are any.. meanwhile… I email this post to the editor.

Ah there are more: to my surprise the site failed the CSS test by 10 errors by w3c. The error report is here

It shows up a lot of errors (36 for HTML 5 and more for XHTML transitional and even more for XHTML strict) in the markup test by w3c. The error report is here

Dear editor,

Hope these suggestions helped. Once again thanks and do keep the news coming.

© 2009, Nikhil Hullur | Entries RSS Comments RSS