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Book Review: The Bestseller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian

TBSW2015 has been a year of surprises. People you have known in certain roles have broken the glass ceiling and have reinvented themselves in new avatar. We have witnessed new trends, matured over bitter-sweet experience and grown wiser, thanks to books.

End of the year was sensational, to say the least, thanks to Blogadda who chose me to review Ravi Subramanian’s latest novel ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’. We have known Ravi Sir as a thriller writer who took us into the dark abysses of the banking world. With his latest work, he has turned a new leaf – The Bestseller She Wrote explores relationships, the backroom happenings of the publishing business and above all, love.

Written in Ravi Subramanian’s usual lucid style, The Bestseller She Wrote is a gripping read (I finished the book at one go during a 10 hour train journey). A classy page turner, the book opens on a slow note as we are acquainted with the characters. But as the novel gets steamier, the pace picks up and slowly the ‘thrill factor’ grips you.

The Bestseller She Wrote – needless to point out – is about a book, a bestseller that Shreya wants to publish. In her final year at a prestigious MBA institute, she is one of those readers who looks down upon the current breed of authors in India who write in English. She abhors the idea of commodification of books and marketing them as any other product. This is until she meets Aditya Kapoor, the reigning king of literary circles.

As Shreya is introduced to Aditya Kapoor’s works, she is smitten by him. A bond develops and finally their relationship turns into a full blown affair (spoiler alert). Aditya, in turn, feels guilty of cheating on his wife Maya and his son. He is torn between his family and his bond with Shreya.

So far this sounds like a mushy Ekta Kapoor plot, right? You must be wondering where the thrill in this love triangle is. You are forgetting about one key character in this plot – the book Shreya has penned. The centre of the entire storm, this book will finally be the pivot that will be the clue to the mystery integral to Ravi Sir’s narrative.

In short, The Bestseller She Wrote is a story of love, betrayal, deceit, obsession and ambition. There are moments in the book you will really adore – that sequence where Aditya and Shreya debate about books being marketed as products, or the sly reference to Chetan Bhagat judging a dance reality show. The description of ‘foreplay’ when Shreya visits Aditya’s place for dinner was sensuous.

However, the romance in the narrative was lacking. Parts of it felt like ‘been there, done that’. The writing could have been more passionate. The ‘Ebola’ angle was also very filmy and the sequence where Aditya’s ‘prayers’ bring back Maya from near death was too melodramatic. Towards the end, when things suddenly start falling in place, that too very easily, it is a little too much to take.

However, one must laud Ravi Subramanian for taking the leap of faith and taking a break from writing another banking thriller. The Bestseller She Wrote is honest, and that is what I love about this book.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

Book Review: Beaten By Bhagath!

Beaten-by-Bhagath-Review‘I’m sure you can do a much better job than Bhagath!’

When BB hears these inspiring words from his “sexy” lady boss, he makes an earth shattering decision, that changes the course of his life. He wants to pursue his passion of writing, and make it big and overthrow the celeb author K-10, who also happens to be his friend. The book chronicles the struggle of an aspiring, debutante writer.

We have seen many films that portray struggling actors, and how they fight against all odds to shine in the star-studded world of celebs. This is the first time we get an insight into the big bad world of publishing.

What follows is a roller-coaster ride of trials, tribulations and of course fun. Brushes with publishers, celebrities, retailers, book chains, and competition with the alliances among giants, mark the challenger’s journey, upping the stakes at every stage. The author is brutally honest about his opinions, and does not mince words while writing about the publishing industry.

The story easily flows, although a bit tedious at times. While the author sticks to modern lingo, it became a sore-point of the book. Mixing Hindi and English freely into the narration is confusingly irritating.

That was the good part. Here comes the bad. I feel Beaten by Bhagath is just another addition to the Chetan Bhagat-esque writers club. Be it the writing style, language or the appeal – it is too “massy” (if you know what I mean). Not that it is bad, but I would never have bought a book like this, had I not received the book for review. There is a growing trend among Indian writers to emulate the CB formula. Incidentally, the book itself talks about it. However, does it stand out in the herd? Find out yourself.

If you are travelling soon, this could be an ideal read to while away time at the airport/on the train.

About the Author:

S.V.Divvaakar, an alumnus of the IIT Delhi, is an international Monitoring and Evaluation specialist and serves on the boards of a few international companies. He is now in the process of a gradual transition, re-balancing his professional work and his creative interests: writing and music. He composes music, sings and plays the key board. His music addresses matters of public interest, such as: Corruption, Delhi s traffic, and Commonwealth Games. He writes a blog Life Purpose and Happiness and has now ventured into writing, picking up the genre of realistic fiction. This is his second novel. Divvaakar lives with his wife and son in New Delhi.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

P.S. I am sorry for the very late review. Because of some miscommunication on part of the courier services, I had not received the book. Upon Yatin’s request i got hold of a copy and reviewed it 🙂

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

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