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Title: 60 Minutes
Author: Upendra Namburi
Publisher: Westland Ltd
Genre: Corporate Drama
Price: Rs. 350
Spoiler alert! (Maybe, but who cares)
High-profile jobs, reputations, relationships and marriages are at stake. Stealth, blackmail and secret liaisons exposed. Emotions mired in doubt and ambitions entangled in hostility. As the battle for supremacy continues, who will falter, who will persist and who will come out on top?
60 minutes has three main protagonists who control the entire story. Agastya, the CMO of a big FMCG company 'BCL', is all set for the most important product launch of his career, that is scheduled in 60 minutes. Maithili, his mistress, who threatens to disclose their affair to his wife and the media if he does not come up with 15 crores in the next 60 minutes. Sailesh, Agastya's arch rival who is the CMO of BCL's competitor Stark. He is all set to do anything to stop Agastya from this product lunch and he has 60 minutes to destroy his enemy.
60 minutes starts of at 2.30 pm, exactly 60 minutes before the product launch. The story unfolds in the next sixty minutes. Agastya is desperately trying to get everything right so that the product launch goes smooth. Suddenly, Maithili storms into his cabin and claims 15 crores in the next one hour, else she goes to his wife and the press. Agastya's wife Nandita is the weakest character in this book. She is unaware of Agastya's first marriage and does not suspect his infidelity even for a second. She appears and disappears from the story now and again. Maithili was the most confused character in the book. She seems like a caricature of some psycho movie. She sleeps with Agastya at her will, fights with him, claws at him, abuses him and challenges him. And the icing on the cake, she is in a live in relationship with Ismail, an alcoholic divorcee who abuses her like there is no tomorrow. Sailesh hardly has any background story apart from his professional life. He is married to Tanya, who somewhere during the course of the book ends up sleeping with Agastya.
This book was marketed as a racy corporate drama where all the action would unfold in sixty racy minutes. Unfortunately, the author tries desperately to build the characters and their background stories within these sixty minutes. The story moves from the past to the recent past to the present and back to the past. This was extremely troublesome. By the time you realize what is going on, you are transported back to the past which makes no sense what so ever to the current story. The story toggles between corporate politics and the share market and most importantly sex. Unnecessary sex. And not in a good way. Who ever has sex in this book, has it the violent way with screaming, biting, pushing and beating. If that was not disturbing enough, every woman puts up with this shit willingly!
This book was trouble right from page one. After a few pages, it became a nightmare. If I did not have to review this book, I would have thrown it in the darkest corner of my bookshelf. This book doesn't have a weak story. It has no story whatsoever. After a few minutes it felt like I was watching a Madhur Bhandarkar movie in slow motion. A horrible one at that. The book is supposed to be real but nothing about this book is. The story is supposed to be concentrated on the rivalry between Sailesh and Agastya, but their stories are so bleak that at one point of time you are trying to understand what exactly are they fighting for. Their rivalry does not have a decent back story and their squabbles feel so childish that it feels like they are fighting for a toy. The story would have probably been better if they were fighting for a girl instead!
At 360 odd pages, this book was a drag. The book says "Racy" on its cover but the book is anything but that. But even some decent editing would not have helped this book. This story would have been a drag even if it was at 50 pages. The concept is decent enough, two corporate rivals fighting it out for the top spot. But over a detergent? Seriously? Unnecessary inclusion of the share market does not blend in at all and seems far fetched. I have no idea why they needed to include this. Maithili's history with an abusive uncle does not help her character at all. She is shown as suicidal and strong at the same time. I wonder how that works. Nothing works in this book. Not the non-existent story, nor the characters.
Verdict: Weak in every sense of the word. Read only if you want to waste more than 60 minutes of your life.
Rating: 1 out of 5.
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