Title: The Bestseller She Wrote
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publisher: Westland Ltd
Price: Rs. 295 on Flipkart.
I have heard a lot about Ravi Subramanian and the banker type of books he writes. I have only read his 'God Is A Gamer' before and found it to be an okay book. This is the first time that he has written a book on romance and I wanted to see how a banker interprets love and its varied shades. After reading a few mediocre books by Indian authors that made it up the charts, I thought the market for Indian authors is doomed. But the title of this book intrigued me enough to sign up to review it. It was a nightmare to get this book delivered to me. The courier guy screwed it up so bad that I received the book very late. Maybe that was a sign. A sign that I couldn't decipher then. The book did finally come to me on an afternoon and by night I was done with it. Yes, I finished the book in one sitting. And not because it was unputdownable.
Aditya Kapoor is in his forties and is a very successful banker and a number one writer. He writes thrillers and fame and adulation thrills him to the bone. He is married to Maya and has a six year old son Aryan. Maya has given up on her illustrious career and working with a school now so that she is able to give enough time to her son and encourage her husband's dual career.
Shreya Kaushik, freshly passed out of IIM Bangalore aspires to be an author. And it is pretty clear from the beginning that she wants to write a bestseller and is willing to do anything to get her book published.
Sanjay (I forgot his last name and did not want to go back to the book to look for it) is Aditya's best friend and partner in crime. He happens to head HR for the same bank in which Aditya heads another department. He is dating Diana Moses, his colleague.
This is how the story unfolds:
Aditya is back at IIM-B, his alma mater, to give a presentation and enters into an altercation with one of the students. Shreya is the student and she ends up reading his best seller in one night and sends out a mail to him telling him about how much she loved the book. This not only saves her ass from the director of the institute who is called Diro for some weird reason, but also helps her in befriending the paperback king and rockstar author Aditya himself. Shreya wants to be a writer and has her manuscript ready. She wants Aditya to help her get published and he goes out of his way to do that. Even if means cheating on his wife. Shreya and Aditya's affair comes to light in front of Maya and she is almost immediately diagnosed with Ebola. Aditya realizes that he still loves his wife and cannot live without her. Shreya on the other hand is only worried about how to get her book published. Sanjay is caught in the middle of all this as he tries to desperately save his friend and hide his own secrets. What happens next? You don't need to be Einstein to figure it out.
First of all Aditya Kapoor is clearly Ravi Subramanian's alter ego or atleast the man that he wants to be. Oh yeah, paperback king, popular with the ladies and all that. I understand that he jumped out of his comfort zone to explore this genre. It almost seems like a desperate attempt to do something different and something that is done in haste. The story of the book is clearly given out by the gist itself. Five chapters later I knew what is going to happen and how it felt like a soap opera. The characters are so poorly etched that you just want to laugh at their stupidity. Aditya is already a popular figure but he still risks it all by having an affair with Shreya, a wanna be author. And it took like eighty odd chapters for him to understand that she was actually using him only to get published. Fortunately, the readers are not as foolish as him.
Shreya sounds desperate to the tee. Her dialogues made me cringe and if this is the author's way of showing a bold and independent woman, he certainly has failed here. Their relationship or whatever is it that they share revolves around two things. Sex and her manuscript. Speaking of sex, just like the author in the book, the author of the book sucks at it. If I may recall "thandha" was the word that was actually used. No prizes for guessing that Aditya and Shreya were having sex, but I do not want the details of what brand of underwear the guy was wearing before he could take it off. Nor do I want to read breasts as glorious mounds of flesh or constantly talk about a woman's lace panties. Aditya, who is so in control of his life with a demanding job and a successful career as a writer is reduced to a fool as he falls for a woman who is clearly using him from the start.
The language used is so layman that you want to edit a few words into it. Slangs are used in almost every page and so are capitals. I mean, what is with that? The books also mentions the work of a few other authors including Ravi Subramanian himself. And Chetan Bhagat too. Need I say more? Anurag Kashyap (yes, the Bollywood director) too makes an appearance which I'm sure was used without his permission. The author also mentions Nirav Sanghvi of BlogAdda woven in a chapter, the very platform that is giving out his books for review. No sucking up at all, my friend! The book at 391 pages is too long and the 84 chapters make you want to rip the book apart. The reason I finished the book in one sitting was that I could not wait to be done with it and pick up something meaningful later. Apparently the book is soon to be a motion picture. I can already imagine Ekta Kapoor getting ready for auditions.
The gist says that the book is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption. Forget about exploding, it even refuses to take off.
Verdict: Boring and predictable. This book gives life to every cliche that you can think of. If I had a penny for every time I snickered while reading this book, I would have become a millionaire.
Rating: 1 out of 5.
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!