“I’m sure you can do a much better job than Bhagath!” When BB hears these inspiring words from his sexy lady boss, his staid life as a successful analyst in an MNC goes into a tailspin.
Bitten by the ego bug and smitten by her, BB sets off on his quest to write a book that’s better than India’s greatest writer Dr. Bhagath’s blockbusters. Nothing unusual about this for BB, who likes a good fight. Except that he and Bhagath had been classmates and friends at college.
What follows is a roller-coaster voyage of the debutante author and his book, with all its twists and cul-de-sacs. Brushes with publishers, celebrities, retailers, book chains, and competition with the alliances among giants, mark the challengers journey, upping the stakes at every stage. Will BB catch up with his famous friend?What will their encounter be like?Written from inside the ring, Beaten by Bhagath is a gripping tale the first-ever about the unseen side of the wonderland of Indian fiction.
This one was doing rounds in the virtual book bazaar when I started as a book critic. I had checked the blurb and wondered about ‘reality fiction’ as I didn’t know much about the concept then. The title surely invokes a feeling of recognition about the parody done on somebody. However, I didn’t get a chance to review it in the first edition and then came the pleasant surprise that a second edition has arrived in the market. A book in its second edition in these tumultuous times of Indian Publishing? Well then, it surely has stirred quite a few souls.
The beginning is a tad drab, I must admit. The first few chapters with the introduction of our idol K-10 and the ragging period reminded me of the original Bhagath’s book. The first thing you would notice in the early chapters is the nomenclature of K-10. Like my fellow bloggers, I too wondered whether the author was aware of the existence of Ketan Bhagath, the writer. After the initial jitters, the story picks up its pace when BB completes his manuscript and tries to find publishers. It seemed quite a real account of what happens with debut authors these days.
The econodynamics of Indian publishing is well narrated with examples and lot of allusions. The original names are not much distorted to provide an easy recognition. The fact that the author is actually very attached to his first book is amply proven when he compares the book with God, prostitutes and children in different situations. The second half of the book is quite well-paced and informative.
Though I normally avoid English books with full sentences in Hindi, they were used here in a clever way not to spoil the writing. There are a few typographical and grammatical errors, but they can be ignored since the book in its totality was better. It is an interesting read with lot of perspectives useful for aspiring authors like me, albeit it will scare them before venturing the market with a book.
A good job done by the author, and congratulations on making it beyond the first edition.
My Rating: 3.75/5
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.
Language: English, Genre: Fiction/Reality Fiction
Publisher: Leadstart, Year Published: 2012
Binding: Paperback, Edition: Second, Pages: 193
ISBN-13: 9789382473039, ISBN-10: 9382473033
Reviewed for: Author
This review is also shared with the Indian Quills Reading Challenge at The Tales Pensieve.