Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Book Review: Beaten By Bhagath by S V Divvaakar

On the jacket:

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 debutant 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 challenger’s 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


Beaten By Bhagath as is evident from the synopsis, is a tale of a man who is trying his luck as a writer, and wants to beat an established writer in this pursuit. An easy read, I would not say I did not enjoy reading the book. The author has very smoothly transitioned the events between past and present. Events can be easily identified with. 

It's funny how the author has cleverly twisted the names, specially in case of Ketan Bhagath and the various publishers. Events from the author's and Ketan's hostel life during their engineering days are quite entertaining. However, I didn't quite see the reason why the parody on a famous author had to be done. As a memoir of someone who made an attempt to be an author, the book makes absolute sense and can be identified by anyone, be it a journalist, a blogger or an aspiring writer. 

If you are planning to get published, that too in India, this book will give you a fair idea of how things do work. Being a professional editor since almost a decade now, it was interesting to read the protagonist's experiences with getting the transcript reviewed. The author has compared the book to a slut, which has offended some readers, I gather. However, the author is not very far from the truth. I we assess the Indian market for books by new authors, the books indeed are being pimped shamelessly by authors and their PRs. 

All in all, an easy read.

Rating: ***/5

[This is an author requested review, however, the review is unbiased and honest, in lieu of a review copy of the book.]

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