Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: Boomtown by Aditya Mukherjee

On the jacket:

Boomtown, a witty, delectable story of food, friendship, romance and adventure, marks the arrival of an exciting new talent.

Roy, I m going to make you an offer you can t refuse.

I can't marry you, JJ. It would ruin our friendship.

JJ laughed. Very funny, but no, I m going to start a restaurant chain. I found this amazing cook in Chandni Chowk...

Jacob James - JJ - eccentric idealist and scion to a wealthy family, is determined to make it big on his own. A chance meeting with Jaaved, an innovative young chef at an iconic Old Delhi restaurant, triggers an idea. What if JJ set up a chain of fusion restaurants, spinning new-age twists on traditional recipes?

As JJ embarks on his grand entrepreneurial journey, he convinces two others to join him Roy, a disgruntled engineer, and Sheetal, a feisty single mother who works in the hotel industry. Join the team as they travel from the crumbling Mughlai kitchens of Chandni Chowk to the trendy upmarket eateries of Gurgaon, from the corporate corridors of venture capitalists to the crummy offices of property brokers.

Will they realize their Great Entrepreneurial Dream? Or will Khan Mian, legendary chef and Jaaved s grandfather, hell-bent on protecting his heritage and his traditions, thwart their plans?


If I say, Boomtown was a brilliant debut read, it would be an understatement. It is more than brilliant, it was highly impressive. Right from page 1, it was captivating. Well evolved characters, smooth narration and easy flowing words. From the moment, the book said that Jaaved was trying to make modifications in his family recipes and see how the changes work, as a reader, I was trapped. The plot and characters are such that one will end up reading the book as a third person, present in all the scenes. 

Other characters in the book are JJ (JAcob James) a rich guy, who is determined but doesn't want to do any work, Karthik a software professional who has just lost his job and Sheetal, a restaurateur, a successful one too. Jaaved's modified recipe and these three entrepreneurs. That's what the book is about; a book about entrepreneurs. The title didn't make much sense to me, and to be frank, some other title might have seemed more fetching for such a brilliant read. 

Each of the four young people mentioned above have strong characterizations, but Jaaved is a treat in himself. The more you read, the more you would wish such a person actually existed, and you could get to know him, his mind!!

A foodie, a food lover, and entrepreneur, a good book lover - whoever you are, you might love Boomtown.

Rating: ****/5

[This review is for Rupa Publications. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.] 

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