Sunday, June 16, 2013

Beaten by Bhagath! by S. V. Divvaakar (Book Review)!!!

   Aah!!! As I said in my last post too, seems as if Frog/Leadstart publication has become one of my pet publication whom I am reading quite often these days. Right now I am just done with 191-pages novel "Beaten by Bhagath!" which also has the tagline "A Tale of Two Writers". This novel is being written by S. V. Divvaakar. Though its not his debut work but seems to be- as his first novel didn't do quite well. With some authors, the scenario is that they believe in writing what they feel than going in the same flow in what every commercial writer are con-temporarily writing. This is what, sometimes, turns out to be lucky but sometimes hard on luck. The same happened with S. V. Divvaakar with his debut novel and this book "Beaten by Bhagath!" is also based on the same topic. Let's introduce the author first before talking about how good and bad the book is. :-)

           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.

            The synopsis of the book says:-
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 thats better than Indias greatest writer Dr. Bhagaths 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 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.

   Coming to the author, as I have said above, S. V. Divvaakar has definitely tried something which not many writer will dare to. I have known many authors, who after getting a new publisher, wanted to write a satirical on their previous publisher or its CEO. But none have been able to do this. For this attempt, I would like to salute S. V. Divvaakar. If he continues this face-off with the reality, he will be an awaited-author for the reader-base that loves reading such books. And there's something amazing about this book, though its noted down under the Fiction category but while reading, I found that its as much a non-fiction as much it's a fiction. This is something that I find very rarely in books. 

           Coming to the story, yes, its about how BB's boss motivates him to write a book and tells him that he can beat Ketan Bhagath, the bestseller author of India. As BB turns out to be the classmate and college-time friend of the author, he feels that if he can be an author, why can't he beat him. With this ego and competitive attitude, he completes writing his book. And with this, he discusses what problems he faced while writing the book and how after the book gets completed, he has to face rejections and how even after he gets published, he does not enjoy the status of the author as he has imagined. There's a tale at every step of the story. To know the complete story, get the book. :-)

             As its obvious that it was no one other than Chetan Bhagat whom author has continuously talked about in the book, it was fun to imagine his tryst with him during the college time. Then the poem that is being written about how one friend reach heights while other is still struggling is also beautifully written. Then the unsocial life of the writer and the problem he faces because of cutting-off from his family and relatives is rightly described. Later on, the Ghanta Singh part made me laugh like hell. There are some moments in the book which are too funny to stop laughing as you start comparing them with real-life examples which are exactly as same as they are described. The middle part of the story is the best according to me. Then, in the pre-climax, the revolutionary idea that a party brings towards the writer is something I didn't expect the way the story takes turn lately. It's a surprise.

          Now talking about the drawbacks- Initially as the story starts, it seems as if its going to be a childish tale of how a writer will face rejections. Though after few pages, I realized that its a mature tale which tells about the reality of the publishing industry in India. Then I didn't like the part where writer tells about how the protagonist tears his book out of frustration. Also, I felt that the climax was too dramatic after a time. The book could have been written in a much better way but still whatever the author has pointed out, I will recommend everyone who's thinking of entering the industry with their manuscript ready or are about to write a book to read this book before thinking of being a Successful and Bestseller writer in India. Even the cover page does not synchronizes correctly with the story. In all, I would give this book 3.75/5. Just a bit of better execution could have fetched 4 stars but for now, its 3.75 which means you can definitely try this book for once.



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