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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Beaten By Bhagath! by S. V. Divvaakar

Beaten By Bhagath! by S. V. Divvaakar

Rating: 4 out of 5

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789382473039

Read between: 18-02-2013 to 23-02-2013

Not more than twice I saw this book on the 'Upcoming Coming' or 'New Releases' shelves of few online bookstores. I wouldn't have picked this book up, if GoodReads.com hadn't chose as one of the ten randomly picked winners of the give-away of this book. I wouldn't be more fortunate to come across this book.

Plot (from back cover of the book):
'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.

Biteen 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 side the ring, 'Beaten by Bhagath' is a gripping tale ...the first-ever about the unseen side of wonderland of Indian fiction.

My take on the book:
Aspiring to be an author, myself, this book was God-sent, I thought when I first received this book at my door-step.

The choice of the cover design was not a good one. A cricket batsman taking books head-on. The plot and the cover of the book seemed, to most extent, unconnected. The story is absolutely authors, books, getting published and succeeding as an author. It deals little, almost zero, with cricket. Especially when people, like me, judge and pick up books just by the book's covers, it is very important for the cover to be good. At the same time, the cover should be related to the plot of the story, so that the reader doesn't feel cheated after coming to know that idea he assumed when he saw the cover and the actual story is different.

I want to agree that the, so called in the story, name of the greatest writer of India Dr. Ketan Bhagath, alias K-10, is, more than coincidentally, rhyming with the current boom in youth, Chetan Bhagat.

From my experience, I know that an author's struggle starts writing a story and ends with signing a contract with a publisher, who will eventually publish the author's book. That is what most of the people would think of. But this book has unveiled that finding a publisher is just the start of the problems. The hard work needed post-signing off the contract with a publisher is ten folds greater the sustained hard work by the author till then. I was moved to know that there are eleven new books a day. I know there is a huge competition, and tough one at that, of getting published, but the mere number - eleven - shook me no end. But then, I don't know. This book is a work of fiction and I didn't care to waste time comparing the extent of factuality of the book.

This book was more knowledgeable than I have anticipated. The writing at the start was pretty amateurish but then the writing with the plot, itself, got more and more interesting. After all the problems of a debutant author is put forward, the story takes on, what seemed to me like, a science fictional turn. It is this part of the story that isn't any typical. There was not a mention of this part in the plot or the description of the book. Perhaps, the author didn't want to bore the non-writing readers. But what he didn't reckon was that that part of the story had violated the key plot of showcasing the struggle and problems associated with the wonderland of Indian fiction.

Overall, a not-so-entertaining, but enriching read. Though the plot lacked the entertaining factor, its realism and typicality hooks on a reader.

To all those debutant writers, who strongly believe that they would someday hold the paper back of their work in their hands, I would recommend this book. This book prepares you for the worse (definitely a life of an author couldn't get worse than this) and makes the problems post the signing contract with publishers familiar.

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