Book Review: The Best Seller She Wrote

Book: The Best Seller She Wrote

Author: Ravi Subramaniyam

Genre: Fiction

Publishers: Westland Books


Having heard about Ravi Subramanian and his financial thrillers I never made an effort to buy his books because once years ago when  I picked up a  book by John Grisham, my young mind refused to comprehend all legal jargon and the courtroom story after first few pages. Since then I have steered clear of thrillers which deal with subject I barely understand and that implies lawyer talk and finance…..The only financial thriller that I have read is Tom Clancy’s ‘Debt of Honour’ just because it was always there on bookshelf at home.

Since this was the first book by the author that I read so I had not much clue of what to expect and yet the tagline at the book cover ‘soon to be a motion picture’ gave me a fair idea that the story might be ‘one masala mix like our movies!

And sure enough with the story revolving around a banker who also is famous author, a wannabe smooth-talking ambitious B-School graduate beautiful girl and a little detective-story-like twist almost at end, it is one crowd puller. The lead character and some events in his life have a strong resemblance to one certain popular Indian author. I couldn’t help laughing when the protagonist of story agrees to be a judge for dance reality show on TV and his wife comments:

“Don’t be so blinded by the arc-lights that you make a fool of yourself”

Now only the authors concerned would know better whether the comment was just a friendly jibe or not!

The story, basically about love, betrayal of trust between friends, between a husband and wife and coming back to senses of strayed man to reunite with wife is however very predictable; a famous much married banker turned author who falls for a sexual charms of a good-looking girl, his ardent fan and cheats on his wife. How the lead character gets into some sleuthing and resurrects his broken marriage is the little twist. Even though I could guess how the relationship would play out as soon as ‘Shreya’ the attractive fan started interacting with ‘Aditya Kapoor’ the author yet I loved reading the story with the backdrop of publishing world nuggets.

There have been many similar stories and many such movies so I did not find anything fresh except that the character was IIM graduate, banker and author. The few sexual scenes were not enticing enough and at times story dragged a bit. With all the promotions and hype surrounding the book, story is quite ordinary.

There are quite some inputs about the way publishing world functions. Using names of Anurag Kashyap and Nirav Sanghavi of BlogAdda also seems like a very into your face advertisement and again gives a glimpse of behind the scene requirements in the business of book publishing.

In all, the book was a nice package and with some sizzling song dance sequences thrown in would make one mass pleasing movie. With no heavy philosophy and no moral preaching, book is good bedtime read for young readers.

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Book Review: Menaka’s Choice

Book: Menaka’s Choice

Author: Kavita Kane

Publishers: Rupa Publications

MENAKA'S CHOICEAmong the two other books ‘Karna’s Wife’ and ‘Sita’s Sister’ by Kavita Kane, I have read only ‘Sita’s Sister’ a story of Ramayan from the viewpoint of Urmila, Lakshman’s wife and Sita’s Sister. Ramayan being the story of Ram and Sita, Urmila has only little role to play in the epic yet in author’s story Urmila becomes the protagonist and retells the story from her perspective.

With her stories mostly having mythological women as her subjects, Kavita Kane has done it again….taken one less significant character from the larger than life mythological stories and woven a delicate story bringing the character centre-stage.

From the many bedtime stories narrated by grandparents and many ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ books that I read as a kid, I gathered that Menaka was one of the most beautiful ‘Apsara’ a pawn in Indra’s scheme, sent from heaven to disturb Rishi Vishwamitra’s penance and prevent him from becoming more powerful than the devas in heaven.

But author Kavita Kane has given Menaka a personality. She becomes not just a beautiful sensuous nymphet meant as diversion or for physical gratification but also a woman with a ticking brain; she is aware of circumstances, she thinks and decides her own course of action. It is her story; of how she dares to take a path of love and loyalty, of how a game of deceit becomes her truth, of speaking her mind and standing up against wrong, of how her love is destroyed by the conniving Indra not once but twice, of her decision to sacrifice her happiness for the greater good of her children and her husband, of her desperation to reunite with estranged family, of her silently bearing the pain…

Since forever, men in Indian society have been given a status equal to God…infallible! Rishis like Vishwamitra leading an ascetic life have been revered and depicted as above all mortal insecurities. But the author has shown the human side of Vishwamitra. Known for his volatile quick temper and placing a curse on whoever dared to cause trouble in his prayers, Vishwamitra is absolutely besotted by charms of Menaka and gives in to his carnal desires like any other man and seeks pleasure in the arms of the woman. He finds much satisfaction and comfort in leading a householder till Menaka pushes him away so he could reach a higher goal.

As I read page after page the lucid description of Menaka’s charm and beauty attracted me and I wished I could see this lovely damsel in flesh before my eyes too. Kavita Kane has described the romantic and amorous episodes between the sage and celestial nymph with such artistic beauty that nowhere it seems either out-of-place or vulgar…it gives you goose pimples instead… it is almost delicious to read.

‘All is well that ends well’ and  Menaka stands vindicated of her guilt of deviating the great sage from his path of attaining highest wisdom, her children have no ill feeling towards her, her sacrifice is recognised and held honourable by her husband, Vishwamitra and Indra learns a lesson of humility.

This book is as delightful to read as ‘Sita’s Sister’ with easy syrupy language. Read it for that relaxed feeling and easy joy.

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