Book Review : The Bestseller She Wrote (by Ravi Subramanian)
This book reads like the fantasies of a middle aged man. Nothing of the sort that Ravi Subramanian has attempted before. Even someone like me who has read all his previous works finds it tough to get used to the sudden change of genre.
Authors are a hedonistic and self centered lot. And this book aptly demonstrates the workings of the publishing industry and the marketing blitz that goes with a book launch. The story weaves it way through campus placement, office romance, adultery, heartbreak and finally a climax that seems to have forced its way into the narration.
There are loads and loads of references to one of his contemporaries. Things like his 'first book about an engineering student', 'the paperback king of India' and 'judging a dance reality show' are too much direct for anyone to miss them. Sadly, this taking potshots does not work in Ravi Subramanian's favour as one misses the crisp narration style that has become his signature. His last book 'God is a Gamer', had been one of his best works till date and had set a very high benchmark in my mind.
Coming back to the story, the author leads a nice cushy life with a devoted wife and a child till his dalliance begins with a manipulative IIM graduate who seeks to use her relationship with him to launch her dreams. This aspiring author uses all her charms and plays on the guys ego to make him stray from his family. At this point, one has to hand it to Ravi Subramanian for the very well executed moments of physical intimacy. One usually finds that most Indian authors turn shy when it comes to sex and this uneasiness with the topic translates in some cringe-worthy stuff that has become the bane of Indian fiction. But Ravi has no such qualms.
The portrayal of the author's wife is also somewhat sad but reflective of today's society where some very talented women find themselves without the kind of support system that is required to pursue a career. And the climax bit where she forgives her husband even after his betrayal and callous behavior is just so cliched. Sorry but the typical 'Bharatiya nari' portrayal does not strike any chords in my heart and I would have much preferred a different kind of ending where she would have shown the guts to walk out of a sham marriage.
There is the mandatory twist in the tale towards the end. But it is a case of too little and too late. I had lost interest in the book by that time and just browsed though the last few pages. With not much substance to tickle your grey cells and making you pause at certain junctures, this book actually turns out to be a quick read.
If one have a couple of hours at disposal and wants a quick read, this book might interest them. For folks who are not familiar with Ravi's earlier works, this might hold better appeal. This book kind of had me confused till I realized that it is written for the sole purpose of being turned into a movie script. At that point, all the irrational and convoluted bits fell into place and everything made sense.
Rating - 3/5 ( I hope the movie is better than the book) .
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