Book Review: Beaten By Bhagath (S. V. Divvaakar)
Book: Beaten By Bhagath
Writer: S. V. Divvaakar
Publisher: Leadstart Corp.
Number of Pages: 190
In India, we have many writers who have set a benchmark in the literary world, and became a phenomena of Indian writing. But whenever we talk about young authors, there is one name that overshadows all, Chetan Bhagat (CB). He’s been a benchmark for many aspirant authors making their debut in hopes of being the next CB. However, no one admits it on their face. So here is a Reality Fiction ‘Beaten By Bhagath’ by S. V. Divvaakar, an alumnus of the IIT Delhi, and an international Monitoring and Evaluation specialist and also serves on the boards of a few international companies. ‘Beaten By Bhagath’ deals with the CB dilemma in a lighthearted manner. However it’s my personal opinion about Chetan Bhagat, Book or Author’s views aren’t about CB. The book is written around a fiction character Dr. Ketan Bhagath.
The back blurb 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 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 inside the ring, ‘Beaten by Bhagath’ is a gripping tale ...the first-ever about the unseen side of the wonderland of Indian fiction.
Cover jacket is just OK, not so good, not so bad. But with such a plot, it’s too hard to find a good design. However, white background makes it easy to spot on bookshelves even from a distance.
The story revolves around an exceptionally successful analyst in an MNC, who always had a magic touch in his words but he didn’t realize until his lady boss told her that he can beat Ketan Bhagath (not CB) by his writing. Dazzled by her words he starts his voyage to beat his old roommate, who once promised to be friends for ever. Later Ketan (or K-10 as mentioned) became a writer of several bestsellers and literally became a phenomena of success in the literary world. Bitten by the ego-bug, protagonist Balwant Bhagath (BB) decides to beat Bhagath by writing a ‘better’ novel. And while chasing the dream of creating a best seller, BB learns a lot about the dirty secrets of the publishing industry.
‘Beaten By Bhagath’ is divided into Six sections or timelines. The first section is of BB’s college days, when he mate Ketan, and is quite like another version of Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat. The second section is about how BB wrote his Novel, ‘The Sinner’s Curse’. And is best part of the novel. It gives a lot idea of What-Not-to-do while writing a book. Thirst section is about the release of his novel, and deals with the aspects that most regular readers aren’t aware of. The fourth section is about market strategies and behavioral study of the publishing industry. I must admit, this section is not only one of the most researched section, but the most demotivating section as well. It truly changed my thoughts about the book trade. The fifth section is about the results, and verdict of the public for BB’s novels, which at times is funny, and is really touching on the other side. There’s a beautiful poem for BB’s son, which is really touching. The end of this section gives a new hope, and feeling of a fresh beginning. And at the end, sixth section is written in a futuristic manner. It feels quite like a climax of a sci-fi novel, and is my personal favorite.
Mr. Divvaakar’s language is sharp and well structured. His experience as an analyst is clearly visible in the narration. Practical approach towards every aspect of the book is something very new. Every sentence is well structured, and the book has almost no grammatical error. However, a few punctuation errors are visible; some Hindi words aren’t italic at many places, some of them are in critical places. Little more precise editing would have made it “Perfect”. Being a one-sitting reader, I mostly read books in just one go, but Mr. Divvaakar’s narration has not been able to make me engrossed in the book. At times it became boring, and anecdotes and funny incidences stopped making much sense. But that’s reality; dull and boring. What else could be there in a reality fiction? On page no. 127, the author himself admitted it, by calling it a ‘page-turning’ (read the book to know Real meaning of this term) section. But later, it picked up the pace and made up for the earlier dullness.
To Sum-up my review I would say, Mr. Divvaakar has done a decent job with ‘Beaten By Bhagath’. Since the book is written as an insider’s point of view, it gives a lot of eye-opening (sometimes eye-popping) facts about publishing. Some of them were interesting, and close to the common reality. While many others were specific to a certain class of people who can spend anything to see their names as a ‘Published Author’. Spending money recklessly to get Facebook likes, or for another fancy tantrum that can contribute to the sales of a book is really out-of-the-way for many. If you are someone who is planning to write a novel soon, this book is for you. And especially for those who think being a Published Author is the easiest job. The book is light to read, but I won’t suggest it for teenagers, seeking a hopeless story. It’s for mature readers, who can not only read, but analyze the story as well.
If Mr. Divvaakar is working on another project, I wish him a very best of luck. And thanks for sending in the Author Signed Copy.
Note to Publisher: This is the second book of Leadstart I’m reviewing (Left From Dhakeshwari was first), and I must congratulate them for encouraging such non-conventional subjects from such a wide spectrum of authors. Decent printing , and good page quality is what I always expect, and Leadstart never compromise on that. Thanks for thinking from The-Other-Way.
Happy Reading :)