Sunday, December 29, 2013

Paperback Nightmares

There are two reasons you finish a book in one sitting. 1. It is so gripping that you don't want to sleep before finishing. 2. It is so bad that you want to know how it ends before you sleep so you can wake up and read a better book.

Rahul Saini's Paperback Dreams falls under the second category.  A story about three 'authors', one is a loser, Rohit, because he keeps telling himself that.  He has written a bestseller, and his publisher is cheating him of his money.  Second is Jeet Obiroi, a successful author, who is still basking in the glory of his 'best seller' after 19 months, and still doing book tours, and has a chiseled face, six pack abs and a killer smile.  We know it because Jeet keeps reminding us of his killer smile every time he sees a woman.  And last is a school kid, Karun, who will go to any length to get a book published, because he's so cool and so manipulative for a 16 year old school kid who goes to something called Ting Tong International School.  It's a story of these three guys, all written in first person narrative, on their journeys as a successful authors.

While the synopsis at the back of the book may seem interesting, it doesn't take more than five pages into reading the book that you start cringing.

Jeet describing himself, "They're carrying a big picture of me with my killer smile.." "It's the usual thing - hot chicks check me out whenever I travel."  "It was a good decision to wear this red t-shirt I am wearing today. It highlights my guns and girls love it." "I look at her from the corner of my eye as she catches a glimpse of my six pack."  What. What. What. And these are not even as cringeworthy as a conversation between Jeet and a fellow traveler,

"Do you have a pen?"

A question with a dirty annotation, I like that.

"Of course I have one.  Every man's got to have one," I smile.
 Like, seriously? I had to try very, very hard not to throw up.

And then there is always the quintessential loser, who has a perfect girlfriend, who he whines away to breakup, but she still comes back to her because he is a 'good guy' and he has written a best seller which called "Those Things in Everybody's Life, Big and Small' (and we are supposed to assume that this doesn't have any dirty annotation attached to it, because he doesn't even swear) . No, I'm not giving any spoilers away, because there is nothing like a spoiler.  This book is as predictable as the next Tata Sumo bursting into flames in a Rohit Shetty movie.

And then there is ruthlessly ambitious Karun, who's like an annoying prick, and made me roll my eyes so much that now I can see even from the back of my head.  There is no way I could tell how bad some of the parts of the book were without copying the entire book here.

I'm even more exhausted writing this review than I was reading the book because I just want to forget I ever read this, and cannot wait to read another book because I don't want this to be the last book I read in 2013.

Rahul Saini, it is because of people like you some of us dislike Chetan Bhagat.  Because he pioneered the movement where everyone with Microsoft Word is now a writer.

If despite the review above, you still want to buy the book, please go here.

Book courtesy: Flipkart
Published by: Penguin Metro Reads
Genre: Fiction
Price: Rs. 140 (I wouldn't even give it two phooti kaudis)

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