Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: Rupa Publications India (3 November 2018)
Akshay Saxena, an out of work editor of a defunct literary magazine in the UK, is told to move to India for a year to help shore up the value of Kalim, an ailing Indian publisher.
Akshay finds himself in a job where he has to do the impossible. Angus Lee, the new owner of Thomson Lee Books, wants at least five bestsellers in the coming year, failing which the business would be wound up.
He has to find a way of making a success out of books he would never publish or would never even read. To complicate things further, he has to contend with motley crew of has-beens and misfits working for the publishing house as well as wannabe writers, dealing with their follies and derisive tactics, and battle his own affections for Zorah Kalim, the impulsive daughter of his former boss
Will he succeed in bringing out that one ‘bestseller’ from his publishing house? And what about his own life and love in office? Find out in this riveting read.
Review and Rating
Akshay Mathur, a 34 something divorcee is fired from a UK based magazine. He is forced to work in India at Kalim Publishing that often compromises quality of literature.Things always don’t go his way and the supremo of the publishing dies an unfortunate death. The onus is on him to keep the cog in the wheel turning.He is given an ultimatum of placing five books on the best seller charts within a year by Angus Lee who has a major stake in Kalim publishing. Akshay is surrounded by a hoard of colourful characters -Sita, the receptionist who is rumoured to be the mistress of Iqbal Kalim, Tarun the bald burly new CEO who can go to any length to resurrect the lost glory of the publishing house. Then there are authors like Sudhir, Vinod Dutta, Anya Malik who are in talks with the publishing house for publishing their books in the sci-fi, erotica and romance genres respectively. The road is not smooth for Akshay and his team as they are constantly under fire for ‘licking ass’ of the celebrity Roshan Khan. Vinod Dutta’s wishes for his book to see the light of the day before his death. How will Akshay manage with numerous authors grabbing his throat eyeing for the best seller charts ? Will he live to others expectations on the cost of compromising his personal interests?
I had a fair idea on the working of a publishing house. But this book gave a broader view of the happenings in a sarcastic tone.Akshay’s character was fleshed out well. As the narrative was from his perspective, you read the story in his voice. His transformation from an opportunist coot to a person feeling protective towards his venture was heartening to witness.Other characters were just apparitions and sometimes it was difficult to wrap our heads on them. Their fallibilities in the language were the major laugh out loud moments in the book.There were multiple plot lines running parallely which were fairly well managed. The writing was crisp and eloquent which made it a compelling read.
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