Book review | Bestseller by Ahmed Faiyaz

Author: Ahmed Faiyaz

Genre: Drama, Comedy 

No. of pages: 188

Published on: 3rd November 2018

Published by: Rupa Publications 

Format: Paperback 

My rating: ★★★★☆

Akshay Mathur, 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.

When I first got to know about the book, I thought 'what a narcissistic title!' But then, reading the book, understanding it's context, I realised that the title does utmost justice to the book. The book is about the lesser known part of a book's life - publishing. No, it's not that deep. The book won't make you think 'Oh lord, how dark the publishing world is?' It is just about the nuances that goes around while getting a book published presented delectabley. But the catch is, the book is from an editor's point of view and that makes the book delightful. Kid you not, as soon I closed the book, my mind went, 'hah! this was interesting.'

This book is dramatic. Not in a bad way, but in a super comical way. There were times I had this big grin on my face and rolled my eyes at the characters. The book is a light read. Read it if you are bored with your mundane life because it will surely tickle you brain. The amusing plot, the premise, the underlying comedy, the dramatic turn of events and the colourful characters will keep you entertained for a couple of hours. 

With a delightful plot, comes a delightful set of characters. And this is a book where I must talk about the characters, because it's the characters that made up this book. The spine of this book are its characters.

Akshay is the no nonsense editor and our protagonist. The man whose fate spiralled down and moved to India only to find out that he is has been loaded with a massive, almost impossible, responsibility. Well, Akshay is hilarious. The way the author has built up Akshay's character, as well as the way this character thinks (in fluent sarcasm) is honestly the best part of the novel. You guys need to read this book for Akshay!

Along with Akshay comes a flock of characters, his co-workers and his brilliant cast of authors who desperately want their books to be published. There's the CEO guy Tarun who always ends up disrupting Akshay's perfectly laid plans in the last moment, Mr. Samuel who is a silent observer of all the humdrum that goes on in the office, Sita who has no better work to do than keeping a nose into everyone's business and Akshay's office romance Zorah who is feisty and adamant. The authors include Roshan Khan the good for nothing narcissistic actor who can do anything to get his book published, Sudhir the reluctant and always pestering Sci-fi writer who refuses to belief that his book is bad, Anya Malik an once-famous author who has her eyes on Akshay, Vinod Datta an ailing author who wants to see his last masterpiece published before he dies and other equally hilarious characters (you should look out for). 

Absolutely pleasant. That's all I can say. The simple, honest and fluid writing makes this book a pleasurable read. Especially the way the author delivers the dialogues. The dialogues are crisp and funny and without a doubt spices up the book.

This was a very different read for me. Can definitely say that I loved it. Though there were a (countable) few times where it went a bit monotonous because the same thing kept happening, but nevertheless this was a really good start for me for my February reads. 

Ahmed Faiyaz is the bestselling author of Love, Life & All That Jazz…, Another Chance, Scammed and the editor of the Urban Shots anthologies. He was born and raised in Bengaluru. Apart from being a passionate writer, he dabbles with film-making and travels to lesser-known destinations to better understand life and the times we live in. He lives and works in Dubai, with his two boys and their tabby cat named, Bob.

I received a copy of the book from Vinfluencers in exchange of an honest and unbiased review. 


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