Now this is not like an ordinary book review because what I intend to do here is to review a whole class of books together as a whole. Let me first define the characteristics of the books belonging to this class.
Author : Has either graduated from an IIT or an IIM or in some cases, both and in other cases, neither.
Book THEME: Love in a College,Love in an IIT,love in an IIM,Love in General
Book Premise: Boy meets girl. Girl meets Boy. Shit happens. Some more shit happens. Happy ending.
In 2004, Chetan Bhagat, celebrated writer and youth icon, came out with his best selling book ‘5 point someone’. The book became one of the highest selling english novels in India. Seeing the success of his debut novel, Bhagat then went on to create ‘One night at a call center’, ‘Three Mistakes’ and ‘Two states’. Fortunately for him, these also became commercially successful. Unfortunately for us, a whole host of less talented people decide to follow suit. Thus began what I shall tentatively term ‘The Bhagat Clone Syndrome’.
These books are very easy to identify. They start of with an intro of the author, ‘Mr.So and So graduated from IIT/IIM [Insert city name here]. He was actively involved in [debate or theater or essay writing or ass licking, doesn’t matter]. And got several awards in the same. This is his first book’. Now somehow, because the IIT or IIM brand is mentioned, I think, ‘Okay, IIT guy, must be a good writer’. I don’t know how it happens, probably because its been drilled into me that IIT is the pinnacle of human perfection.I open the book eagerly, waiting to jump into an exciting story, and start reading. By the end of the first chapter , I wish the bookstore I got the book from had a 110% refund offer, the extra 10% to compensate for the torture I underwent. The story is so typical that bollywood would weep at it, character development is either flawed or hardly exists , gramatical errors dance around poorly constructed sentences, half the text is in CAPS LIKE THIS and in some cases the word ‘fuck’ acually acts as a filler for humor. I mean the ‘Goosebumps’ series I read as a child were better than this.
Here are some prime examples of the brilliant authorship exhibited in these books.
Girl(pissed off): “YOU!! YOU! I WILL SCREW YOU!!”
Boy(According to the book, ‘Flirting’): “HaHa! For that you will need a SCREWDRIVER!!” – ‘Because You Loved Me’
“Dhoooooom!” “Whaaaaaat!” I was so shawked that my “thirty two teethes” fell broadly open “in tribulation”, as my mouth “twitched in”. – ‘Oh Shit, Not Again!’
Such banal plots I have never seen. They dwell in two extremes, either too blatantly obvious(the guy always gets the girl) or too unrealistic(the guy succesfully carries on an affair with three women, escapes a murder and then gets the girl). The thing is ‘5 Point Someone’ was well written, had an engaging style, had a good plot and lively dialogue. These modern ones fail so miserably that those who once thought Chetan Bhagat was bad have been forced to revise their opinion. Here is my advise to these people.
- Stop writing. Period.
- If the urge to write still flows through your veins, get a good Proof Reader. If at the end of the proof reading, your work looks nothing like the original, so much the better.
- Write down the storyline, and let an established ghost writer write the novel. If said ghost writer wishes to change entire storyline, let him do so.
Furthur here are some alternative book titles which have some truth in them.
1. I cant write for Shit.
2. I really really cant write for Shit.
3. Shit: The story.
4.Everything an author shouldn’t do.
5.Why I couldn’t find a publisher and had to buy one of my own.