Beaten by Bhagath!

Title: Beaten by Bhagath!
Author: S.V. Divvaakar
Publisher: Leadstart
Genre: Fiction

Before I start discussing this book let me be clear about one thing, so my points are not misjudged. I am not a fan of Chetan Bhagat. But I don’t hate him either. He induced the habit of reading in many youngsters and hence, deserves the respect and success he is getting. Gifted with the talent or not, he is one of the most popular writer of our time. And that’s somehow the same point S.V. Divvaakar is trying to make in this book ‘Beaten by Bhagath!’. 

BB, a long forgotten friend of India’s most popular author Ketan Bhagath, always knew he has a way with words. Now, encouraged by his boss, and in attempt to woo her and feed his ego; he begins the quest of getting published as a writer. And not just that, he wants to be a more successful writer than Bhagath, so he can take his revenge for the betrayal. With all these wrong inspirations, he writes ‘Sinner’s Course’ and what follows is a long disturbing journey of book publishing and marketing chaos. 

I believe this book tells only one side of the story. Okay, it is difficult for a writer to get published but it’s nothing new, it has always been like that. The screening publishers provide is very important to filter out bad books and writers as their readers will be investing not only money but a good amount of time over them. What did moved up a notch is the promotional scenario. Changing the books to suit the market value or selling undeserving works with good promotions on the basis of deals with some stores is the worst thing happened to the publishing industry. 
Now, if a writer like Ravinder Singh can change labels from Shrishti Publishers to Penguin Metro Reads, it just proves that art has been turned into business. And not just in Indian market, otherwise, how could one expect a ‘mommy-porn’ book beating the record of Harry Potter. Things are bad and will go worse, with or without Bhagat. 

Let’s break the pattern here and talk about cons first. The narration is simple with poor language. No characterization is done whatsoever. You don’t know anything much about the protagonist and hence can’t be empathetic towards his pain. A good point of the story, friendship of BB and K-10 Bhagath could have been exploited to easily extend the novel’s length and grip over the reader, but was ignored. 

For the pros: It is a light read and gives a lot to discover for someone who has never been exposed to the book-making process, in a funny way (CB kind of humor, if I may add). It does also provide a lot to think over and that’s the best part. All said it is still a much appreciated read than a non-fiction version of a book on similar subject would have been. 

Is this a recommended read for a wannabe writer? Yes and no. A writer is a writer, published or not. You cannot ‘wannabe’ a writer, if you know what I mean. So if you are a writer, leave this one alone and read the first two chapters of Yann Martel’s Beatrice and Virgil instead, you will get the gist. And if you wannabe a writer, then this is your gospel. Hope it might scare you off and a few trees would be saved. 
Overall, it is a recommended read for anyone who wants a light, enjoyable novel; regardless of your ambitions and bibliophilic habits. 

Rating: 3/5 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Mr. Yatin Gupta. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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