Bestseller — by Ahmed Faiyaz
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Price: Rs. 295 INR(Paperback), Rs. 225(Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/2Jc0L5I
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.
About the author:
Ahmed Faiyaz grew up in Bangalore and now lives in Dubai.
He’s a strategist by profession, with a number of years in management consulting behind him. He’s a book and film addict, and a passionate writer. His first book, Love, Life & All That Jazz…, published in April 2010, remains a popular bestseller across major cities. His stories are also featured in the National Bestseller, Urban Shots
Grey Oak has recently released Another Chance, his second full-length novel, and is slated to release Down the Road, an anthology of 30 short stories he has co-edited, in April 2011. He is a founding member of Grey Oak Publishers and Grey Oak Foundation.
www.ahmedfaiyaz.in and www.twitter.com/ahmedfaiyaz
My take on the book:
Akshay Mathur is just back to Mumbai from London after the magazine he had been working closes abruptly. AK as he is fondly called, gets a chance to join Kalim Publishers because of a dear friend Angus, whose father recently acquired a stake in Kalims’, which is equally on the brink of a shutdown. Kalim’s haven’t published anything in the last couple of years, has staff who are almost non-operational and AK is given the task of bringing out 5 bestsellers within an year, if his other interests back in London have to be supported by Angus and his father.
Akshay is new to the city, the publishing Co., publishing scene in India and with him being keen on approving only quality works, finds himself not publishing anything in the first six months of the approaching deadline. Also joining AK are Rohit, the supposed Sales magician and Zohra Kalim, the erstwhile owner’s daughter. AK finds himself caught between the unassuming media, wannabe writers ranging from superstars who are quickly getting out-of-work, once-successful-now-rejected writers, ailing yesteryear star writers, politicians on the brink of retiring, young lads and everyone who wanted to get their work published. Will Akshay be able to bail out Kalim and keep up with Angus’s expectations of churning bestsellers one after another forms the rest of the story.
Bestseller is a brilliant satire on publishing industry and how it works behind the doors; the story also takes smart digs at Bollywood stars, politicians and wannabe writers. The backdrop and how the story is treated is very fresh and an absolute page turner. However, more depth to the romance between the protagonists could have helped the narration as their story looks sudden and unwarranted at times. Also, the story is told from Akshay’s perspective but his inner voice comes out far too many times, boring the reader occasionally.
Even with these few hiccups, the book is a hilarious take on publishing. Special mention to the cover which is designed with a lot of thought while being a eye-catcher. After all the book to movie adaptations in the story, I personally feel Bestseller has the potential to be a movie adaptation itself. Pick it up to read about the unseen side of how a book takes birth.