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Thursday, June 4, 2009

If God ‘was’ a Banker…

No, I’m not discussing hypothetical possibilities here, at well past the midnight hour.

 

Dale Carnegie did say, “Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” But, I think he forgot to mention what to do in case the object in question were to be completely unworthy of praise.

 

Well, I’m referring to the book ‘If God was a Banker’ by Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM-Bangalore. I picked up the book just out of curiousity at a bookstore a couple of days ago, and just finished reading it.

 

The first thing that struck me about the book was the incorrect title. Ideally, the title should have been ‘If God were a banker’ instead of ‘If God was a banker.’ Since the latter is correct under certain conditions, I decided to give Mr. Subramanian the benefit of doubt. Hence, burying the vociferous protests of my ‘editorial’ self, I bought the book.

 

Sadly, after an hour and a half of reading the book, I feel as if I have wasted my time, and hard(ly) earned money. Even if the back cover had not said that the novel is the author’s first, I’d probably have figured. In fact, there’s nothing ‘novel’ about the story really. It just consists of some half-baked characters, a rehashed, beaten-to-death story, and totally inane dialogue.

 

I’m confident that my 14 year-old cousin could come up with more engaging conversations that Mr. Subramanian.

 

Also, someone please tell him that the word is ‘ma’am’ and not ‘maam’. There are loads of examples of incorrect apostrophes, names not being capitalised, and convoluted sentences. In my opinion, the book could be given to budding editors to practice their craft. Perhaps, one could have a contest like ‘Spot the maximum errors within a minute’ or something.

 

What I fail to realise is why people believe that just because they are at a bschool, they are entitled to dish out lame-duck stories, which people will buy. And why can’t readers be discerning enough? Just because someone from a premier bschool has written a story, it doesn’t become eminently readable. (After reading books by a certain Mr. Bhagat, one ought to have realised that. )

 

But, all is not lost. Perhaps, the book could be made a mandatory read for amateur writers like me. After all, if this guy can write, I can write.

 

Just two points to finish, Mr. Subramanian:

 

a) You say this is your first novel. Please let it be your last too.

 

b) If God were a writer, I’m sure he wouldn’t do such a shoddy job.

23 comments:

Roshmi Sinha said...

Hmmm... after reading "The Magnolias Still Bloom"... I am convinced that you should write... :)

Sarsij said...

I share similar feelings about the book......

and, if you read his other book.....you will even more disappointed about the writer......thanks god I didn't buy his second book.......

Sumit said...

Thanks Roshmi. :)

Sarsij, I think I wouldn't want to read another one by him, even if he were to pay me...:|

Kaddu said...

@ "if this guy can write, I can write."

Perhaps that is the reason why God lets such books be published! :-)

Anu said...

Hilarious review! :D

Find his email and post him the link for this post. That should save others from the trouble of going and buying it.

Just a friendly suggestion. Stop enforcing and reinforcing yourself of your dexterity in writing. Go ahead and WRITE! :)

Cheers,

Anu

Sumit said...

@Kaddu...possibly! :D

@Anu... good idea. In fact, most of these books written by bschool alumni have been rather poor, so far. (Or maybe, I've been reading the wrong ones.)

And yeah, I think I'll work on the friendly suggestion. Thanks! :)

Choco said...

Hahahaaa.. I loved your review.
I wish I could say that you have helped save my time and energy as I have not yet read the book. But now I want to read it so bad...:(

Sumit said...

Thanks Choco... Want me to send across my copy of the book? It's not even worth the price of the paper it's printed on!:|

Sneha Shenoy said...

I have read this book. Its pathetic!

Anonymous said...

the book is seriously a failed attempt....nothing good about it except the title which may provoke one's inquisitive instincts to go ahead and buy it...nice review...just post it to the author...he deserves a handful of hearing...i presume!

Sumit said...

@Sneha... Thanks for visiting and agreeing with me.

@Anonymous... Yeah... I think I'll write to him sometime. :P

Rahul Anand said...

You are right about a certain Mr. Bhagat. I picked up 'One night at the call center' with great expectations but after reading it wondered what the hype was all about. And they even made a movie out of it!

Sumit said...

Rahul, after reading Bhagat's first book, I gave up all hope of quality from him. I still read his second one, and laughed at the inane concept. :D

Shreyans Mehta said...

Maar di aapne author ki... Must hv been a real horror of a book!

Sumit said...

Shreyans, yeah man! I felt cheated after having read the book. Even if he pays me 150/- (the price of the book) to read it again, I wouldn't do it!

Bunty said...

one stop solution : stop reading books!! its a mighty waste of time!

CruisingThruLife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CruisingThruLife said...

I found a few editorial errors in your post, fyi. Ironic...

Sumit said...

Oh heck!! Please enlighten, so that I can get rid of them asap. :P

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juvenile said...

My thoughts exactly! In fact, felt so annoyed with the writing style, plot development, poor character sketches...(would love to carry on) that I abandoned it and came online to look for a forum to vent my feelings.
What was all the hype about?!!