Book: The Bestseller She Wrote
Publisher:Westland (October 2015)
Paperback: 392 pages
He was a bestseller… She wanted him to make her one. The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption.
THE BESTSELLER SHE WROTE is my first novel by Ravi Subramanian. I started the story with great hopes. My reaction was mixed. Ravi Subramanian weaves the characters, and action together like a master storyteller, but at times it seems like he is groping in the dark searching for the story.
Aditya Kapoor has everything a man could wish for. He has a successful career both as a banker and an author, and a loving wife. Shreya Kaushik is reckless, ambitious, and a go-getter.
The Bestseller She Wrote starts when Aditya visits IIM Bengaluru as an honoured guest, and Shreya, a student there gets into an argument with him during his speech.
Later, she reads his books, and turns from a skeptic to a fan. He meets her again at his book reading, and at campus recruitment where he helps her get a job at his bank. Aditya is attracted towards her youth, Shreya towards his glamour. She wants him to help her write a bestseller.
Is it really possible to love two people at a time? Can Aditya help Shreya turn her book into a bestseller? Can love survive when pitted against ambition, or betrayal?
A best-selling author writing about a best-selling author should be intriguing, right?
Well, the book does start with an intriguing chapter, then spirals down after that. There is actually a complete chapter which contributes nothing to the story except familiarizing the readers with the daily routine of characters. I was pretty bored till I reached page 217 after which the plot gained pace and intrigue. The later twists, and turns kept me engrossed though I have to admit that involving a deadly disease (Ebola) to arouse a character’s guilt is a bit too filmy.
At the bottom of the book cover is a line—soon to be a motion picture. This might explain the masala-mix plot. The love triangle, infusion of rare tragedies like a character getting infected with Ebola, and the betrayal-forgiveness drama, all seem to fit in better with the idea of a typical Bollywood movie.
The best-selling author, Aditya Kapoor is boring. Even his magazine article quoted in the book is nothing new. His answer “My job is like my spouse and writing is like my girlfriend.” is a modified version of Anton Chekhov’s “Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress.” Oh, why couldn’t Ravi Subramanian model Aditya Kapoor on his own experiences! It’d be a lot more interesting than a mixture of author clichés.
Aditya as an author seems like a caricature, but his personality is so well described that as a man, he seems more human than a mere character. He starts off as a narcissistic jerk. There is only one person he loves—himself—though he claims to love two people at the same time. All his actions are prompted by his basic instincts, his insecurities, his guilt….As the plot progresses he grows into a nicer person. Though he would never become truly selfless, he changes into someone who owns his faults, and tries to understand others. His growth is gradual, and believable.
Shreya is ambitious, reckless and the second most unlikeable person in the book. (I can’t write about the first person without giving the spoilers.) Her ending is unrealistic. I feel society’s opinion of her wouldn’t much bother her; she isn’t that kind of girl.
Maya is the only likeable character in the novel. She is smart, independent, loving, and generous. But, her every action is predictable, which is a real let down.
The upside of the book is the author, Ravi Subramanian’s writing style. His simple yet detailed writing brings the story to life, but not even his writing could make the trite plot lively. I love an author who has done his research. And Ravi Subramanian scores 100% on that front. I like the way he uses VSV-EBOV vaccine developed by Merck at the same time making it seem that a miracle saved Maya.
The book would appeal to those who love stories involving relationship complications with a dash of mystery. If you are fan of Bollywood movies as much as of books, then you should read The Bestseller She wrote.