Book: A dog eat dog-food world
Author: Suresh Chandrasekaran
Publisher: Fablery (2015)
Paperback: 194 pages
I love reading humour, but nothing is more painful than reading a book which tries to be funny. That leaves the option of re-reading the humour books I already loved. Or wish someone could write as good as P.G.Wodehouse. And then I found A dog eat dog-food world. Looks like my prayers are answered.
A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. ‘A dog eat dog-food world’ is the story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how just minding your own business can lead to unexpected consequences, guided by the ‘invisible hand’ of long dead economists. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.
The tale only dogs the doings of Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and Jerry Fortune who, being fortuneless, gets dragged helter-skelter by his uncle Spike’s careening pursuit of commercial success; Spike’s rival Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of his nephew, Jasper Rich who would rather be chasing girls than chasing cats.
Normally, prologues annoy me. Not in this book. The author’s description of pseudo-history is as funny as his account of the pseudo-history.
A dog eat dog-food world starts with a harassed doctor summoned in the middle of the night to attend a patient who suffers nothing more than ennui. The patient, Spike Fortune has but one goal, to spend all his fortune in this life. Instead of prescribing his usual pills, the doctor suggests starting a business. Spike holds on to the idea, and relegates the work of finding a suitable venture to his nephew Jerry Fortune. Like any other great idea, Jerry stumbles upon the idea of dog-food accidentally as he literally stumbles on dogs. You might think this as an insignificant event. But this event is a trigger for the greater change warranting the writing of (pseudo) History.
A dog eat dog-food world is a satire which mocks at the materialistic consumer culture. It has the kind of classy humour you find in Wodehouse books. In fact, the trivial pursuits of the characters, dog-food, and the brilliant writing style reminded me of PGW.
The best aspect of the book is the author’s wit, writing, and flawless editing. The characters are funny, and well-developed, though none of them are endearing.
The author, Suresh Chandrasekaran, has reduced the marketing jargon to a level even someone like me can understand. This satire mocks the management concepts, and gives serious insights without losing the jovial tone at any point. I look forward to read more from him.
A dog eat dog-food world is a rare novel which tells you lot about marketing, and at the same time provides a good laugh. If you are a Wodehouse fan like me, you shouldn’t miss it.
* I received a review copy of the book via Book Club in exchange for an honest review.