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Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Paperback Badshah : The Comical Journey of a 100 Rupee Author

Title: The Paperback Badshah : The Comical Journey of a 100 Rupee Author
Author: Abhay Nagarajan
Publisher: Srishti Publishers& Distributors
Date:  2013

Price: Rs. 150
Pages: 328
The Review:
Over the years, there grew a demand, mainly with the urban population, of some entertainment that enables one to keep his over-burdened and over-stressed brain at home and haughtily enjoy some moments. First the supply came in the form of movies. This was the time when the sex-comedies flourished US markets. And, in India, later, it came in the form of mostly Rohit Shetty-like movies. Entertaining. Mindless. Roller-coaster. Demand supplied! And, now the genre expanded in the market of paperbacks also. And, with flying colors – the books are getting successes in sell-charts. And, The Paperback Badshah is a new addition to this list.

As told, the book cannot be judged on mere structured parameters of comedy or a satire. It neither has the comical plotline nor a satirical intellect. But the book is entertaining. It has the humorous moments. It has that’s-so-weird intercepts. And, the journey of the ‘100 Rupee’ author borders on the line of being a slapstic comical and ‘comical’.

The plot is good. It is relevant to the youth who clings on to chick-lit romances on their bus or train rides. There are some weird subplots. Be it the story – the reluctant laid-back guy wants to write or the stories that that the famous youth icon writes as mentioned are ‘precariously hilarious’.
The writing is smooth – as expected from a bestselling author. The pains of an aspiring author, though, heartily inked – are not executed with care. The brushes with publishers, celebrities, retailers, book chains – though loosely touched upon were not dealt with properly.

The book lacked a climax. And, it lacked it badly. Even, in a comedy, a story should cook upon a plot which gains momentum till it bursts open at the climax. Here, there was nothing at the climax. The introduction, if not the whole characterization of the femme lead was feebly done. But it has some excellent dream sequences. It is worth mentioning that the dream sequences though weirdly described are so real. And, the author deserves “hats off” to pen down such sequences. The book very well depicted the trauma or the constraints an aspiring author faces Its mature. But an altogether different approach to depict this commensurate with the overall weird tone of the book. It openly unmasks the hypocrite society that tags  ‘loser’ when one leaves regular salaried life to pursue his dreams hand when he gets success , it claps hand and proudly proclaims,” I told you, he will succeed.”

The book misses the opportunity to become a hilarious satire. It bordered on the line. But, it missed the track of spoofing the ‘100 rupee’ genre. That could have been fun reading.
But, who cares when it’s entertaining. Who cares when an over-stressed mind wants to smile upon reading? It offers that. And, it is honest in that offering. It never disappoints on any front for the genre it belongs. Be it the names of the books mentioned or the plot of the book – the lead aspires to write – they offer enough fodder to laugh. Enough entertainment to bump on. Enough reasons to buy the book for a definite light read.

Overall 2.5/5. 

About the Author: Abhay Nagarajan is an Indian finance professional and writer. As of July 2012, he has two books to his credit, namely Coporate Atyaachaar and The Off-Site Tamasha. His writing is humorous and set against the backdrop of the finance sector. Young working professionals, especially those in the finance sector themselves, may find his novels particularly appealing.

Nagarajan was brought up in Mumbai and Bangalore. He graduated from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi, India. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Delhi. He worked as a financial advisor for a couple of years. He particularly enjoys keeping track of cricket statistics in leisure time.

Grab a copy now!!!


This book has been reviewed by Sankha Ghosh:  Sankha Ghosh was never born in that 'City of Joy', never dreamt of being a banker, never watched a Godard, never loved Kafka, never fell for that Solitary Reaper, never danced on a friend’s wedding, never fought for human rights, never had a crush at college and never ever aspired to work on a novel! Never was he as simple as this! #He wishes


  1. A really interesting concept. Can make a great satire in the current scenario.

  2. Definitely it misses the opportunity to be a great satire of contemporary period !!!