Monday, November 2, 2015

Of a book and reviews

Every time I put up words anywhere I, of course, assume that what I am writing is deathless prose. Since I also presume that I am a humorist, I also assume that I make people smile, if not laugh. (WHAT? You laugh at the thought that I could even think that what I write is humorous? You will get your comeuppance soon!) There is an additional idiosyncrasy that is, possibly, peculiar to me. I also think that I make people think. Aided and abetted in that illusion by a few people who comment on my blog saying that I really do.

There is no need to mention what I think of my writing when I put in the effort to write a full novella, which is meant as a parody of marketing management and its influence on Society. I had earlier shared the book link to the print book published by Fablery but, just so you feel too lazy to navigate back to that post (as you inevitably do), the link is here

The problem, though, is that there is this little guy inside who keeps murmuring,"Was it not you who also thought you were Kamal Hassan and Rajnikant rolled into one, while looking at the mirror in your teens?" THAT is a problem. What you think of what you have done and what the world thinks of it varies so much, sometimes, that it is difficult to believe that we are all talking about the same object.

It is a pleasure, then, to see that you are not so far off the mark when other people express not too divergent opinions about your work. For example, this opinion by Kevan Dinn

Nifty little piece of work. Hilarious. A refreshing change from what often passes for humour.
Or, maybe, this one by Karthik

This is one of the most humorous books I have read in recent times. I guess people who read Dilbert might have found some similarity in the cover design. The idea of the book is also similar - a corporate parody. While Dilbert consists of individual standalone comic strips, in this book Suresh has knitted it all together in one complete story line. The story is set in an imaginary world that Suresh calls the alternate history and gives funny explanations on the origin of various management concepts such as market segmentation, pricing, brand recall, market research, management consulting et al as the reader is taken through the fascinating tale of the business battle between the tycoons Tom and Spike. 

Suresh, a management professional himself complete demystifies all the complex management jargon in his totally irreverential take. The book has variety of humor that works at various levels - one obviously is the slapstick kind one can come to expect in a story that has something to do with animals. Then we have the ludicrous explanation for origin of management concepts that actually might be a reflection of the real origins. We also have funny situations in the story that any one who works in the corporate world can directly relate to based on personal experience. Then there are some aspects that along with making one laugh makes one reflects on one's motivations, professional choices and broader purpose in life. This is not all - there is further humor hidden in terms of the choice of names for characters and some of the throw away lines in the dialogue for the more perceptive reader. 

Overall I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is associated with the corporate world.
Or, Ramesh Grandhi here

A Dog eat Dog food world is no run of the mill book, and for readers starved for genuine humor and satire—I would recommend it without a moment’s hesitation. Blurbs claim a lot of things, promise even more, but more often than not a reader will feel cheated. In this case, the claim that this is a hilarious take on marketing management is amply justified. 

The way the characters are introduced and developed (keeping in mind that this is a novella) is remarkable. You begin to feel you are on a rollercoaster of subtle humor and for a change you don’t want to get off, you want the roller to coast along. Mrs. Fortune hoping that Death would stop hovering around and for a change do its darned job, Fortune’s reactions to the various options placed before him to escape from ennui, and the way he does a remarkable Don Quixote tilting at ‘tread’mills keeps you smiling. 
I have been and always will be a huge fan of PG Wodehouse, and I have long lamented the fact that there has been no one who has taken up his mantle. PG had a unique style of writing and he had the ability to make you smile and chuckle without trying too hard. I know comparisons are odious and will refrain from doing so, but I can’t stop myself from saying that Suresh Chandrasekharan in his own inimitable style brings back memories of the Master. The way he has melded different marketing concepts in a satirical way into a story that is gripping in and of itself is remarkable indeed.
Though knowing that this was a satire, a witty one, on marketing, I found myself rooting for Spike. I saw his transformation from a laidback hypochondriac to a raging trump’esque tycoon. How the mighty are fallen?! This transformation aided along most unwillingly by his nephew, Jerry, and provoked by his arch rival, Tom Rich is written with such skill and droll humor that it makes it almost impossible for you to put down the book. Fact—I read it in one go, and wasn’t really happy when it ended—book lovers will agree with me that a good book should go on and on! 
My sincere appreciation to this talented gentleman for his incisive wit, his admirable command over the language, his ability to marry humor with marketing strategies, which is by no means an easy thing to do -- Mark Antony wouldn’t have minded making the last speech.
It would indeed be a pleasure to recommend this book and I am pretty certain that readers in the corporate world and out of it too will find it quite an engaging read. 

Just so you know that I am not making all these up, you can check for yourself in the Goodreads link here

Those of you who prefer reading on a screen instead of from paper can now find the ebook available at the following links

I hope that the book lives up to these reviews.


  1. Congratulations on these wonderful reviews, Suresh! I just ordered your book, look forward to reading it one of these days. But more importantly, bought it for my young nephew who is still in high school but is busy evaluating different future options, such as whether to join the corporate world after his MBA or MA Econ, become a writer or a film-maker or join an ashram and take sanyas!

    1. Thanks Beloo! THIS book for choosing a career option? :) Knowing my writing? :) Egads :)

  2. Excellent reviews Suresh,all the best :)

  3. Congrats Sureshji! Great reviews. Best wishes :)

  4. Such good reviews, Suresh. I promise to buy your book soon. :) Wish you the best!

  5. Congratulations Suresh, great reviews. Saw it was paperback. Do you have a Kindle edition as well. Would like to read it on my Kindle...

    1. Yes - there IS a kindle edition Ash! And the link is there in this post. I copy it again here for reference.