Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review: There May Be An Asterisk Involved by Vedashree Khambete

Title: There May Be An Asterisk Involved
Author: Vedashree Khambete
Publisher: Hachette India
Pages: 216
Price: Rs 299
Genre: Fiction / Romance / Modern Fiction / Indian fiction
Rating: 8/10
Format: Paperback

I am a complete Cover Page person. I have to like the cover page to give book a chance, otherwise no matter how good the content, I don’t venture in. It is just the way I am.

I saw this book around, and decided to check out a few reviews before reading it. It looked interesting and now I am glad I read it.

At 216 pages, it is quite a fast read. I finished it in a couple of hours in my limited reading time.

The story is about Ira Bhat, a no-nonsense, passionate copywriter in one of the best advertising agencies in the country, J. McCarthy. The book revolves around her busy work-life and therefore, almost the lack of a social or personal life. Her friends at work, Aditi and Sameer, keep the environment lively with their leg-pulling and easy banter. The book essentially deals with how Ira negotiates her life through tight deadlines, demanding boss, office politics, rumour mills, idiosyncrasies of clients and an insecure ex while also finding romance amid the craziness.

The book provides a lot of insights into the workings of an advertising agency. My first job was at FCB Ulka, so I instantly connected with whatever the author had to say. In fact, it was quite nostalgic. I was in Client Servicing*, by the way.

There were quite a lot of footnotes. It aimed at providing clarity to someone who isn’t familiar with the advertising jargons, and does so with wit and humor. I really enjoyed the footnotes. They are in fact the funniest aspect of the book.

The thing is it is not a masterpiece. You would not miss a thing if you do not read it, but if you do, you will have fun, and you would know much about the workings of an ad agency in the process.

Sample few lines from the book:
*Postmen, peacemakers, punching bags – client servicing executives are seen as all this and more. Part of their job is to brief the creative team about what the client wants and present to the client what the creative team will design to deliver. In their dedication to this cause, they often face loss of face, limb and self-respect, at the hands of demanding clients and uncooperative creative teams. It is a thankless job that requires a special skill set – a high threshold of pain, a high tolerance for personal humiliation, but contrary to industry perception, not necessarily, not necessarily a low IQ score.

Review Book courtesy: Hachette India
Image source: Hachette India