Book Reviews

Book : End of Story
Author : Arjun Shekhar
Publisher : Hachette India

Overall Rating : 2.5/ 5
Writing : 3/5
Research : 2.5/5

“End of Story” is a new piece of fiction by author Arjun Shekhar. The book is in the first person narrative. The story begins with the protagonist Shukrat Ali, a news anchor and his alleged role in his boss' Shautti Shengupta's death. This exceptionally long testimony of Shukrat that stretches over three hundred and twenty five pages is to put it in a nutshell a skewed murder mystery which has just too many twists and turns that makes it confusing for an average reader to get by the book without lamenting over it. 

At the very beginning we are introduced to Siyahi and Quyamat, the wife and daughter of the protagonist. Quyamat is portrayed to be an inquisitive ten year old. What is a complete put-off for the reader is the exaggerated account of the child's nature of questioning throughout the novel. In the very beginning we see her putting her parents in a spot in front of her school friends and teacher by comparing her life with that of a eunuch. What child would possibly know the life of a eunuch to compare her life with one of them? The description of her line of questioning is frankly overbearing and unbelievable. The excessive detailing whether of a character, situation or a place is simply exaggerated making the reader lose interest in the story itself because he/ she is so busy figuring out the plot. 

As the story progresses the reader is acquainted with a variety of characters and sub plots, but there is a visible disconnect in the episodes. There is a sudden diversion with the addition of a supernatural element in the novel. Again the interfering ten year old comes off as just too old for her age. 

Perhaps what keeps the reader going to the end is the need to know who is the killer of the Channel head. The most interesting parts of the novel actually start towards the end when the reader is suddenly made aware of the illicit relationships of Pixie and Shukrat and Siyahi and Shautti. The book ends with a boom. One only wishes that there was less detailing, crisp descriptions and better link to the episodes in the book. The internalizing of each character's emotions is well described and the author deserves a thumbs up for that. 

All in all a good effort that could have been an excellent novel had it just focussed on the major theme of the novel which is the murder mystery. 

- Katherine . Abraham 


Book:  Beaten by Bhagath
Author : S.V Divvaakar
Overall Rating : 3.5/ 5
Writing : 3/5
Research : 4/5

“Beaten by Bhagath is a refreshingly new and realistic perspective to the world of writing.” The book whose theme centres around the competitive and commercial intrusion into the world of literary creativity gives the reader an honest account of what goes into the making of any successful and unsuccessful book.

The book begins with an enterprising young executive being pushed into the world of writing by his over- enthusiastic boss and his insane struggle to make it big and outbeat the current fad – Ketan Bhagath. Ketan or K10 is a successful writer who seems to have everything in place. From the writing to his marketing skills, this character seems to be the perfect entrepreneur – writer. A very important facet of this book is its detailed description of what a new author must go through while entering in the world of writing. Another important aspect is the need for an author to not only write but to enter the literary world with good business acumen. After all, the book is not just the finished product of a literary genius meant to be read- the immediate purpose is for the book to be sold. The author deftly describes the agony of a writer who has to wait at the mercy of a celebrity book launch for his book to gain foothold in the market. The frustrations of writing, the effect that it has on the personal and later the professional life of the author and the overwhelming effect of failure which the author finally succumbs to, adds to the flavour of the book.

The only shortcoming in my personal opinion is the conclusion of the book which suddenly shifts focus from the failure of the writer to a new generation of writing or in fact a technological advancement. The transition is frankly abrupt. Suddenly it isn’t about an author’s travail but an inner urge to just make money. Somehow, authors and their writings even today have more importance than the money. Hence the sudden talk of  Re-books and the sudden return of K-10 show a haste on the part of the writer to finish his book. Though the idea is innovative, the thought of the death of paperbacks and a purely techno – savvy world is one that is too good to be true and if I may add too soon to be true.

Apart from these minor glitches “Beaten by Bhagath” is truly a riveting reality fiction that every budding writer and everyone related to the world of literary creativity must read to understand what competition, hunger for fame and the need to be better than the best truly means!

Katherine. A  


  1. A very interesting review indeed! Will surely pick the book soon :)

    1. Katherine. Abraham29 December 2013 at 21:50

      Thanks! Glad you like it! Hope you will read the book. Its worth a go!