Publisher: Random House India
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The hilarious mind behind the popular parody blog ‘The Secret Journal of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’, Aditya Magal, has churned out his first novel based on the egotistical investor and stock broker Mr. Jhunjhunwala. This star character from his blog is now faced with a peculiar situation.
How To Become A Billionaire By Selling Nothing follows the “AWESOME” life of the ‘larger than life’ multi billionaire, also called The Bull of Dalal Street – Sir Sri Jhunjhunwala! Mr. Jhunjhunwala is presented with a business proposal for investment in a company that produces a path breaking product, “Nothing”! Faced with a ridiculous proposal and a desperate man, Ramakant Shastri, Mr. Jhunjhunwala dismisses the entrepreneur with a lakh of rupees for psychiatric help. Mr. Jhunjhunwala has a fun day, until it takes a turn for the worse and he ends up in the hospital with compulsory rest advised. After the vacation, Mr. Jhunjhunwala returns to his life to find himself in the middle of a hype over Nothing, only to have to suppress his ego and take the high road. What ensues is a fiasco with law suit after law suit over patent plagiarism and environment endangerment.
The protagonist of the whole circus production is Ramakant Shastri, the brain behind Nothing. He is an overly ambitious man with an unmatched hunger for money and success. His blind-sided approach towards business is what led to his doom.
Aditya Magal has put in an appreciable effort into delivering a parody filled with sarcastic jibes and funny references. The book puts forth an honest and sometimes in-your-face portrayal of the country, dragging along any and everyone who could be a possible candidate for mockery. The book could have been a total roller coaster ride, if only written with a little more skill and a little more sublety. Sometimes, the mockery felt forced and unnecessary. Also, exaggerations for the sake of hilarity were lengthy and disturbing to the line of thought. Revelation of the master plan at an early stage made it very anti climactic, and took away any essence that was left. Character development was good and despite all super human exaggerations, all the characters including Mr. Jhunjhunwala, are at the core, human with very instinctive reactions!
All in all, a good effort for a debut writer and a good book for light reading. The book had a brilliant premise, and could have been immensely hilarious had it not tried too hard.
Want to follow the fake Rakesh Jhunjhunwala/Aditya Magal on Twitter? Click here to receive some of his gyaan! And while you’re at it, check out this interesting interview with Aditya by Fuccha.
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