Book recommended for this week: The Best Seller by Arunabha Sengupta. The novel combines unrestrained insights into the human mind and its networked playfield, doing so with more than a touch of humour.
Woody Allen’s raunchier films, conferences over cannabis, psychiatric analysis in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, ancient Indian philosophy, Tai Chi Chuan – do these seem enough to combat the financial downturn? Sandeep, struggling novelist, takes on the roles of clandestine cameraman, ghost blogger and tai chi teacher as he awaits his big break. A convoluted twist of fate lands him in Amsterdam, propelling him through hilarious adventures in the toppling world of economic crisis, the murky domain of publishing, the crazy corporate circus and modern day relationships across mind, body and modem. During months of fruitless preparation of query letters, synopses and self addressed stamped envelopes, he comes across a consultant in love, an e-minded psychiatrist, a Dutch-American financial theorist, an octogenarian scholar, an attractive political science researcher, a visionary entrepreneur and a horde of colourful characters scurrying along in the corporate rat race. The journey towards grand truth and illusion – and the great fuzzy area in between – encompasses credit crisis conferences, hemp adorned coffee shops, personality disorders, packaged philosophy, identity swaps, branding phenomena, the deepest wisdom of the Gita, author evenings, Collateralised Debt Obligations and all conquering love. The novel combines unrestrained insights into the human mind and its networked playfield, doing so with more than a touch of humour.
The book is at amazon
About the author:
Arunabha Sengupta was born in Kolkata, India. He has worked and lived around the world, basing his novels on the cities where he has lived for a substantial amount of time – Chennai, New York and Amsterdam.
His third novel – The Best Seller – was given a 5 star rating by Foreword Clarion Review. It is set in Amsterdam during the Financial Crisis of 2008 and follows the adventures of a struggling author. Foreword Clarion Reviews wrote: ‘The wonder of it all is that Sengupta keeps all the threads interwoven in a densely attractive word tapestry which is also very, very funny. Logophiles will be snickering at all the literary in-jokes as well as the pop-culture references. Sengupta has delivered a finely tempered blade of a book that takes artful slices at several pretentious elements of modern life.’
His first two books – Labyrinth: A novel about the software industry, and Big Apple 2 Bites: A story of Love, Aikido and 9/11 – were said to be among the first ones to feature the Software professional as protagonist.
Sengupta has a black belt in Kobayashi Aikido, and much of the action of his second novel takes place in the New York Aikido headquarters. Sunday Tribune said that the exuberant description of the art in the novel made the reviewer think of learning it himself. The novel has also been identified in Geetha Ganpathy-Dore’s ‘The Post Colonial Indian Novel in English’ as the only Indian novel in English to be based on 9/11.
Analysed in various compilations of Commonwealth Literature, his books have been lauded for changing the stereotypical way that the Indian characters had been depicted in novels over the ages.
Arunabha Sengupta is also a cricket columnist for Zee India’s cricket web channel cricketcountry.com