Book Review: It Must’ve Been Something He Wrote

Title: It Must’ve Been Something He Wrote
Author: Nikita Deshpande
Pages: 265
Price: Rs. 350

It Must’ve Been Something He Wrote by Nikita Deshpande is a fun, contemporary read. Book snob Amruta – Ruta – is a marketing executive at Parker-Hailey’s Publishing, in Delhi. She is young, finding her way in a new city and almost an idealist. A tough boss, shoestring marketing budgets and high expectations keep her on her toes.

And if that wasn’t enough, she also has to survive being a publicist for Jishnu Guha, whom she just cannot tolerate. Guha is the best-selling author of seven cheesy romance novels. And let’s just say that she isn’t a fan!

Deshpande chooses her words well. The language is conversational and descriptive. She evens throws in a few colloquial phrases without being too jarring. However, the characterization left me wanting. All the characters seem to speak in the same voice, and there’s little differentiation or variation. I wish they had been etched out a little more. I also felt that the quality of writing was inconsistent. Some bits were beautifully written. Some others read like a last-minute revised draft.

While the book is set in Delhi, there was nothing specific pinning it down to the city, except perhaps the backdrop of the publishing industry. But it is an urban story. It is also a very contemporary read. And social media and the Internet play an important role in how the plot evolves. I simply loved how Deshpande resolves a conflict, making good use of the Internet. And that she does it so casually is delightful.

The book also offers a peek into the dynamics of modern-day publishing and marketing. I interned at Crossword, a decade ago, and it was interesting to note the many changes.

I enjoyed reading It Must’ve Been Something He Wrote. And I read it fairly quickly. There’s something warm and friendly about Deshpande’s writing. And it reveals itself very strongly in her Acknowledgements. It’s long, but it’s heartfelt. And it tells the reader just how important this book is to Deshpande.

 

 

 

 

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