The Telegraph
Friday , February 8 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Paperback Pickings

The lure of tragic tales

Fallen Angel: The Making and Unmaking of Rajat Gupta (Rupa, Rs 295) by Sandipan Deb calls Rajat Gupta’s much-hyped downfall a “tragedy of Greek proportions”. Gupta, the former head of McKinsey and Co., was caught in the middle of what Deb says was “the biggest insider trading case in the history of the United States of America”. Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison for securities fraud and insider trading. Deb, apparently, embarks on a mission to find out why this happened. He has dug out FBI wiretap conversations in the course of his “extensive research”. He has also managed to unearth Gupta’s personal history, and spun a heart-wrenching tale of an underdog who won the game and then lost it all. This book may come handy when one is in the mood for some spicy gossip and fantastical speculations.

Breaking Up (Penguin, Rs 250) by Mrunalini Deshmukh and Fazăă Shroff-Garg is “your step by step guide to getting divorced”. This book is a testimony to the fact that writers of self-help books have started to run out of topics. Nevertheless, the book can be useful. Deshmukh is a top divorce lawyer with years of experience in handling divorce cases. She and her associates have made divorce laws easy to comprehend for the lay reader. What is lacking, though, is a sensitive and hard-thinking discussion on divorce and its many legal complications.

Beaten by Bhagath! A Tale of Two Writers (Frog, Rs 125) by S.V. Divvaakar records the author’s love-hate relationship with Chetan Bhagat. The bestseller machine becomes Ketan Bhagath in the novel, and BB, an MNC analyst, is warmly encouraged by his “sexy lady boss” to do “a much better job than Bhagath”. To add to the drama, Bhagath and BB have been classmates and friends in college. The author’s excitement is palpable on every page. The reader, however, will be equally bored.

In Search of Oneness (Penguin, Rs 399) by Moosa Raza is interesting because of the perspective from which it views two very important religious texts. It sees “the Bhagavad Gită and the Quran through Sufi eyes”. Such a view is crucial, since it may show the way to the consolidation of two staunchly opposing faiths. Through his experience and encounters, Raza celebrates the oneness of faith and the power of spirituality, thus making this an enlightening book.