What shall follow below is a very short attempt at a book review of ‘ Welcome to advertising, now get lost’ by Omkar Sane.
Let me begin by giving a short background; it was friday evening. I was not looking forward to the long weekend ahead, so I took a walk to the local Liberty Books outlet near my apartment. The memories of the Karachi Book Club meeting quaint in my memories, I started browising through the shelves. I had little no or idea what I was looking for. “Surprise me” was my challenge to the books that lay dormant on the shelf, holding their thoughts tightly within their bindings. ‘Surprise Me!’ I challenged the books. Surprise me they did. I saw a rather colorful cover in b/w the shades of grey. Like a bride amongst the brides maid. The striking colors grappling at my vision, I slowly reached for it.
Now you must admit, the title isnt the easiest to read. The rather ‘retro’ cover art melds with the title, and it’s rather hard to actually figure out the name of the book! But notwithstanding all the gibersih, it struck me, this is the book chosen as Book of the Month – by the Karachi Book Club. Voila, problem solved. I had my pick. Now to delve into the delightful pages.
‘Acknowledgments are overrated’ thats where he begins. First impressions, this guy seems like a cocky 20 something, who thinks not acknowledging anyone is ‘Cool’ and ‘Funny’. I thought it was surprisingly immature. I cant even give him points for originality, because it seems an awful lot like forced slapstick humor. In fact, I wanted to say out loud -’ If your parents thought this was farcical, maybe they had a point’.
First bitter tastes in the mouth seem to appear. But to be fair, I don’t form a judgment. Maybe this book will ‘Surprise me’.
It’s followed by 2 prefaces by two ambiguous Indian men. Supposedly advertising gurus, but none of my concern. One even goes as far to say ‘The best thing I can say about this book is, I wish I had written it’. *cough*
I am sad to say, it does not get any better from there. What I expected was a witty commentary on the Ad culture in India. Witty, humours, but with purpose. Sarcasm thrown in wouldn’t have hurt. What I got instead for the next 50 pages I managed to read through was something along these lines:
National Creative Director (NCD): So you have an idea?
Junior Creative: Yes sir, if we place the car…
NCD: Oh you mean like the Merceede’s I now own?
JC: Yes sir, so I was thinking if we place a car, like your Merceede’s, against a hotel…
NCD: Oh you mean like the hotel i stayed at during my last visit to London?
JC: Yes.. exactly…
… Yes thats pretty much the content of the whole book. Each chapter is then diligently followed by a ‘quiz’ to check your knowledge each person plays, i.e. if you are the NCD you take credit for all the idea’s you’re juniors come up with. In essence you frack them over.
Now I might have been harsh in my judgements. But I do have a beef with wasting Rs 800 on a book that I cant even take seriously. Better idea would have been to have it as an article or a recurring column in a weekly paper or publication. It’s amazing you can write a whole book simply based on stupid imaginary dialogues and immature writing.
Yes I will probably burn this book if I manager to finish it. As a public service message. Please stay away from this book like a plague. And if you are one to like this book, then stay away from me for you are the plague.