Saturday, March 23, 2013

Book Review: Because SHIT Happened by Harsh Snehanshu [Ebury Press/Random House India]

Posted by at 3:20 PM On to the Previous Post
"Bold , near-brilliant and a brave attempt to portray the 'other' side of an entrepreneur's life"
Back-cover blurbOn a fateful winter day, Amol Sabharwal, co-founder of one of the most ambitious start- up ventures in the country,, decides to quit. What makes Amol quit his own business venture just when it is on the brink of raising its first round of funding? 

We all have seen failures. We live/lived with them. Very few of us manage to cope with the loss of dreams, the breach of trust, the tarnishing of hopes, and the end of  a friendship. Harsh Snehanshu manages to tell his story of failure when the world seems to crave that every plot about start-up ventures must reach a happy ending. And that, my dear readers,  is a brave thing to do.

I understand my opening thoughts seem a little disconcerted but I assume that  that's the impact the book had on me. And I was right on not reviewing the book after flipping the back cover for the last time right away but to choose to give some thoughts about the story and allow it to sink in - therefore the impact was welcome. The book sets the mood right from the beginning, and there is really not much of a happy-go-lucky theme that arrives page-after-page. There is a lot of negativity, but let me tell you, it was skillfully handled to ensure you don't get afraid to take a plunge, but to rectify your errors by taking a lesson or two from the incidents.  Claimed to be a true story, as a reader/reviewer I reserve no right to judge the people involved in the book whom interestingly I happen to know in real life, but honestly, I understand that the author has tried to ensure he doesn't end up taking the 'hate' route and 'get back' at them.

Let's talk about some key aspects of the book. The plot moves in a near-perfect sinusoidal fashion, there are  well blend ups and downs. The narration is still a bit childish, which is probably because the author is shifting his gears from chick-lit to serious drama. He is honest on that part and that is darn good for his writing. The protagonists are fine but the interest to develop them was missing somewhere. We see the perks and perils of an entrepreneur's life and the author earns full marks for this. The lust element was very significant and played a pivotal role in the decisions that the protagonists made. The premise that was set-up was a bit dark but strong. More brownie points!

The climax was very convincing. The fall was thrilling and heart-breaking; and the momentary  uncertainty of the protagonist with his future was beautifully portrayed. In the end, the message was delivered well and the book did justice to what it promised in its blurb.

Final verdict: When there's a poorly written Anu Aunty novel circulating in the country that is motivating the wannabes, the deftly written Because SHIT Happened actually manages to inspire the readers that the  amateur entrepreneurs must take note of: What NOT to do in a start-up.

My Rating: ♦♦♦♦/5

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