Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh Shit, Not Again!

What a way to start the first book review on a blog - but that's the name of the book I just finished reading. Its not a line to start the blog with. :)

Oh Shit, Not Again! is a book by Mandar Kokate and published by Expression Publications and this is the first book that they have published.

Its a story of five friends and their trials and tribulations across a period of few months. The central character is Raj who moves into the locality of the novel's setting, meets with the other characters in the book and talks about it in a first person perspective.


Why did I pick up this book from an obscure writer?
The name is the first attraction. When you see a novel name like that you have to pick up the book and see what it is about. Then you turn to the back cover to get a summary of the contents. Kudos to the publishers for making that quite interesting as well.

Have you ever experienced what happens when a porn movie is mistakenly played in front of your grandma and the CD player refuses to stop?
OR

Have you ever experienced what happens when a mixture of vodka and soft drink is server to hundreds of people gathered for a party?

OR

Have you ever experienced what happens when you are conspired into a murder that you had merely witnessed?


And a few more such questions adorn the back cover. The book promises to answer these questions through the eyes of the five friends. Most of us have been caught in one such situation and would love to read about it from a different perspective.

The story sounded interesting and coming from an Indian author in an Indian setting, I decided to pick it up. It cost me Rs 150/-

Was the book worth it?
The story had tremendous potential and in the right hands could have worked out to be a great book.

Mandar's writing style is rudimentary and you can see that he is desperately trying to be an author. His prose uses words like preclude, perjure and conspire where they are not needed. You can see that he uses these 'big' words because he thinks that's how good authors write and so he should use them as well. Given also that his characters are all college going students in the age bracket of 19 - 22, the use this language is completely unnecessary.

How many times have you told your friend "C'mon yaar, you can't perjure" or "What if someone precludes me over there?" I wonder if Mandar even knows the meanings of these words and the correct usage of them.

His characters are not well developed and there are gaping holes in the storyline. A lot of situations are mentioned that have not been developed well and no justifications are given for them. The main character is carrying on an 'affair' with two women - a girl of his age and an older married woman with a child. He seems to take them to hotels and spend money but there is no explanation of where he gets that kind of money from. After all he is just a student and does not have a job. Then again he gets caught up in a murder mystery that just seems to disappear in a whimsical manner.

Mandar also cannot seem to decide if he is writing for an Indian audience or a global audience. His writing seems to suggest that he writes for India but hopes that the global audience also picks up his book. Money for e.g is referred to in Million rupees denominations. Mandar also is unable to decide if his story is a love story or a murder mystery or a story of his main character's growth into adulthood. There are liberal doses or innuendos of sex - Raj gets to kiss three women and sleeps with two.

In all an average first attempt at a novel. Mandar should have read through at least a couple of more drafts of his story before sending it for publication and the publishers should have done the same.

The first page of the book reads - "Beware before you read...........you may die laughing". We do die laughing but unfortunately not because of the writing but because of the lack of it!

All in all its o.5/5

59 comments:

  1. dis book is rly gud...pretty entertaining..! n dis guy has done a gud job..!

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  2. Exactly my feelings after reading the book. it s***s...

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  3. Its a gr8 buk to read but the thing i dont understand is about the parents of the characters in it... they seem so negligible in their lives. But overall if we stop being pessimists Mandar has done an execellent job.. Keep it Up Mandar.. Expecting a second book from u soon....

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  4. i could n't more agree with Kaushal. Mandar seems to be imitating the styles of many a writers. What exactly was he trying? I dint even find one situation which would so much as brush against my funny bone. There was also too many sexual encounters. C'mon, we are talking about Raj, a common boy, not James Bond. Also, if they were actually college going students, some lighter scenes of their institute would have been welcome. And ,yes, Mandar, if you really care about what we say in here, I guess you should start believing in your own style of writing. Stop making scripts for Bollywood flicks(that will come with age) , but for now, try to get a ground and then hang on it.

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  5. i justtttttttttttttt loveddddddddddd the story aaaaaaaand RAAAAJJJJJJJ AND AAAARTI

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  6. xcelent book love ittt
    raaaaaaaaaajjjjjj roxxxx

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  7. Sorry, I would like to be harsh but I refrain. I understand that you are a first time writer. As pramit said, you must start developing your own style of writing.I can see you trying to imitate chetan bhagat.
    There are many illogical things happening in the story.For eg.,When Arti says "yes" to Raj's love, there no no reason for her to shed some tears. what for?It does'nt "move" the reader whatsoever.
    Oh shit. Never again!

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  8. definitely a no-no! there are tonnes of better books available... even as a debut there have been authors who have written fab stuff! (Chetan Bahgat, Varsha Dixit)... and the sucide at the end (too filmy)

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  9. Disappointing book...not Properly framed..Meaningless...Storyline ia absurd.It jumps from one incident to other without any clue .. Mandar needs to develop more skills before attmepting to write snother book

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  10. Kaushal- I think you have been too kind to Mr Shitface in your review. :D

    I feel like burning every copy of the book i see - oh okay - I'll recycle :(

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  11. Has this book been written by a 15 year old? The english is terrible... the story makes no sense... the characters interact in strange ways within the plot (if there is one at all). How did this book become a " national best seller"? Looks like each and every author wants to cash in on the reading appetite that India has developed for desi "in or out of school" fiction stories. A huge waste of money, i had to force myself to read the book and dumb down my level of intelligence to get through it. Please dont waste money on this.

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  12. i will say it was ok type. some how good and some how bad. but quite nice story.my best caracter was arti, so lovely.

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  14. I totally agree with you..
    I dont know what to do with my copy of this pathetic book.... I think its a crime to write so bad... and on top of that he proclaims it to be a best seller...
    I wonder if there is a consumer forum where I can lodge a complaint agianst this guy for wasting ppl's money and time....

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  15. To be very Frank...I feel to ask you that were you in hurry to end the Book and just dump it? I mean the end is really stupid. I mean why should a lady with so much money and Lovely daughter comitt sucide and let her daugter get killed. The end was really a wrapped up one and sad.

    I liked to read this book, but u need to work on following points

    1. Try unpredictive things but realistic.
    E.g a group of guys drunk and lie in bed with Girla and parents pop in!!! I know its a real mess but thats very very predictive to make a mess.

    In all i am sad to read the end....But the book was good , editing the end out of it.

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  16. Inexperience speaks volumes! The book is very poorly written; the characters are not well developed; there are many gaps in the storyline and the writing style is absurd!! There are so many grammatical mistakes - articles missing and punctuation errors - they are quite distracting.

    I picked the book along with two of Chetan Bhagat's novels; but Chetan's style of writing is so simple and flawless!

    Mandar seems to have a long way to go before he can even call himself an author! Both, the wanna-be-author and the publication house need to work in their respective areas!

    Hope that second time will be the charm for both of them!

    -Soumitra

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  17. hiii....nice book to start of with....its really entertaining.....i was looking 4 a gud book be4 my 12th board result.....n ya i can say this was a gr8 book to keep my mind fresh....my frnds had also liked ur book....i m looking 4 ur next book 2 come soon....
    -nisha

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  18. It's really nice book.... full amusement is provided in this book... writer has done a good job.... the way he represent characters specially raj and sam.... i like that....good job

    Surabhi Dave

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  19. This book is a classic! One must note the idiosyncratic style of writing. It is indeed a rare and brave publisher who can put this book in the hands of the public, for how many people can appreciate true art? And like all high art, it makes for heavy reading. Raw and gritty, the language reflects the speech and mind of the common Indian (scary).

    Needless to say my mind was completely overwhelmed by the genius of the novel because of which I was unable to finish it. One requires a mind stronger than mine as well as a much stronger stomach to do so.

    Deserves a Booker at least.

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  20. d book was amazing...... i luvd d role of NEHA... omg..... wish even i had a frnd like neha...... amazing.. luv her

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  21. I think its a decent attempt , but honestly not worth a best seller. I mean the English is really bad at certain places, I mean one wouldnt expect that from a bestseller. I think its quite predicable as well , Honestly there is element of surprise or anything , as you go on , you know what will happen next.


    I would give it 5/10

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  22. i couldnt agree more with you

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  23. Sooooooooooooooooooo bad. The trillions of flaws In punctuation, grammar, usage, spelling, etc. are frustrating to read through. The story itself is poorly developed, and the characters are as thin as the pages of this book (yes, literally--text basically bleeds through the pages).

    Another thing: van Hussein.

    This guy should stick to civil engineering.

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  24. The book is really gud!!stop complaining guys..this is his first book..he'l improve as the days go by..

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  25. The author seems to be immature in writing a book.
    Not pretty bad for a first time author, but yes seems to be written by some 16 yr old kid.

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  26. I don't know when it comes to a review, why, Why, we become so critical.

    Bottomline: The book was interesting to read. I know Mandar didn't describe the texture of snapping twigs which he saw while walking to Aarti's doorstep. So!

    Stop comparing Mandar with Chetan bhagat, whoever it was in the reviews. Chetan was 32 when he wrote his first book and mandar is in his early 20's. Bollocks! He has got BALLS!

    All you critical remarkers, let me know if there is any dream you are following, i know you aren't else you wouldn't be so critical.

    MANDAR : You know where to improve, ur language is Lardy and grammar needs improvement too. Rest you will learn with Time and reading.
    Good Job.

    Serve the masses and stay with the classes or Serve the classes and stay with the masses. Go figure!

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  27. Roughly speaking ... its an excellent book for the beginner who writes this .. for reades perspective its ok .

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  28. Hey Mandar its grt book in start. we all are with you for help if you need. I like the story. And i feel i was into one of them. Few things happen same with me but overall its grt story. my id is md.danish.amber@live.com. I love those characters indeed and i was asking if you reed my blog please. I want to create the movie on this one so i may need your help. Please do helpme...
    THANX.

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  29. This book was send to me by a friend of mine , later she suffered a lot

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  30. well written.......... was able to read it one go....... d language bothered me a bit though

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  31. its an amazing buk .......! see ppl here who think themselves as big critcs are basically dumb themselves y don u try writin some books yorself nd we shall see.......! he's writin fr the 1st time nd u guys actin lyk complete jerks diregard the book.......! nd yeah chetan has altogher a different style of writin nd even if he is copyin den wats wrong in tat its nt a crime hez commited ...! if u guys luv buks take up the courage to read books like angels and demons ...! da vinci code etc i bet u u'll have to literally keep a dictionary next to u and sit .....! guys stp being pessimistic atleast encourage him so tat he may cum up wid more btr novels nxt tym.....!its tough to satisfy all kinds nd gene. of ppl so i'd rather give a thumbs up nd probably rate it 7.5/10.......! :)

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  32. i am reading this book....
    but i don't want to read any further as it is a cheap story. A funny book doesn't have to be cheap. Its an adult book.. No offence but seriously.. nice try Mr. KOKATE.... you have the potential.. you can do much better.

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  33. i think its nt a gud1.......d problems shown in bk were tackled such easy way det no xcitment...its a such rot book

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  34. when i finshed reading "oh shit, not again", i was literally saying the same thing... all of expression publications' novels are such pieces of crap!! they seem to have no editors there, it seems... n pple who defend this guy saying that he's young and that this is his first attempt, give it a break guys!!! i'm an aspiring author too and i'd kill myself i ever wrote crap like this... he treats women as if they were sexual objects and nothing else. this is the way he thinks and it isn't because it's his debut novel!
    his characters are hollow, he can't develop the incidents in his story and he's like a twitchy frog, hopping from here to there... i'd give this a 2.5/10 just for his bravery... you need to be extremely brave to have the public read this!!!

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  35. One book i will regret to have read. specifically targeted the sex obsessed population of our country. Typical example of how to make a block buster by adding loads of masala

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  36. This book was utter rubbish...rating it 0.5 out of 5 is quite generous...The autour was so confused...lost track of all the plots involved and a completely bizare ending!!! God knows what he was trying to tell the reader...!!!!all in one of the worst books i have ever read!!!

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  37. The book was utter utter crap. There were typos and evidently, the author was so desperate to imitate Chetan Bhagat's style. And the writing style was immature and wannabe type. Way too many sexual encounters (another indicator of his attempt to copy Bhagat). Mandar should understand that Chetan Bhagat is class apart. He should try and carve his own niche(which i don't see happening in near future). I was seriously distraught after reading the book. Thumbs down folks.
    P.S.-He really needs to work on his English.

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  38. And haan, I suggest Wren and Martin to Mr. Mandar. And kudos to him for having the balls to publish this s**t.

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  39. i really agree with reshma (awesome sarcasm)...the book was pathetic 2 say d least....n y d hell do each 1 of dese crap books hv a 'national bestseller' tag. d book was so bad dt writing about it makes my stomach lurch...cant write more...awful...

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  40. This book is proof of the fact that there ARE bad books in this world. With no storyline and spineless characters, no wonder I had a headache reading it.

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  42. it wz nt such a bad 1....it wz fun yr...a awsm buk fo teenagers....;-)

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  43. omg. its a rip off of what chetan bhagat writes. on top it is the rotten storyline and an over the top dramatic ending. not at all realistic :(

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  44. I dont know how some people considered this book "pretty good" or "entertaining"....I am an avid reader and this a book I could not read through... it was so so bad. It was simply crass... as some one has rightly commented that a 16 year old could have written better. His English is substandard. His use of words is poor and lets not talk about grammar...he should go back to school to learn it again. In the book the author tells about his sister Neha and there is a joke about a finger being cut etc....and hearing this stupid joke the protagonist falls off the bed laughing.... well if this is the standard of the author's sense of humour.... then I have to say he rightfully thought that we would die laughing....not because his writing is funny but because we got fooled by the book's cover which was the only attractive thing.....Mandar Kokate should stop writing. He cannot write.

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  45. dis book is really awesome..........

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  46. I am here because I was trying to find out the reason how come this 'nonsense' story has become best seller...??? I am not very particular about style of writing but the totally useless plot and characters, irresponsible thoughts of writer who thinks that somehow the book should be sold, is irritating. .. It's really .. Oh SHIT, NOT AGAIN

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  47. this book is awesome. i loved it

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  48. This book is an utter waste of time... and from no angle seems to be a Best seller !!!! he has simply tried to copy many writers...... or if I put it on his face.... he is prbly trying to be Chetan Bhagat !!!!

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  49. This book is an utter waste of time... and from no angle seems to be a Best seller !!!! he has simply tried to copy many writers...... or if I put it on his face.... he is prbly trying to be Chetan Bhagat !!!!

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  50. First thing i would say is it is a BAD book. Period. Terrible one even. Please do not make excuses with it is the first time or he is still young. Come on it is an English novel you cannot make grammatical mistakes and publish it with it especially In this day and age with such advanced technologies. Next the plot and idea was interesting but it became too crowded and so unrealistic to the point of sheer disbelief. I just could not read after a point. And to people who say we criticize this book cause we read too many foreign authors I am proud to say that i had the pleasure of reading some of the best of Indian Writers(R.K Narayanan, Salman Rushdie, Anita Nair, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Kiran Desai,Jhumpa Lahiri) to name a very few and this book is just not fit to be anywhere in the list. Even Chetan Bhagat has a originality that is quite endearing. I know to each his own and tastes are different but please do not claim this is the best Indian Book it is actually quite hurtful.

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  51. sorry fr being so harsh bt i hated dis book....the ending was so abrupt.... n d character raj...despite having a gf he ws getting attracted to another...it ws pathetic...as i ws reading i felt as though u were trying to imitate the style of chetan bhagat which i din't like at all.....hope u'll take dese cmnts seriously n will try harder next time.... :)

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  52. The main character is portrayed as a pervert ....his name might as well have been Mr. Pervie Perverson , indulging in adultery , cheating on his girlfriend, further substandard English along wish use of thesaurus on random words were the last nails in the coffin.. and "A national Best seller " u otta be kiddin .... :)

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  53. Mr.Mandar Kokate has done a wonderful job by writing this book.. It has contain some naughty ideas but it is really good. In one word i can say itz awesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....

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  54. i liked the end part... good book...

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  55. I dnt read d buk, this review and comnts r provokin me 2 read, Oh shit! Not again...
    ic

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  56. Gosh ......!!!!Wasted time in reading this book...!!!
    Mr. Mandar .....plz do not write for the next time....!!!

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  57. First book or not, new guy or not....u just can NOT be so bad in describing the plot. The first book is usually where the writer takes a lot of instances/inspiration from his/her own life so much so that it is akin to writing the story of your life. First book is also somewhere the writer connects with the reader. Your first attempt can not be so feeble.
    There is no humor in this book what so ever. Even the promising situation like jumping the wall of the girl's house is described so atrociously.
    Another thing.....its good to have a character in your story which u can use as a punching bag (coz i feel u r writing this one for the Indian cinema) but giving the readers details of what one of you characters eats every 5 pages is definitely not the way to go. I just had to skip those details after 2nd time or so. You can not miss describing the scene and add the fillers by describing the gluttony of one of the characters.
    Another thing which i feel is probably not your fault completely, the editing of this book is non existent. @Editors a poorly written piece should'nt have been allowed to go for print verbatim.
    And this goes for all those describing the book as good great and stuff like that and also for the author himself, please read a lot before you write the reviews or your next book respectively.
    I am sorry but this book is a league of its own and i m staying away from that league.
    Wish you luck Mandar, hope this is just a stepping stone.

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  58. where can i download the buk ???

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  59. Hi, Am Rahul Verma. Am a regualr reader of your post and I would be glad if you can pass me your review of my upcoming novel "Forever Indeed!"

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