Sunday, December 22, 2013

Book Review: Ithaca by David Davidar

This is the story about a person behind the story tellers, a publisher. The protagonist of this story, a person of Indian origin, working for an international publishing firm, climbs up the career ladder for being with a right person (a star author of Angel’s series of books) at the right time, which helps him earn name and money for his firm. But all is not well in his personal life and his relationship with his wife, who is also part of publishing industry, has turned soar. 

To find peace with himself, he tries a vacation in an uncommon place, Thimphu in Bhutan. As heads back to his office in London, he finds that his star author, who was in his old age and facing personal trauma, is no more alive. In the absence of a new book in the Angel’s series, his firm has nothing significant to offer, so the financials of the firm take a hit. And the company becomes an acquisition target. To defend the position of his firm, he has to do whatever it takes. As per advice of CEO of the firm, he heads to meet the translator of his star author, and to his surprise he finds there was a last piece of unpublished work. His company pays a hefty amount to acquire the rights and plans a series of events to promote and distribute the rights of the book to other languages and media, and the promotional event in Frankfurt fair gets the attention he expected and on the other note, reconciliation efforts with his wife seems to be paying off. 

Despite pulling off a new book which has all the potential to improve financials, his firm gets acquired by a bigger firm which is run by a ruthless and ambitious person. And the unexpected developments, that the book was not an original piece of work by the start author but a desperate attempt of his translator putting together pieces from an already published work by another author. This attracts criticism by the media and the protagonist of the story gets fired. He returns to India, his village in a hilly station and gets consoled by an unusual person, a postman of the village. He accepts that no one can escape fate but looks forward optimistically to find a new direction in life.