The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.


Two books, same industry, different topics... similar agendas?

Didn't know the Sri Lankan literary world could get so interesting.Autobiographies I understand, and with it the naming and shaming game,that becomes part and parcel of a true story, though usually with enough dramatizations to blur the line between fact and fiction.

But a thinly veiled work of 'fiction' to take potshots at people you don't like? That's just cheap, thinkst I. Of the two books in question, I haven't had the pleasure to read either, though I have read one of the early drafts of one. For simplicity, let's call the books 'A' & 'B'.

One friend called 'A' well-written and entertaining, though it doesn't take away from the fact that it is a book that takes pot shots at personae non gratae, frequently presenting fiction as fact and vice versa.

Another read 'B' and had this to say (I'm quoting verbatim here) :

He thinks that just because he backdates an incident 40 years and changes a few names, no one will know.


You know, that book is so bloody corny, just slightly below the drama level of 'Bold and the Beautiful' - there's a line that goes (upon which reading I fell on the floor) :"Did you sleep with my husband?"


And the title really takes the cake - (it should be) "His life, in third person".


Which makes me wonder what the point of such books are. It doesn't take much to write events as is, and just change a few names - hell, even I could do that. (I don't know how good the actual writing is in either books, so I'm going by the comments made by my friends).

But if you are going to talk about real people and real (as well as fabricated) events, albeit with changing few basic plot points, why not be man enough to own up to it? Why not say it is autobiographical, or at least semi auto biographical? Because that is the truth of it.

How sad to not have enough balls to stand by fact, and hide behind the banner of fiction.

And if the characters have been picked out of the flora and fauna of one's own life, I guess the entire duty of characterisation as an author becomes wholly unnecessary. I'm guessing neither 'A' nor 'B' will provide future generations with Lady Macbeths, Michael Henchards or even Charlie Browns.

Now moving on to the main point I wanted to make. People are all up in arms at the publication of 'A', yet are unseemly quiet when their friend publishes 'B'. So what differentiates two books identical in all the intrinsic points? (for the record, I think neither books should have been written, let alone published, in the manner that they have)

I guess anything goes, as long as it is done by a friend...aaah, the hypocrisy of people.

5 comments:

By book A, I think you're referring to a certain book that talks about a particular agency in Colombo.

Having read the book, I found it to be a very contrived piece of rubbish. The author has stretched himself so much to sound humourous, that I'm sure he must have pulled his literary muscles out of shape permanently.

In fact, after reading it, my sense of humour was aching in sympathy for what he must have gone through!

Ha ha ha!

So then the two books have even more in common - they are both badly written, amongst other things.

Seriously though, why do these guys even bother?

hehehe, the books of Sri Lanka.
Hmmmmmmm

Sad, don't you think?

I can't imagine why trash like this gets picked up up publishers while we have much better authors being ignored.

I suppose one needs the right connections.

Well one of those "authors" actually works for a printer, which explains how he got published ;)

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