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Bollywood Nights

2.61  ·  Rating Details ·  725 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Bollywood is no place for a vulnerable, small-town girl like Aasha Rani. But that doesn't stop her mother from pushing her into a world of exploitation and bedroom casting calls. Aasha has no choice but to thrive-despite the vicious circles of starlets, pimps, and celebrities who want to see her meet her end.

But the day she meets Bollywood's leading man, everything she's
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by NAL (first published April 1st 1991)
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Jan 26, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok
Shelves: india
What a joyless book. Prepared for the glamour of Bollywood, instead, this novel shows you its trash.

Aasha Rani is a Bollywood heroine. Brought to the film world by her mother, she quickly discovers that to survive in Bollywood you must trade your body, if not your soul. While she does well as an actress and appears in many films it is not a very happy life.

The man she loves is married and while she is his mistress she can have no more than that. Others she sleeps with offer the same lack of emot
সাদমান হুসাইন
Curiosity killed the cat, and curiosity killed my three hours. I repent the decision to even start the book, the initial pages were filled with enough stupidity that should have deterred me from reading more pages. I kept an optimistic attitude and ventured further into the book, only to find more and more disappointment.

The main character is a woman who is more than okay to use her body to gain a foothold in the movie industry of India. While that might be true, that is one horrendously bad cho
Jun 21, 2012 Pallavi rated it really liked it
It brings out what the movie world is all about. Most of us are very happy at seeing the packaging and forget that beneath the packaging there might a truth which we have been running away from.
Dec 05, 2012 Debbie rated it it was ok
Bollywood Nights is a tell all type of book involving the Bollywood film industry but since it's a work of fiction the names and dates have beenn changed and the surroundings melded together to protect the innocent or the way this book tells it, to hide the actions of the guilty. I do like Bollywood films and spent a good part of my reading of this book , an extended gossip column, wracking my brain wondering who was really who? Who is Ms Shobhaa De tadling on? I'm sure only the author ,and the ...more
Nov 13, 2014 Betty rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
I am a Bollywood fan so I jumped at the change to read this book. I wanted to like it, and was very disappointed. Although I expected this to be a "behind the scenes" and to see some things which are not so nice about the industry, I was not prepared for the (what to me) seemed a very biased story and a flat out attack on the Bollywood industry. The author didn't seem to have anything nice to say about it. She made it seem like for everyone in the industry it was a complete nightmare and drain o ...more
Radhika Bhangolai
Aug 14, 2014 Radhika Bhangolai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shobhaa De unveils the truth about Bollywood film industry in this novel. The truth that we often get to see in bits and pieces in films.

The story is narrated well with each character having their own views
about the reigning star Aasha Rani - Sweetheart of Millions. Thrown into the dirty world of cinema by her mother, the story is about her rise and fall in the film industry. Being a nobody to a top movie star, I guess everyone knows the price she had to pay to reach that stardom. One is bound
Feb 01, 2008 R rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a raunchy novel about a Bollywood starlet nymphomaniac named Asha Rani who uncreatively bears a striking resemblance to a mixture of Rekha and Hema Malini. It makes sense that this book rings so close to the real life stories of the bollywood industry because De was a model and editor of several bollywood tabloid mags. De's "fictional" portrayal of the bollywood industry describes a woman who is used as a pawn for the ambition of her mother. The shock value of reading about Asha Rani's ...more
Sep 27, 2007 Pauline rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. If Bollywood really does run this way I am shocked or maybe just too naive.The author of this book is also the creator of the bollywood movie magazine Stardust.

The main character of the book is Aasha Rani (sound familiar to anyone?)and she is forced into films by her desperate mother.At the age of 15 she is forced into one producers bed after another until you are so confused you can't recall who she has slept with and who she has not.She does become famous for a time then j
Jan 19, 2011 Fareesa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hope my English Lit teacher never comes across this review, BUT its another junk food for the mind. To make it in Hollywood is difficult. To make it in Bollywood (if you arent coming from a film family OR winning a pageant)..its disgusting. This book tells the story of a rising starlet and her downfall - apparently based on real stories. Very interesting and scandalous for such a censored society.
Aug 28, 2012 Anuja rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Its like reading one of those magazines. Flip pages and you have managed to kill the waiting time.
Apr 29, 2016 Eileen rated it did not like it
Shelves: asia
Published in 1991, Bollywood Nights (also known as Starry Nights) was one of Shobhaa Dé's first novels, inspired by real-life love affairs among the heroes and leading ladies of the Indian silver screen. It tells the story of Aasha Rani, a starlet pushed into the industry by her ruthlessly ambitious mother, the mistress of a ruined producer who willfully exploits her daughter to pornographers and lecherous producers. Amma's tactics pay off, however, and Aasha Rani eventually reaches A-list statu ...more
Sheetal Maurya (Halo of Books)

This is a second book of Shobha de. She had a successful career in modelling and glamour world and this book is a replica of the dark side of Bollywood. This book was first published in 1991. It is believed that the love affair of Aasha Rani and Akshay Arora is based on the love life of Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha.

Plot summary:

Viji, a dark chubby girl from Madras was pushed into blue films by her own mother, Amma. Later she ventured into the film industry by the famous producer Kis
Apr 21, 2011 ~ToniG~ rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-i-own, 2011
I truly wanted to like this novel. The author seemed to have great insight in the "Bollywood" world, and I was excited to purchase and read this book. I have read many Indian novels and have enjoyed most of them. Also, I am a lover of Bollywood cinema.

Had I read reviews of this novel before I purchased the book, I might have thought twice before buying.That being said...I was disappointed to say the least.

It could have been a good book. As a reader I could have empathized with the main character
Jul 11, 2007 Nancy rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: tawdry actresses
There is a reader's guide in the back with a Q&A with the author, Shobhaa De. I will quote it here so you will understand my prejudice against the author:

Q: You are credited with having invented "Hinglish," which combines English with local colloquialisms. How and when did that happen?

A. It happened quite naturally when I was editing Stardust. I decided to incorporate "street speak" into one of its most popular columns ("Neeta's Natter"). The language was spicy, racy and catc
...Avec cette histoire romanesque, Shodhaa Dé illustre parfaitement le milieu du cinéma indien où les stars font partie des symboles de la réussite sociale, non sans y perdre leur innocence. Une réussite pourtant éphémère dans un milieu corrompu et dans un pays où les femmes restent les obligées des hommes et de ceux qui ont de l’argent.

» Les hommes sont cruels. Très cruels. Il n’y a pas de justice en ce monde. Et aucune égalité entre hommes et femmes. Ne va pas croire que le mariage y change q
May 27, 2013 Becky rated it did not like it
You can find my full review here

I really wanted to like this book. I often want to read books about cultures that are foreign to me so I can learn something and get a glimpse into how other people like, work, and play. Bollywood is fascinating to me as it seems so different from Hollywood. I thought this book would be great for looking into the culture. It's too bad that this book wasn't good. It was vulgar at times. It was full of Hindi phrases without translations so I had no idea what they we
Mani Kant
I had a guilty pleasure reading Shobha De’s bestseller Starry Nights. I knew what was in the store because of my occasional readings of Stardust and her columns. But, in the novel she has used all her abilities and experiences rather too skilfully: too much sex, too much drama and too much filmy. Asha Rani, the central character of the book, has traces of Rekha, Hema Malini, Karishma Kapoor, Mandakini, Madhuri Dixit and many more other Divas. Not for a moment, I felt that I was not watching a Bo ...more
Aug 14, 2009 okyrhoe rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookcrossing, india
This is a light read, lots of action, fastpaced and just about the right amount of sex and four-letter words this side of acceptability.
It wasn't until late in the book that it became evident the plot's time frame is set in the early or mid 80's.
The protagonist, Aasha Rani is the Indian film industry's hottest star, the "sweetheart of the millions." To get to the top, well, she had to make her way past a possessive mother, an absent father, a scheming sister, plenty of double-crossing lovers (
Urvashi Pahwa
I enjoyed reading the book but it gets frustrating by the time you reach the second half. The author had tried to fit all the incidents she knew into one person's life. That seemed unrealistic. The protagonist takes abrupt decisions, the story moves abruptly from one scene to other , without any ties to the previous one, and no explanations later. The protagonist did not learn from her mistakes. You will start hating her by the end. All the characters are flagrant. Not even a single person is go ...more
Jaykumar Buddhdev
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2007 Deepa rated it liked it
Maybe this is what behind-the-scenes bollywood is like. I ddn't find it warm in fuzzy. I found it raw, cold and perturbing. Almost as if the author was trying too hard. All the main character does is have sex!! W/ random people....all kinds of people.

I dunno. Not really my cup of tea. Got it as a birthday gift, but Im' like 100% sure the person who gave it to me just bought it b/c the cover looked kinda cool ;)

Not sure if I would recommend it as a 'good read'. However, I do find myself wond
Well, although I generally enjoyed this book, I found it a bit irritating that it seems there really were no redeeming characters, from the heroine on down - no friendship, no love, no partnership, no business association that somehow made all the rest worth while. Every relationship in the book, including the one with her own daughter, was somehow flawed or tainted. No man, no woman is worthy of trust, and even the heroine is incapable of sticking to any sort of principle, as distasteful as man ...more
Roubeeni Mohan (bookish_mermaid91)
It was a good read... Pictures an actress's life accurately. Yet I felt certain parts were degrading and painful to read. As a woman myself I could feel the pain that the main character had to go through. She had to shut down her feelings just for the sake of her family. And having a mother who is your own pimp, gees that's sickening. This book has showed how a woman can ruin another woman's life, regardless of who she is in your life-it could be the woman who bared you 9 months in her womb and ...more
Sep 25, 2011 Allison rated it did not like it
I once had a college professor who told the class that the worst thing to be in life was mediocre. If you're going to be bad, be the worst. But if you're going to be good, be the best. No one ever shared that with Shobhaa De. This book wasn't good, but wasn't bad. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. I kept waiting for the big climax to come, for the plot to thicken, but alas, it never happened. It's basically a novel about a bunch of spoiled Bollywood actresses. I recommend not wasting your time ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Susana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a quienes les gusta la cultura india
Recommended to Susana by: una amiga
Me gustan los bailes y las canciones de las películas de Bollywood aunque reconozco que las películas, salvo alguna excepción (Devdas me encantó) son un pelín tontorronas, aunque en muchas ocasiones divertidas. Pero lo más apasionante de ellas son el colorido, el exotismo de los trajes, de las danzas, de las canciones... En esta novela nos descubren la otra cara de la moneda, cómo puede ser la vida de una estrella de Bollywood, tras las bambalinas, más allá de los decorados y de los castos abraz ...more
Dec 09, 2010 Ceej rated it did not like it
I had kind of been looking forward to reading this book. I figured I'd learn something about Bollywood or at least enjoy some fiction about it. This book was painful. I think it should be required when a book is done in another language then translated to English, there should be a glossary attached. I kept having to interpret the meaning. I was also not expecting this to centralize itself on the sexcapades of a young girl being used after her mother sold her to the movie industry. Needless to s ...more
Sushma Syam
May 15, 2016 Sushma Syam rated it it was ok
Never read Shobhaa De's novels though followed her blog for a while, so the reason to pick it up was I happened to see in the library shelves browsing randomly and obviously being a big time movie buff, picked it up.. while I would say there is absolutely no literary value, it does bring out the ugly angle of the movie world. I am not sure about the author's style of writing so I am not really sure if it seemed like verbal porn at times to me or it is in general, other than that it is a passable ...more
Oct 27, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Eh. Maybe something was lost in translation, but this book isn't very good. For a novel with so much sex in it, it's surprisingly un-hot sex, more a quick rough description than anything sensual.

And good LORD was there a lot of sex in it. I'm trying to think if the main character ever met a male character that she didn't then immediately shag. I don't think so, except for her father.

And the flashback way of storytelling got old. A new character would appear, and someone would go into a flashbac
Eva Kandarpa
Jul 09, 2007 Eva Kandarpa rated it it was ok
This book was an easy read and pretty fluffy, but entertaining. I read it on vacation, so it was perfect. It was pretty racy. This is especially true when you consider that it was written by an Indian women about and loosely based on her knowledge of the movie industry in India. A lot of graphic and detailed sex scenes and the main character is constantly driven by and associated with sex. It was very interesting, but the ending seemed a little contrite and it disappointed. That is why I only ga ...more
Apr 18, 2008 Preeta rated it it was ok
Being a follower of Bollywood happenings, this book represents Bollywood like cutting and pasting together the lives of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, Angelina Jolie, and Ellen Degeneres does Hollywood. Emphasis on cutting and pasting together their sex lives more than their true life stories. In other words, this book totally lacked any 3-D depth and the characters were little more than hedonistic (viva la vida loca). It does read like a Stardust magazine, which I must admit I ...more
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Shobha Rajadhyaksha known as Shobhaa Dé is an Indian columnist and novelist. She graduated from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai with a degree in psychology. After making her name as a model, she began a career in journalism in 1970, during the course of which she founded and edited three magazines – Stardust, Society, and Celebrity.
In the 1980s, she contributed to the Sunday magazine section of the T
More about Shobhaa Dé...

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