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Show Business

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  430 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A triumphant novel about the razzle-dazzle Hindi film industry.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 20th 1993 by Arcade Publishing (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  430 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Feb 15, 2007 rated it did not like it
A major let-down after the Great Indian Novel
Jo-Ann Murphy
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I know very little about India or Bollywood so I was happy to win this book through the Goodreads giveaways.

I was a little confused in the beginning of the book due to both the style and my lack of knowledge of India but became intrigued by the story. It was not long before I caught on. It was an enjoyable read with a surprise ending that I never expected.

The characters are well developed and interesting. It is a well written very realistic story about a self absorbed man who gives no real thoug
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Of all the books of Shashi Tharoor's , this one definitely seems like the worst. The book lacks a good narrative - in fact there is absolutely nothing that holds one's attention. The plot is very contrived, seems like inspired from the lives/gossip we hear about so many of the popular Bollywood actors that you predict the story in most places. I used to regularly read his opinion columns - and they were usually well written even if I dint agree with his arguments. This has left me wondering whet ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An amateurish portrait of a one-dimensional man who becomes a huge Bollywood star, gets married and tries politics. Most of the story was scenes from his films. These were entertainingly absurd. The rest was awkward monologues from people in his life and his own musings, essentially "how did I get here?"

This was available at the Dollar Tree for a reason.
Prateek Phadke
Mar 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Avoid on all accounts...

This is a heap of carelessly drawn characters, drowning themselves in utterly cheap dialogues and crap story. I am even feeling ashamed to donate to a library or somebody else. This is surely going to a trash bin. :-(
Judaline Torcato
Aug 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Totally not worth it!
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Written by an Indian national, it has the resonance of that culture, which to me is unique. The story is all about Bollywood and young film-star, Ashok, who seems to happily stumble into just about everything in his life -- he goes to Bollywood, and becomes a star, and eventually also has a political career. The book combines styles, including film play format. I laughed out loud at descriptions of Ashok's movies. At the end I was left with a lot to ponder. Tharoor's subtle sa ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I feel there is a disconnect between the voice that authored the book to the person in real life which made me skeptical about the work of the author. The eloquence of the spoken word of Shashi Tharoor did not come across in the book to me. A few chapters dragged on as well.
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Simply brilliant. A must read for all Bollywood fans. Sarcasm and humour galore...Tharoor at his best.
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always though Shashi Tharoor is a fanstastic writer - not just that his language is pleasure to read but his books have well-thought out structure. I loved his book Riots, it did Roshomon in literature. Similarly, Show Business has something to look forward to in form of structure. More about that later.

From a plot perspective, I didn't learn anything new about politics and show business (read Bollywood). Because real life has presented more salacious stuff than fiction can. Yet the chara
Rajni Vashist
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rajni  Vashist :

Show Business an apt Title for this book a Bollywood mirror.. I would like to call it a PAGE3 Novel. Ashok Banjara's dubious character and life very common in Indian society now in all 3 classes. Maya... wife... Mother and daughter in law expected to be a goddess in our myth of traditional values. Mehnaz Elahi women available to ruin and trouble mental peace of goddess now entered from filmstan to real Indian world. A relationship which based on lust for fame and money will alway
Oct 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tharoor's Show Business gives an interesting composition of the Indian entertainment industry's links to society and politics. The book reflects the old saying that what you get is not what you want and what you want is not what you get. The book indeed delivers some very strong messages of integrity and what greed and indifference and disloyalty can bring to one's life. While songs are selling features in Bollywood movies, I am not sure how much the transliteration of songs in the movie narrati ...more
Chitra Nair
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quite hilarious but insightful about the trappings of modern day India!
I bet Amitabh Bachchan would have had the shock of his life if he read it! :P
Abhishek Indwar
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have always admired Shashi Tharoor as a good diplomat and an excellent statesman. He has many good videos on YouTube. This is the first novel I read. Frankly speaking, initially when I started this novel, the writing style was bit different and for initial few pages I wondered if I will have the patience to continue with this book. But slowly and gradually his writing took over and I love the way he describes the story of the protagonist. He very well sarcastically describes about Indian ideol ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not sure if I would like this book, because I am really not into reading entertainment news. However, I found this book very enjoyable. The writing style is very interesting and alternates between the actors' lives, scenes from movies they are filming, stories from a gossip column, and monologues about their feelings. The ending was actually very surprising. Although, there probably are Indians that would criticize the author for creating characters as Indian stereotypes. ...more
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A crazy laugh out loud satirical take on the underbelly of BOLLYWOOD. I could not stop laughing at the obvious comparisons to MOGAMBO (craftily called GODAMBO here) and ASHOK BANJARA's wild antics among other minor characters make this book a pleasure to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a giggle at the inane workings of BOLLYWOOD and how fickle the entertainment world can be. 5 STARS!!!!!!! ...more
Sourabh Jaiswal
I dint like the book that much. Its did not meet the expectation that I have from shashi Tharoor.
This book talks about an actor's life, his ups and downs. How mean he has been in his entire life even though he never meant any of those.
Dint find anything commendable in this book.
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
The beauty lies in the details. Thankfully the details aren't all that deep and it's a fun read.
You will especially enjoy this book if you are aware of Amitabh Bachhan's life story. There are parallels but Shashi Tharoor exercises enough creative liberty to keep you hooked.
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is surely a fun and indulgent read, especially when you can attach real faces to the characters, which Tharoor ensures don't stray away from being not-so-obvious. It oscillates between a scintillating Page 3 read and a real biography. And pretty well at that. ...more
Anandh Sundar
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Like other Shashi Tharoor books, this one blends fiction and real life seamlessly. Some may say Ashok Banjara is BigB in terms of politics, accident, 'rumoured affairs' etc, but there are cases for and against it. Certainly a one time read but a really explosive ending ...more
Aug 12, 2007 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book (its about bollywood!), but found it a bit dull.
S L Faisal S L Faisal
Sep 08, 2009 is currently reading it
All the Bollywood and more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
shocking one about bollywood
Aathira Jim
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved it! My detailed review here
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
4-stars only for Shashi Tharoor's wit and satire.The way he connects politics,religion and cinema is too good. ...more
Krittika Mittal
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Shashi Tharoor novel. I liked it so much, I must have suggested it to atleast 20 people after me. I just love his style of writing. I would recommend people to read this.
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
if you like Indian fiction and want to read a book from a former minister this is a good one to try
Abhay Verma
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was fun.
A lot of characters, explored in good detail, a nice story. Easy to recommend.
Ramaswamy Raman
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
A critical, humourous book on how the Hindi film industry works, using the story of an actor rising from the bottom to become a super star.
The book takes the story of a new comer into the Hindi film industry, his rise, the controversies he gets into and his entry into politics, his decline and so on.
The plot has uncanny and purposely done similarity to Amitabh Bachchan's life, his controversies,etc also his accident and the effects it had with the people of India.
Overall a well written book with
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great fictional story finely threaded with humor, partial reality and conceptual facts of the 21st century!
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Shashi Tharoor is a member of the Indian Parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala. He previously served as the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information and as the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs.

He is also a prolific author, columnist, journalist and a human rights advocate.

He has served on the Board of Overseers of the Fle

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