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3.18  ·  Rating details ·  72 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
By bestselling author David Davidar, Ithaca is a thrilling account of international publishing.
In the early years of the 21st Century, sweeping change is taking place in the publishing industry. Ill-equipped to handle the transformation of their world, a number of publishing houses struggle to survive – one of these is Litmus, an independent firm in the UK. The onus of en
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by McClelland & Stewart
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Rajshekhar Chatterjee
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the most fast paced books i have read recently. Probably one very well written. Especially the characterization is superb. Whats interesting is through the potrayelof a publishers life a meaning has been provided for each of our lives.
Definitely a must read for everyone.! :)
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, ebooks, fiction
I confess to mixed motives for reading this one. My first motive was to see what Davidar, a publisher and accomplished novelist (see book: [House of Blue Mangos] would write following the debacle described here. My second motive was a simple attraction to the theme of Ithaca - an analytical but loving series of observations on the accomplishments and ultimate challenges facing the publishing and retail book industries. The main character is a publisher (check); from India (check); surrounded by ...more
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
There isn't much of a plot here, and for most parts I found the book to be descriptive rather than narrative. The story tell us about a phase in the life of a hot-shot publisher working with a niche publishing company. Due to his efforts the company is able to sign on an author who has been written off as an 'also-ran'. But then the author comes up with a gem of a fantasy series, which ensures that the company manages to sail out of its financial difficulties. however, due to some circumstances, ...more
Aug 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Though 'Ithaca' doesn't have a strong or a gripping story line, I'm grateful for having read this for the single reason that it educated me on the workings of the publishing industry worldwide. No book will just be a book to me henceforth. Unpublished manuscripts, agents, advances, editors, CEOs, balance sheets, sales forecasts, retailer margins and shareholders will all come to my mind each time a book stares back at me from a shelf.

Davidar brings his personal experience in the publishing arena
Jan 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
House of Blue Mangoes set an expectation which remains sadly unsurpassed or even met in David Davidar's subsequent books .. Solitude of Emperors became tedious in its preachy obvious-ness about secularism, fundamentalism and the the like.. He continues his downward slide with this semi-autographical book based unsurprisingly in the Publishing world. But Instead of offering rare insights due to his own first-hand knowledge and experience, the book instead charts the often boring course of a aging ...more
Mahima Kohli
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wonderful read, that too after a long long time. Basically an insider's take on the global publishing scene. Insightful for all budding writers and in fact anyone who likes to read really good stuff. Thanks, Harsh, for recommending this book to me!
Ramesh Prabhu
Feb 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Brilliant publishers don't necessarily make good writers.
Amarnath nair
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Its a really gripping novel. A journey through publishing business. A great read for those who like to know about the publishing world. the end was little sad but that's life. The book stands to prove that its journey that matters and not the destination.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by this novel which sheds bare the myths of the publishing industry, written by a giant from within its ranks.

The principal character, Zach, closely resembling the author in his Indo-Anglo roots, is trying to save his beleaguered publishing house from extinction when its solo best-selling author dies without another book in queue. Zach goes on a hunt around the major book buying cities of the world in search of a final manuscript of the reclusive author that is supposedly lurking
Rohil Bhavadasan
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Ithaca is an insight into the world of the publishing industry..and being authored by the chief editor of Penguin, it kinda "I assume" stays true to the stuff happening behind the scenes w.r.t the treatment of books and authors.
Overall, it kinda drags in the middle...liked the overall write-up, really kind of throws light onto one of the industries and the back-stage stuff that happens..all the deals, negotiations, the way authors are treated...and all the politics and strategies of publishing.

Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well, this book is really quite a departure from the 'one family through generations' epic that House of Blue Mangoes was. It feels more relaxed and comfortable, like a story the author really wanted to tell, one he felt close to as opposed to the somewhat forced exoticism of his debut (I haven't read the second one so can't comment).
Ithaca is quite a fascinating look into what goes on behind the scenes in the publishing industry. It is not something that I knew too much about and I really enjo
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I can understand why this book doesn't seem to have worked for a lot of people, but I picked it up to read at exactly the right time for it to have made a huge impact on me.

I'm an aspiring writer, but the main thing that has held me back from my dream all these years is my odd phobia of publishers. This book is about the trials and tribulations of a publisher whose company is struggling financially as he searches for the Next Big Thing, and I found it completely captivating. Who'da thunk... pub
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have always wanted to read Davidar and I am glad this is the first one I picked up. While this book might not be everyone's cup of tea, for an ardent lover of the craft of writing like me, it was amazing. Getting to know the world of editing and publishing through the eyes of a publisher, the excitement of finding that one special book, the thought that goes into polishing it and moulding it into a form that people will love, everything had me captivated. While Davidar's storytelling is more d ...more
If you are interested in the book publishing industry, then you will get more than enough behind the scenes info. A sympathetic portrait of one man's struggle to find that special book that grabs the world, ensuring he can maintain his exciting position as publisher, and find the satisfying personal life that seems to be eluding him. The language is sometimes pedantic and, as knowledgeable as the industry information is, it tends to bog down the story in spots. Good read and the Canadian content ...more
Karan Rajpal
May 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Read only and only if you want a loosely wrapped story in the world of publishing the author knows well. It seems like a book written between writing two better, bigger books. I loved Davidar's House of Blue Mangoes, but this one just disappoints.

You're told about people, their motivations and their background before they do anything, so the cardinal sin of telling rather than showing is committed repeatedly. Beh.

Read only because I lend you my copy.
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although the first few pages were confusing, the novel itself is a fascinating peek into the publishing world. Zach, the protagonist, is well thought out with his personal problems and his all consuming search at work for that best seller of the year. Lots of book titles and authors included.
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
Face-paced writing which makes it easy to read but it ends with a ramble. I didn't much connect with reasoning for such a choice for a title.

It is as if David Davidar has dwelled in his own publishing life for the 'material' of this book.
Nabanita Dutta
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
brilliant book, brilliant story telling..
good writing style, quick read, but in retrospect, not much of a script

davidar's themes tend to sagas, epics, and this one does too
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Like to read again.
Bhargavi Balachandran
Extremely riveting. A peep into the dynamic world of publishing.

My rating : 4.5/5

Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I might even give it 4.5

2nd in the around the world series I am doing, I am gonna count this one for UK ;)
Saugata Ghosh
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Quite an absorbing glimpse into the frenetic, fast-changing world of publishing
Sudhir JogLekar
rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2015
rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2012
Yusuf Dadarkar
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Jun 06, 2012
Shilpa Rathnam
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2012
Madhuri Banerjee
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May 10, 2012
Rahul Goyal
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Jun 06, 2018
A Elise
rated it it was ok
Dec 28, 2012
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David Davidar is an author and publisher. He was educated at Madras (now Chennai) and Harvard University (where he obtained a diploma in publishing). In 1985, while still in his mid-twenties, he became one of the founding members of Penguin in India, where he edited or published authors like Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, Vikram Chandra, Rohinton Mistry, and Salman Rushdie.
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