AM , DEFINITELY , NOT , THE , ONLY , ONE who was approached (boy, ain't I full of it?), I decided to share this with you all. (Note to myself: DO NOT talk about this blog to that hot gal in the adjoining office for the next few months!!)
Last week, one of the marketing managers from Scribner & Touchstone (part of the Simon & Schuster publishing house) left a comment on this post. In case you do not wanna read the comment, the gist is this. She offered me "review copies" of these two books and asked me to get in touch with her if I was interested. I replied to the comment with a short email and she just asked for my address to send these books, which I did immediately. Couple of days later, there it was, sitting in the lobby, a package with my name on it. Opening the package, I found this letter addressed to "Readers and Bloggers" and contained among others, this line -
Blogs and online magazines have become such a wonderful vehicle for the sharing of ideas and the spreading of culture, and we hold your opinions in very high regard.
It is a fact (and fittingly, a nice bit of trivia too) that the revered English journo E.W. Swanton was denied a chance to cover the 1932 Ashes series because his rival reporters got ahead of him in the line for the only telephone to report that Messrs. Holmes and Sutcliffe had scored 555 runs between them and had broken the world record for an opening stand at Leyton. His story reached late. While chastizing him for this, his newspaper decided that he was probably not the man for it and sent their tennis writer to cover what has since then been known as the Bodyline tour. And it has been said, in hindsight that if Swanton had been in Australia, his reports would have been forceful enough to convince the MCC (or the British government) to act tough with Jardine.
But I think that if Michael Vaughan was to do a Jardine today, Swanton would not be missed (no offense to the likes of Roebuck, Haigh and rest). The likes of Rick Eyre, Jagadish & Ganesh, Scott Wickstein and Will Luke (maybe even me) would do just fine. Wth MSM being what it has become, we bloggers are the new-age freelance journos and the writers. So, in this age of MediaNet and paid news coverage, it is no surprise that a publishing house such as Simon and Schuster (itself a part of the ViaCom media conglomerate, just like MTV, CBS, UPN etc.) has taken bloggers into confidence to pass on the impartial word.
Coming back to the books, I had read about Vikas Swarup's Q&A in The Hindu almost six months ago and being a quizzer myself, I was intrigued by the plot line. I have also had some personal experiences, that enabled me to relate to the subject in a convoluted manner (as you would probably see later). And Untouchables by Narendra Jadhav is coming as an incentive which I gladly accepted. And as Patrix mentions, none of us who has received these books are under any obligation to actually review the two books. Our brief is to just pass the message along, which I'm gladly doing. My thoughts about the books will follow, provided circumstances allow. But that's probably only after I finish my second reading of HP-6!
(P.S. Click on the book covers to see more info about the books!)