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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

A best-selling proposition

If you are not a publisher or author by profession,chances are that you'd missed the novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup,on which the Oscar-nominated movie Slumdog Millionaire is based.

Written by Shalini Rai Narayan | January 28, 2009 1:29:35 am

After movies based on popular books are released,sales of these tomes touch new heights

If you are not a publisher or author by profession,chances are that you’d missed the novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup,on which the Oscar-nominated movie Slumdog Millionaire is based. One of many such books,which are otherwise well-accepted and liked by both critics and the masses,Q&A’s sales skyrocketed after the success of the Danny Boyle-directed film.

The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi are other recent examples of books making it big once their stories are narrated on celluloid.

“All the copies of Q&A we had are sold out. The book is currently out of stock. In the past 15 days,we’ve sold more than 275 copies of the novel. Looking at the exponential rise in demand for the novel,we’ve placed an order for another 1000 copies,” informs Sharan Biradar,senior manager,Crossword bookstore,Sohrab Hall. While not many had even heard of the novel before its movie adaptation made headlines across the world and bagged four Golden Globe Awards,everyone now seems eager to have the latest copy of the coveted novel in their hands.

A similar story is repeated with Ruskin Bond’s The Blue Umbrella which was adapted by maverick director Vishal Bharadwaj and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis,which scorched the screen courtesy the deft direction of Vincent Paronnaud. The fable-like story by Bond had earlier won many hearts but when Pankaj Kapoor enacted the protagonist’s role in the movie of the same name,it touched a chord with audiences around the world. Similarly,Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel about growing up in Iran during a tumultuous period in its history won many hearts,but was taken to a whole new level with Paronnaud’s screen adaptation.

As Biradar says,”In the past,novels such as Bridget Jones’ Diary and The Kite Runner have caught on really well after movies based on them were released. But the euphoria surrounding Slumdog Millionaire and the escalating demand for Q&A copies is something we’ve seen after a long time.”

So,what is it that works for the audience on the 70 mm screen but doesn’t quite have the same effect in a hardback novel? “It’s all about movies being an all-encompassing experience. You see,you hear and you can also feel the emotions while watching a movie. The same cannot be said when you are reading a novel,” avers Sumit Mishra,an MBA student. “While avid readers may disagree with this point of view,what can’t be denied is the absolute thrill of watching a movie,for me personally,as compared to reading a book,” he adds.

Some may say that the reading experience is a more enriching one,as while doing so,you make a unique connect with the protagonists,which is somehow left wanting in a two-three hour long film. However,if the soaring sale of Q&A is any indication,it seems as if this time atleast,the motion picture has scored over the printed word.

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