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It is seen through the eye of a bubbly 28-year-old journalist - Radhika Kanetkar - right from the time she took her first step into the newsroom, got her first story and made bloopers, to how she handled pressures to meet deadlines. In the midst of all this, she experiences a journey of triumph, anguish, jealousy and of course, finds her true love.
I know a few journalists in Delhi, but the common thread among their personalities has always been ardent passion towards learning nuances of journalism. They all have the knowledge and the skill set required off the profession, but what differentiates the good ones from the bad ones is the maniac, almost compulsive behaviour of staying ahead of the pack. The most fundamental flaw in Stilettos in the Newsroom is that it doesn't even try to make sense out of its lead protagonist. It is lazy writing and publishing at its best. It is a kind of a book where editor must have spent the time surfing porn at work...otherwise how can you explain the blunders in editing where the narrative hops from one plot point to another without providing any inherent logic or character consistency.
Keep aside the numerous grammatical mistakes and overkill of ellipsis, the book doesn't even engage you at the basic plot level. There are so many random characters introduced on every fifth page, that after a point i stopped bothering about any of them. Problem is that the author don't even develop any of the characters on the most basic level; most of them are just introduced and then forgotten for the rest of the book. Intrinsically amateurish in its humour, the book fails because it is trying too hard to be "cool", while hitting all the wrong notes along the way. Most of the 'lessons' at the end of each chapter can be applied to any sphere in life and very few of them are related to journalism.
There is no issue in showing amoral characters or the lecherous way to move up the corporate ladder, but there is no build-up in the flow of the narrative and the climax is a cop-out to say the least. There is nothing distinctive about the writing and none of the 'twists' are worth mentioning. The only thing which stays with you a little is that the journalistic activities are captured decently enough to make you feel the milieu it is setting itself into. But that is hardly a reason to go through the anguishing 130 odd pages of this book.
I am going with 1/5 for Rashmi Kumar's Stilettos in the newsroom. Trust me, watching paint dry is a far more enriching and entertaining exercise than torturing yourself with such a book. Sexist it may sound, but it is a kind of book which sell in the market because it has a hot chic pic at the back cover. Read it if you have 100 bucks to waste.