Friday, July 15, 2011

The 6pm Slot

Nothing important in life ever starts with appropriate background music prepping you for it. The same is true of my first sponsored review. It started with me expressing interest to review books as part of BlogAdda's free review program... and here I am reviewingThe 6pm slot”- a book by Naomi Datta, whose amazing first line I just paraphrased! :)

Intriguing first line. Even better is the line that says "Everything important starts with a PPT" (I loved the author for that one!)

And intriguing cover (shown aside), to be sure. That is, if you have some taste for adult content. But if it leads you to think that the book, like the anchor whose picture decorates the cover, might be all looks and no brains, let me warn you. Luckily, that isn’t true.

 The Plot:
As the backcover says the book is about this TV program supervising producer Tania whose show has to bring back the channel’s TRPs. And though initially it remains an unnoticed venture, the show shoots into limelight when Rajneesh starts a campaign based on one episode.
But let me cut here and add my idea of the plot. Yes, the plot is about the 6 pm slot and how it gets the wrong kind of publicity. But it is more about the workplace and the kind of bosses who can screw it up. It is as much a story about Rahul, the spineless whimsical boss, and his yes-man Harish as it is about Tania and her show. It is a story about how people with the best ideas often get walked over by higher officials and what would happen to them if they keep taking ‘the crap’.
Which, when subtly interweaved with your back cover story, makes the book pretty good.

The Style:
The language is natural. Though I must admit there is a lot of punning and use of "expletives" in the first half of the book. It maybe adds to the feel of the Television world, though at some point, it might have been overdone. The second half makes up  for it partially, I guess.

The pace is ok, though somewhere in the middle of the book, it got a little slow. But once Rajneesh entered, it got back fine again.

The Characters:
One good thing about the book is that Naomi has thought enough about the characters in the story. Even characters who enter for half a scene get a paragraph of description on what they think. It is good because the reader knows what to expect from the character. It is bad because somewhere, it becomes too much. Just like the language.
Yet again, though some of the not-so-important characters are so clearly (or sometimes over-) defined, the protagonist herself seems a little half-made. In the second half especially, where she rarely appears, you almost forget that she is the main character. Besides, all along you don’t understand what she is really like. Why does she want to remain in the channel where she has a no-role? Why does she act like a prude at times, but at times doesn’t? What really drives her actions?
That said, I must agree, I liked the way Rahul, Harish, Bose and even Mohawk are defined. And most of all Aditya. Though he, like Tania is not well-defined, his sense of humor is what keeps the book going.

What I liked about the book?

  1. Naomi’s understanding of workplaces: That, often, bootlicking and schmoozing are what get stuff done. That, often, your best ideas are trashed and later the blame for not implementing the idea falls back on you.
  2. Naomi’s solution for (1): That, if these scenarios happen, and you are the standard scapegoat, it is YOU who is responsible for it. That it is time you realize your value and stand up for it. Especially where Aditya says “You will always be the victim Tania, if you let yourself be one!” and you need to fight, not for ideology, but "for survival"! But also correctly warns- Don’t overdo it. "Don't lose your sense of humor and don't turn into a prick!" 
  3. The tone: While it says all this, the book doesn’t aspire to be a boring classic. it doesn’t aspire to be a Bose. It aspires to be Aditya. The guy who understands the situation but is neither prophetic nor pompous. Matter-of-fact. And in doing that, Naomi has really nailed it. 
  4. Some amazing lines: Like “All is well that goes on forever” For more, read the book! :)

So in the end, is it a book worth reading?
If you like fiction, yes I guess. (If you have encountered bad bosses, then definitely. :P )

But let me tell you at the start that it is not the kind of book that you will read though it is boring and display to friends to prove you are intellectual.
It is more the kind that is entertaining and natural, so that you will enjoy reading it and still have something to think about in the end. 

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. An enjoyable read The 6 Pm Slot by Naomi Dutta. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

  2. Thanks Rohit!
    And yes, it was an entertaining book..


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