How to become a Billionaire by Selling Nothing by Aditya Magal


It is very easy to review a good book or a bad book. It is the books in between that make you think and re-think to pick up what worked in that book for you and what not. Let me give it a try for this book How to become a Billionaire by Selling Nothing by Aditya Magal.

The book seems to be a satire on people who want to become fly-by-night millionaires. They use the route of stock markets to suck the money from millions who invest there. It is also a fan’s dedication to the known big bull of Indian markets Rakesh JhunJhunwala. I am not too sure of the idiosyncrasies of his personality.

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Looks like the author has put a magnifying glass on his personality and has blown up every small little thing he knew about him. This includes his plush home, his luxurious worldly possessions, his fat body, and his food habits including certain Pav Bhaji/Bhel Puri Wala’s on Dalal Street. To begin with, it looked like a spoof on Jhunjhunwala. But it actually ends up showing him as a wealthy man with morals and conscience.

The author ends up mocking up the people who think they can fool customers and take all their money. He gives some insights into the working of the Indian Stock exchange. How heavyweights can potentially tilt it in their favor. There is a good pun on the media and their relationship with newsmakers.

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The story is fictional, I guess not inspired by any real-life character where a newbie comes to sell Nothing to people. Through the use of Jhunjhunwala’s name, he is able to get the company listed on the stock exchange. He even gets the man himself involved and becomes the world’s fastest billionaire. That is when he loses his mind. He starts believing he is a genius and everyone else is nothing. How the established world comes together to trap him in his own doing is interesting and probably practical. The end is sober and humbling for everyone.

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What did not work for me is the personality traits of Jhunjhunwala getting repeated so many times that his behavior becomes predictable by the end of the book. Sometimes it goes a little overboard.

The book is a curious combination of Satire, Spoof, and Pun.

Take your call.

How to become a Billionaire by Selling Nothing by Aditya Magal

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