Alright. Might as well get it out of my system.
Yesterday, I chanced upon Better Book Titles. It’s a brilliant collection of accurate titles that give you the meat of the stories without poetic waffle. Among my personal favourites are “The Handmaid’s Tale” rechristened as “Sarah Palin’s America”, Faulkner’s “Light in August” as “If You Liked It Then You Shoulda Put A Ring On It”, Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” as “Dude Where’s My Cat?” and Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” retitled as “Crossdressing Helps Everyone Find Love”. The site shows you the covers, perfectly redone. There are a few Rushdies in there but by and large, desi writing hasn’t got much love from comedian Dan Wilbur (who started Better Book Titles) and his gang. Ever since I clicked through Better Book Titles, I’ve been trying to do real work and not get into quicksand of rechristening books. It didn’t really help. I refrained from coining alternative titles last night but I also didn’t get any work done. So, like I said at the beginning, let me get it out of my system. In no particular order, here are the first 10 titles that came to mind with their unPhotoshopped covers and then their alternative titles:
Saraswati Park: How English literature cost me my wife and got my nephew laid.
Satanic Verses: Goats have feelings too, you know./ Angels and Demons and Wordplay./ NRIs are evil and can only be saved by Bollywood.
The Shadowlines: Bengali men ogle.
The White Tiger: I’m Pen Pals with Wen Jiabao (I’ve got away with murder and set up a successful business; we have things in common).
Sacred Games: Crime and Candid Camera.
A Fine Balance: How to Make Friends, Lose Testicles and Legs and Generally be Miserable.
The Pregnant King: IVF Gone Wrong./ Before Arnie in Junior, there was Yuvanashva.
Ravan and Eddie: Do Not Be Taken in by the Cute Cover. This is a Book About Life in Bombay’s Chawls and it’s very Fucked Up./ Dangling Babies from Balconies Is Dangerous.
The Impressionist: Not All Indians Look Like Apu./ One Man, Three Names, Lots of Confusion./ Carry On Kunzru, er, Pran Nath-Pretty Bobby-Jonathan.
The Immortals of Meluha: The Tibetan Pothead is Our Saviour.
Not all Indians look like Apu is a great title for a book. Thats a hilarious site. did you post the site that catalogue good book cover design as well?
Can’t remember, I’m afraid. :-S
‘How to Make Friends, Lose Testicles and Legs and Generally be Miserable’. It reads like haiku, and is such an apt title/summary/book review.