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Lucknow Boy: A Memoir

Author: Vinod Mehta
Language: English
Length: 372 Pages
Publisher: Viking
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Lucknow Boy: A Memoir (Hardcover) Price: Rs.424

Lucknow Boy: A Memoir is an autobiography of the journalist and Editor of Outlook magazine, Vinod Mehta. It charts his journey from the streets of Lucknow to the higher echelons of India’s major media agencies.

Summary of the Book

An authority in the media circles, Vinod Mehta, journalist and Editor of Outlook magazine, presents his life through a candid and scandalous account in his autobiography, Lucknow Boy: A Memoir.  
The book contains several interesting accounts, starting from incidents in his younger days to his interactions with celebrities from different spheres like business, politics, the entertainment industry and the media. It has several interesting anecdotes and crisp word sketches of celebrities like Shobha De, Sonia Gandhi and Salman Rushdie.

The story starts in the city of Lucknow, where Mehta grew up with his family members, who were refugees from Pakistan. The book provides an interesting account of his time in Britain, when Mehta’s journalistic interests were fueled by English newspapers like The New Statesman, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

It then charts his return to Bombay, and his stint as the editor of Debonair, an Indian version of Playboy. Mehta also explains his early efforts in establishing The Sunday Observer and Outlook, while slowly turning into one of the most influential personalities in journalistic circles.

Thanks to his decades of experience in the journalistic field, his autobiography holds a treasure chest of interesting instances that add spice to the book. He also shares his valuable insights and experience, providing tips for aspiring editors and journalists.

About Vinod Mehta

Vinod Mehta is best known for being the Editor-in-chief of Outlook Magazine, a position that he maintained till the end of January 2012. He now serves as an advisor to the publication.

Mehta has written some other books, and they include:

Meena Kumari
Mr Editor, How Close Are You to The PM?
Bombay: A Private View
The Sanjay Story

Vinod Mehta’s style of writing is informal and very direct, true to his journalistic roots. In this book, his style is anecdotal and irreverent.

Vinod Mehta’s wife, Sumita Paul, is also a journalist. She has worked for The Sunday Times and The Pioneer.

Specifications of Lucknow Boy: A Memoir (Hardcover)

Author Vinod Mehta
Book Details
Publisher Viking
Publication Year 2011
ISBN-13 9780670085293
ISBN-10 0670085294
Language English
Binding Hardcover
Number of Pages 372 Pages
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Book Reviews of Lucknow Boy: A Memoir

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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 40)

11 November 11
first to review

After reading Lucknow Boy, everyone is certain to feel lighter by shedding a little hypocrisy, except those to whom he has referred in his memoir. Very well narrated. You never realise when you turned all the pages. If few more such memoirs are written, then celebrities will not have anything to celebrate and common people would not regret for being common.

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93% of 14 users found this review helpful.
14 November 11
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Atta Boy !!!

What a memoir, way back I read your book on Sanjay Gandhi - you have come a long way boy. All said and done this one takes the cake, its not only a page turner but is also a breeze. In this age of techno-gimmicks, this book has the old world charm about it. You cannot find too many faults with the man, and even if you find some, in the course of the book you will find he had already owned them up.

Its a must read for -
1. Anyone who has remotely anything to do with journalism (lessons to learn)
2. Anyone who think he/she posses an iota of sense of humour (a la lucknow style)
3. All the new-age editors who played along or for that matter did not play along Raja of 2G

Will wait for the next one from his stable.

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4 of 4 users found this review helpful.
29 January 12
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I was always a fan of Vinod Mehta - whether it is his last page column in 'Outlook' or his views on TV, his unique observations, keen insights and the way he presents it right across you kept you captivated. The moment I knew he had come up with a memoir I wanted to grab a copy. Thanks to Flipkart the book was in my house on the 4th day.
And Vinod Mehta has made me a greater fan after reading 'Lucknow Boy'! His description of the sixties Lucknow, the general psyche of the youth, his life, the twists and turns and above all speaking from the heart. I read through the book in three days.Here is a man who opens up his life and his thinking. You need guts to write such a memoir - and you also need a beautiful language. There is also his pearls of wisdom in the end for the budding journalists. I would recommend this for all. This also shows there are people who have worked fearlessly, neither fearing failure or the powers around and challenged themselves throughout their life. For me it is a motivator.
Suresh Varma

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1 of 1 users found this review helpful.
12 January 12
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Meeting the Lucknow Boy

All in all, I am really glad to have met the Boy from Lucknow. He confirms my view of the world that random good things happen even to random people who have a conviction, a faith in their heart. A faith that guides all their actions focused towards attaining a fulfilling life. I once read a joke which went:

“A writer dies and reaches the portal to God’s kingdom. His sins and good deeds are weighed and by a queer chance they balance out in number. God ponders it over and offers the writer a chance to visit both hell and heaven before deciding where he is to be sent. First off he’s taken to writers’ hell: a long dark room with rows upon rows of wooden benches and oil lanterns dimly lighting the pages upon which the writers wrote furiously, their sweat mixing with the ink. The Satan’s servants hollered as soon as one of the writers would so much as look up. Our man was terrified and begged to be taken away. So they guided him out of there to a beautiful looking building which they said was writer’s heaven. He stepped in with a lot of expectations, but was appalled at what he saw inside: the same long wooden benches, oil lanterns, sweat and hollering repeated all over. Confused, he looked at God and asked what the difference was. God winked knowingly and said, “Here their work gets published”.

In the book, Mr Mehta hopes he’d find a place in heaven for his service to the written word. From Debonair to Outlook, I think he has already been living in a veritable heaven all along. :-)

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1 of 1 users found this review helpful.
04 May 12
Worth a read!

As a longtime admirer of Vinod Mehta's candid writing style and self-effacing humour, I was looking forward to reading his memoir. I am glad that the book lived up to my expectation.

The good part -

1. Anecdotes, anecdotes and more anecdotes. Almost every page in the book has at least one of these to keep the reader interested. To paraphrase him, the book is never 'boring'.
2. VM displays no delusions of grandeur and is refreshingly sincere.
3. He has some solid advice for aspiring journos and editors.

The not-so-good part -

1. There is hardly any insightful take on the events that shaped India in the 70s, 80s or later. This being a personal memoir, it is slightly selfish of me to expect that. But considering VM's distinguished career as an editor for over three decades, he could have offered more. In fact he does a great job of describing Lucknow in the 50s and Britain in the 60s but not much thereafter. The book ends up being a light read.
2. I thought the last chapter on Mrs.G was rather patronizing - All the more fodder for his detractors.

VM is among the last of the great editors (a dying breed in these times of paid news and such) and his book has much to offer to journos and others alike.

Definitely worth a buy.

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Most Recent Reviews

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Read it, if you are a Vinod Mehta Fan

If you are a fan of Mr. Mehta, then this book is a must read. Though, personally I would have liked a little more of him in thi...

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25 February 14
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Uncovers Life of a Challenger

Great Book!!Depicts Life of a person who is never afraid of Challenging established norms.An autobiography straight from the he...

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14 January 14
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Nice stuff

Mehta's writing is fluid. His previous book, Mr Editor, how close are you to the PM? didn't disappoint, and this won't disappoi...

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07 October 13

Utter bullcrap of delusional retard named vinod mehta. He needs to get his mind checked. There is a reason that his outlook is...

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24 September 13
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Excellent book

I really liked Vinod's book - especially for the secrets he reveals! There's one particular chapter, called 'some people' - tha...

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13 August 13
    Book: Lucknow Boy: A Memoir by Vinod Mehta
    ISBN Number: 0670085294, 9780670085293, 978-0670085293


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