Book Review: ‘Adman Madman’ by Prahlad Kakar & Rupangi Sharma

Unforgettable Tales from an Ad-Film Maverick

Book Title: Adman Madman: Unapologetically Prahlad
Author: Prahlad Kakar & Rupangi Sharma
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 526
ISBN: 978-9356998322
Date Published: Nov. 27, 2023
Price: INR 518

Adman Madman by Prahlad Kakar & Rupangi Sharma Book Cover

Book Review

From the strange to the bold, acclaimed ad-film director Prahlad Kakar’s “Adman Madman” memoir promises a wonderful mash-up of his most memorable experiences, laced with funny stories from his own life and seasoned with observations on the craft of storytelling.

In “Adman Madman,” Prahlad Kakar’s illustrious and multifaceted career takes center stage, showcasing his remarkable journey from a young, adventurous soul to a pioneering figure in the Indian advertising industry. Kakar’s story unfolds against his early years in Dehradun, where he found solace in the outdoors and learned valuable life lessons through his struggles with academics and his passion for sports.

Through Kakar’s candid narrative, readers are treated to a vibrant tapestry of colorful characters, including his eccentric grandfather and youthful infatuations, all set against the rich tapestry of Indian society.

As Kakar navigates through boarding school in Delhi and pursues his studies in English literature in Baroda and Pune, readers are offered a glimpse into his formative years, marked by zany misadventures and unconventional pursuits. Despite facing academic challenges, Kakar’s thirst for knowledge and unconventional approach to life paved the way for his eventual foray into advertising. Through his early experiences at ASP in Delhi, Kakar provides fascinating insights into the ad world of fifty years ago, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the industry’s evolution and his rise to prominence.

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Kakar’s relocation to Bombay marks a turning point in his career, as he finds inspiration and mentorship under the guidance of acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal. From his groundbreaking work on ad films for Anacin to his collaborations with industry luminaries and his entrepreneurial ventures, Kakar’s journey is a testament to his irreverent spirit and unwavering pursuit of excellence. As “Adman Madman” delves into Kakar’s creative process, readers are treated to a treasure trove of anecdotes and insights that capture the essence of his unique brand of storytelling.

Filled with humor, wit, and invaluable wisdom, “Adman Madman” is a captivating memoir that offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the advertising world and the indomitable spirit of one of its most iconic figures. Whether recounting his encounters with political leaders or his experiences on film sets, Kakar’s storytelling prowess shines through, captivating readers and leaving them inspired by his boundless creativity and passion for life.

In sum, “Adman Madman” is a rollicking good read that is highly recommended for anyone curious about the extraordinary life and times of Prahlad Kakar.

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