I had read your "Moods of Ilayaraja" recently. And since you asked for an honest feedback on the book , here we go:
What works for me:
To begin with, to dedicate a book for background scores alone, in India, is a huge gamble and I am so glad you took it. Brilliant conception.
If conception is brilliant, the execution is just as good.
The book follows a beautiful structure...to start the introduction with Sholay as a lead up to a book on Ilayaraja is a masterstroke. especially if this is intended for a wider audience than just ppl from South India.
I loved the way you took each portion of Sholay and explained the idea behind each of the background scores. I could literally relive the experience of watching the movie through your words.
And then you get even better...To start Raaja's background scores with the film titles is another fabulous idea...what better film than Mouna Ragam to start with! And the choice of films which followed was what I thoroughly enjoyed. without taking anything away from the background scores of MR, it's become mainstream enough. almost every score in the movie has found its way into the public consciousness. It was a joy to read the rest of your choices...now I am tempted to go back and watch all those films again to see if I can appreciate it even better.
Writing about Kadhalukka Mariyadhai for you must be almost as comfortable and natural as breathing, I guess. Wonderful. Loved every word of it. especially the line where you say...Mini and Jeeva were speechless and so was Raaja! wow. The rest of the choices were also spot on, though I haven't seen Nandhalala yet.
Overall, you have a very analytical style of writing rather than celebratory, which is accessible to laymen as well. Not that celebratory is bad. But for a topic like this, you writing style works perfectly well.
What didn't work for me:
The book badly needs another round of editing, too many words missed, that the reader has to logically fill up. And the overuse of "put" was slightly cringe worthy. put music, put brakes etc., it's a very South Indian style of speaking/writing...you seem to have used in at least 25 places in the book :)
Punctuation left a little to be desired too - please don't mistake me to be nitpicking. I don't stress on the elegance of the language so much as the effectiveness. some of the sentences I had to reread a couple of times to get its intended meaning.
And I would have loved this to be a lot more comprehensive work - it's not a criticism but a wish!
That's about it from me. Looking forward to your book on ARR!