Devil in Pinstripes

I continue giving a chance to today's Indian authors and what I feel is a new genre that they are carving. This is exactly what I thought when I picked up this book from a shelf in Landmark. What I did not expect is my mother-in-law freaking out looking at the title of the book thinking I was reading some dark satanic literature. I had to sit with her and explain what this book was about and how the title related to it and only then she felt a little better and let me get back to reading it.

This book is set in a bank, non-banking financial services to be specific. My brother works in this industry so the backdrop of the story seemed very real to me. The author obviously belongs to the banking services space and I have a feeling he must have based the characters on real life people. Somehow difficult to believe that these are purely fictional.

There you go! My gut feel was right!...I paused after typing the above paragraph and called my brother to tell him that I have this book that he should read and he tells me "This is the story of my bank. Ravi sir was our country head, some of the characters are people I reported to at some point in time..."

The plot is about some very bright young people who climb the corporate ladder quickly because of their abilities. It is also about how they spend most of their intelligence in meeting their goals by hook or crook and indulging in some serious office politics. The characters are well fleshed out and the story is told quite powerfully. In spite of all the bitterness of politics at work, it somehow reinforced my belief that no one is inherently bad. Most of the people who play mind games at work are very intelligent, loyal either to the company or their team -- in most cases to both, and are generally honest people. What really brings the beast out of them is the competition. All of this is very well portrayed in the book. It is also a very clean book. No unnecessary sleaze added to make the book a best seller.

The only dampener for me was some very bollywoodish tactics the author used. There was open cross-selling of his other book, 'If God was a Banker' through the characters -- the main character waits in the airport and picks up 'If God was a Banker' from the book store while he waits for the boarding call. That was outright cheap. The author himself makes a guest appearance in the book -- When the main character is in deep trouble and in jail, in comes a high profile suave lawyer "Ravi Subramanian". I felt exactly like how I felt during the climax of the movie 3 Idiots. Great up until the entire plot turns on its head and uses a typical nonsense Bollywood no-logic trick.

I liked the divine justice way the book ended but I am still miffed by the entry of the guest appearance lawyer. It somehow feels like the author thought I am too dumb and would enjoy the silly trick. I did not.

Surely read the book. Kaushik, before you say it, yes you should read it and I will see how I can send it across to you :)

The rest of my book reviews are under the label: My Books, My Reviews