Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Bankster - Blogadda Book Review




‘The Bankster’ is the first and the only book by Ravi Subramanian that I’ve read and I must say that the book impressed me to the point that I might consider it apt even for the international audiences (P.S. that’s a huge thing for me to say given the fact that I’m not easily impressed!). I read the synopsis on BlogAdda and I thought to myself, okay so this is a financial thriller. Thrillers are thrilling if they have a thrilling plot and if executed thrillingly. And I wanted to see how thrilling this thriller would be!

So, starting with the cover, while the colour tones are justly used, the ‘bankster’ does not really prove a very smart point. He looks more like an African-meets-Jat-lost-his-way-and-wound-up-in-the-drugs-cartel-business-who’s-planted-in-a-bank and the bank now appears to be a Mecca of all things drugs instead of banking. Plus the gloss on everything but the sky would have otherwise proved to be a good combo but on this cover, the gloss is just too glaring! It probably would have looked better had everything been matte with the current glossy bits embossed in matte. So you get my point, right? Not a big fan of the cover.

Moving on, when I started reading the book, the interest was slowly piling on. It was unexpected and I was glad the turn of events in the book, however strong in bits and stretched at some points, was managing to keep me glued on to read further.

The book showcases two parallel stories essentially but the foundation was laid with an entirely separate story (which obviously had to be connected somehow in the end). On one hand we have an international bank – Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) and the mysterious things going on in and around its Mumbai HQ; affecting the lives of various key employees – like taking their lives! On the other hand, we have a senior citizen in Devikulam, protesting against the Trikakulam Nuclear Power Plant on behalf of the public whose lives were at stake. Mid-way of the book, there sprung the protagonist Karan Panjabi, a press reporter and an ex-GB2 banker, who acts as a link between the two stories, puts his investigative mind to work, cracks the case of the killings and in-turn brings both the stories to a conclusive end.

Now, the stories reveal a lot of short events, one after the other, from one chapter to another. Some of them are really interesting and important too, but some are just not required. One can easily relate to the internal workings of the bank if one’s got a commerce background or has worked on projects for similar banks. Since I belong to both the categories, I could easily understand and relate well with everything and that kept me further interested. While the suspense is efficiently built page-by-page (and there were moments when I wanted to know what happens next), the climax didn’t pop-up in your face in as surprising and shocking a manner as it should have. Some of the justifications given by some of the characters to support their conclusions (which are the right ones) by way of dialogues are just too irritating at times. I mean would you just come to the direct point?! It felt as if the whole explanation’s going round and round, yes, a merry-go-round!

The language is simple for easy read. But there sure are a lot of typos and mistakes. I guess proofreading is a common problem in all the publications. Apart from that, this book exceeds most of the books that I’ve read by Indian authors in all these years. A book you can carry anywhere and read anytime.




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