Sunday, August 07, 2011

And the Bankers lived happily ever after . . .

No, this is not a Wall Street saga of government bailouts and astronomical bonuses. It is a dull review of a work of fiction.

Ravi Subramanian
Category: Fiction
Number of pages: 264
Published in: 05/01/2007
Available in: Paperbound
ISBN_PB: 9788129111470
Perhaps the title should have been "And the Bankers lived happily ever after". Perhaps the title derives from the Indian proclivity for apotheosis of the saintly and honest and the virtuous protagonist is the 'God' referred to in the title. Apart from this tenuous rationale the narrative does not connect with the title.
As such the plot is fairly common place, and a similar tale could have been told in the setting of any multi-national corporation. Why banking?
Then again, where as the narrative is well paced, the characterisation is weak. A more skilled novelist might have been able to make the characters more true to life. As such they lack depth and complexity. The polarisation of the two main protagonists as paragons of virtue and weakness respectively is too simplistically black and white. So where as the basic idea of the novel has potential, the way it has developed doesn't do it justice. In the hands of a Jeffrey Archer or a Sidney Sheldon - better still a Jhumpa Lahiri or a Vikram Sheth - this novel could have been memorable work of modern fiction, perhaps even a master-piece.
Yet for a first novel and from the pen of one who is not a professional writer - this could have been worse. In fact, I see in it the seeds of a fairly decent Bollywood flick! Ram Gopal Verma, Madhur Bhandarkar, Ashutosh Gowarikar - are you people listening?

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