Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Bankster - A book review

Well, lets just say I have suddenly rediscovered my lost love, my first love - Books ! And that explains the burgeoning dose of book review in this blog. Am here with yet another review - The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian 

A few words for the first look..... The book is around 350 pages and has a nice, sleek look. The book feels good in your hands, with a little bit of texture on the cover. The fantastic thing blogadda seems to have done this time is to send out autographed books to the reviewers - great job guys, fantastic move. And thank you Ravi Subramanian, that was a thoughtful move.

Ok.... now, as in the usual turn of event in a review.....

  • Plot : The author almost succeeds in doing a John Grisham in the book. I say almost, because there are some pages which kinda remind you that its not Grisham - not yet, but may soon be. Well, the plot has three parallels - a CIA operative shrouded in mystery; an elderly gentleman who runs a resort in Kerala with his stand on a nuclear reactor planned in the area; and an inside look at the corporate politics and unabashedly selfish characters in a  global bank.
The book moves from one setting to another, almost making you wonder if the book is in fact, three different stories. The first half of the book brings in all the facts, all the little pieces of the puzzle. Till the 160th page one really wonders who the protagonist in the book actually is. The banker turned journalist, who is the protagonist, is introduced in true movie fashion - in style - only in the 160th page. The plot, in short, is a little slow for a few pages, and then accelerates to breakneck speed.

  •  Writing Style : Yes, there are moments of Grisham - like writing. Yet other moments, there is the whisper of a typical management graduate style of writing. I am not rubbishing the latter style at all - this combination seems to work well for the book, and may work very well for urban India. But there are a few disappointments which popped up:
    • The women in the book seem a little hollow. Obsessed with looks and PR, they seem to be constantly playing politics. Women, as protrayed in the book seem to be highly insecue about their age, the way the dress, and seem to be ready to use their looks to achieve their ambitions. Just a question - don't men look at mirrors when they see one?.... a little too much stereotyping for my liking
    • Some more stereotyping - Men, at least the successful ones are all seem to have a roving eye, seem to be noticing the number of buttons that are undone in a woman's shirt! The only one who is sincere ends up being unsuccessful, misunderstood, and eventually dead! 
    • The unofficial banter between colleagues, the flirting between them all seem a little forced.... or unnatural. 
But this notwithstanding, a gripping narrative. I was terribly torn between catching up on some blogging, and the reading. Its a huge compliment to the book when I say that I read the book cover to cover before putting it down.
  • Character Development : The author has skillfully described settings for each locale in detail. The landscapes in Angloa, the lush greenery in Devikkulam, the Mumbai suburbs, the streets in Vienna.... all of them are clearly etched in one's mind. Unfortunately, one can't say the same for the characters in the book. Except for one person (will not tell you who - don't want to spoil the climax for you) I don't have images framed in my head for the other characters - not even the protagonist!
  • Words and Print Quality : As I opened the cover, husband dearest guffawed when he saw the bank related title. I am really bad when it comes to financial terms, but hats off to the author for making it easy for non-banking people like me. Easy, simple words. No typos, and good print quality.
  • Final Verdict : Definitely one of the best thrillers from an Indian author. I certainly did not see the climax coming, and loved the way every piece fell into place at the end.  
This review is a part of the Blogadda Indian Bloggers Book Reviews Program at Blogadda. Participate now to get free books!


  1. I have read a few reviews on this one now , adn it does seem to be a good boook :)


    1. Yes Bikram, it really was a good read!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for coming by, magiceye!!

  3. I will pick this up on my next trip home.Thank you for the review dear..

  4. thank you so much blue lotus.....

  5. It was great to read a good review..
    Every reader has a different perspective and thus reviews help to see those different aspects.. I had my opinion too about it and I agree with you on many points..

    1. Yes Manjulika.... each one of us would have differernt perspectives indeed! Shall go to your blog to read yours too :-)