It was around the same time last year when I had first met Ravi Subramanian. His latest book Bankster had got released and he was in Delhi for some event related to it. This was the first time he was meeting a blogger and for me, this was the first time I was sitting with an author of his stature. A lot of discussions followed over various rounds of coffee, which we all know is his fuel for writing bestsellers after bestsellers and I found out that he is one of the most humble people I have met in my life. About his writing skills, well, we all know his track record and his recent deal with Penguin India speaks volumes about it but let's not get there.
It was long back when I had read his first book, If God Was A Banker. Till a couple of weeks back I didn't have my own copy of it but one day out of a whim, I bought it along with Devil In Pinstripes. I had already read Bankster and The Incredible Banker by him in this order and I thought let's backtrack his writing career by reading all his fiction titles in a reverse order. I picked up Devil In Pinstripes and didn't enjoy it much. I felt it was too much of banking to be digested by a common man like me and then I again read his debut book.
If God Was A Banker, had all the signs of a first time author and when I met Ravi recently in Mumbai, I shared the trend about his writing style that I observed in his books with him. Always open to criticism, Ravi listened to what I had to say very patiently and then the discussion about Bankerupt began. He told me that the book is extremely different from what he had written so far in his writing career. And I assured him that his book is going to sell because he has a loyal fan-base and he knows his craft well. I got the privilege to read Bankerupt much before its release. It is one of the highly anticipated books of 2013 and I believe it is going to burst the charts yet again.
Bankerupt starts on a promising note where the president of United States of America is extremely distressed with the killings in his country, all thanks to Gun Control Act. As we all know, this act is the most debated Act in and outside United States Of America and has always gathered eyeballs throughout the world whenever issues related to it float around. The recent killings at a school where a man in possession of a gun killed several school children again stirred up this debate across the world.
The book runs in three parallel tracks. One is about Cirisha Narayanan, a research associate in Social Psychology at MIT who is extremely passionate about her career and one of the most treasured people in her department. Cirisha is extremely strong headed and vocal about her morals and ethics and doesn't like people around her breaching safe territories for their personal benefits. Integrity is something she keeps at the top.
Second track is about Aditya Raisinghania, an investment banker at Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) in Mumbai. Aditya is extremely smart at what he does and his organisation values him for that. Being one of the top brass of his bank, Aditya takes liberty to turn things his way whenever required. He is always more concerned about the end results without paying much heed to the practices involved in achieving the same.
And third track is about Narayanan, Cirisha's father who runs his business in Coimbatore. Narayanan first met Aditya at GB2's office when he required a whopping 50 crore rupees to expand his business and that set many things rolling for Cirisha, Aditya & Narayanan, giving a very promising start to the book.
Later in the book come three extremely strong characters working at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) at Boston, United States Of America. Michael Cardoza, James Deahl and Richard who is a research professor at MIT and dying to become a Tenure. Michael brushes off a research assignment that is offered to Michael Cardoza and his team in reference with the gun control act on the basis of moral and ethical grounds. James and Michael are archrivals and just can't stand each other. Using this rivalry to their benefits, NRA approaches James Deahl and he agrees to take up this research work in social psychology related to gun control act and there begins a series of murders, lies, deceit and treachery. Cirisha, Narayanan, Aditya and many other people get involved in this mayhem and their lives are changed for forever.
From page 1 of the book till the end, the book grips you real bad and you just cannot put it down. This is the best thing about Ravi's writing that he knows what would work with a reader and offers exactly that in the right proportions. He makes sure that all the high points of his story are well spread in the book so that a reader doesn't lose interest and keep turning pages. Bankerupt offers all that what you expect from a Ravi Subramanian book and that too in just right quantity. Personally, I am not convinced with the title of the book with the kind of storyline it has but then at the end of the day it is all about what you are being offered in those 300-350 pages, right?
Overall, Bankerupt is a perfect Friday night read. All you would want to do is keep pouring coffee in your system and keep turning pages of this book. It won't let you sleep till you figure out the real culprit behind everything that goes wrong in the story. The amount of research that has been done in order to put everything together shows a different dimension of author's writing and surprises you at many levels. He knows what he is writing about and uses everything to keep the thrill and pace intact throughout the book. In the end, you are happy with what you've read and this is what matters. For those who are expecting a banking potboiler in Bankerupt, let me tell you that this book is very different from what you've been offered in the past. But take my word for it; it's no less than anything that has come from Ravi's writing boutique.
Book Source: Author ; Publisher: Penguin India ; Genre: Fiction ; Price: Rs.300/-