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Tuesday, December 27, 2005 

Book Review: One night @Call Centre

What not to do in your second book!

When I read Chetan Bhagat’s first book, “Five Point Someone” I was amazed. It was a very sensitive story about 3 guys who had screwed up their lives big time in IIT. What I liked about it was the unusual approach of having losers as their protagonists. And that I could identify with some of their dilemmas, being an engineer, an having faced the same quandaries in my student life.

His Second book, “One Night @ Call Centre”, however seems to be an anticlimax after the first one. The characters in this book are almost repeated from the previous book. The Narrator remains the same, and rather then screwing up their lives, here the main characters are working in a call center, with already screwed-up lives.

The narrative can be said to be gripping, but lacking content. The story initially hems and haws about the problems faced by call centre workers, but is too full of long reminisces of the narrator’s failed relationship with one of his co-workers, to build upon anything serious.

Another major flaw in the book is the unwarranted criticism heaped on America, and the we-are-much-smarter-than-them stereotyping of Americans. Come on, they may not be the most technically sound people on the planet, but America is certainly home to some of the smartest businessmen in the world. The portrayal of America as the epicenter of all of the world’s problems starts sounding lame after some time.

And then, towards the end, the ultra fantastic idea of getting a call from God himself -What is this? Some Mytho? There are betters ways for people to realize the solutions to their problems. The call from God might have made some sense if the main cast was very religious or moral or had their dilemmas about God, and his existence been questioned earlier. But the call from God was completely out of the blue.

All in all, this is a book that can be avoided, or, at best, if you really enjoyed the first book, read it once when you have nothing good to do, and forget about it.

Seems like too preachy, too enterpreneriul and since it comes from an author who followed the most common path (IIM, IIT, Investment bank). Is he trying to tell us that he has learnt his lesson, and one should blindly do what others are doing and do something new..well I would suggest the author to let us think about what to do and what not to do.........

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