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Thursday, March 30

One night @ call center is not for me !

"One night @ call center" is the kind of book that deserves a review by Akshaya. However I see little hope of ever being able to make him read it, so I will have to do the honor.

It is easily the most pedestrian and useless piece of work that I have put my hands on. Let's not even try to get into the literary merits of book, since it has none and since, author accepts that in the first few pages itself, but the sheer nonsense of the plot is itself unbearable. So you have this call center and the call traffic is low and jobs are being cut and you have to save it. So what do you do? Just call up Americans saying they have been attacked by a virus and ask to call back and voila! The traffic is up and jobs are saved. And supposedly the author, Chetan Bhagat, went to two of India's most premiere institutions, IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad! At least I expected something better from him, something that was not so downright nonsense.

But even before all this drama begins to unfold, Bhagat manages to irritate hell out of you with his stereotypes, clichés and totally one dimensional characterization. So all the Americans are "dumb ass", the bad boss is bad in every sense you can think of and out of the six main characters, one has an abusive mother-in-law, one has a emotionally blackmailing mother, one has been kicked out by his son and daughter-in-law and so on. He hardly assigns any individuality to his characters, projecting any attribute of one character on the whole category. So after every 2-3 pages you find a statement like "girls are like this..", "only girls can do this...", "all girls can do this.." blah blah... you get the drift. Emotions come and go like passengers on a metro stations, 12 second and gone !

Interestingly, almost every review that I read on the net for the book claimed that the book is not for "high brow" literature fans and should not be judged by those standards and that Chetan Bhagat is a good story teller. All I can say is that Chetan Bhagat is not a good story teller, not by any standards as shown by his two works till now, although the first books as slightly better as compared to this one. And about the book not being for "high brow" literature fans, I think that is a mild way of putting that the book is mediocre. It is the same mentality that prompts book titles like "xxx for dummies" and nobody feels offended by them. The bad, downright pathetic things are packaged up as "being for the masses" and are taken up enthusiastically by "masses". I do not wish to be a part of the circus however.

Incidentally, Bhagat's website proclaims him to be the author of two "contemporary classics! Should we roll the drums?

9 comments:

Vibhanshu Abhishek 3.1 said...

I second you wehemently :D Even five point someone was a highly cliched book. One can write a much much better novel on the IITs. What abt you ;) ???

Mein peeche mud kar dekha,
par aapko kahi na khoj paya,
kahan gum ho gaye aap,
yeah hame samajh na aaya...

wah wah, wah wah... my lame effort at cheap poetry :p

Jaya said...

He has gone to none of the institutions I have gone to, you see ;) :P

Okay, I know its a poor joke, but whatever!!

Brajesh said...

haha..i too made the mistake of reading its few chapters sometime back. Here is my passing mention to this disaster.

Nishit said...

Well, you wouldn't have dared to read the book had you attended the talk he gave at IITK. From his attitude you can make out that all he is interested in is making a "hit" book rather than "quality" book and boy he sure knows how to encash his IIT experience

Braveheart said...

Bhagat is a piece of shit; he is. But he knows that and he takes pride in it. He is one of those shameless bastards who don't believe in fathers to start with. What can you do about him? However, the problem starts when people like you start reading his books...

-- Akshaya

Primalsoup said...

Heh! While your arguments are all very sound, but the book is all about marketing (bet A helped him in that) – I mean at a price of Rs 95, it is easy to pick (fully knowing that you are not going to be blown away by the brilliance!)
Though I have wondered, why the media has almost been apologetically nice to him. I mean, they are quick to dismiss loads of young, holds promise writers, but with him they are more charitable. Pedigree seems to be a huge plus!

indu said...

Thanks for all these timely advices. I was planning to get a copy for myself this weekend. But, I heard a lot positive about Five Point Someone and also for this book. Anyhow, it's not my kind of a book if it's mediocre fiction.

Nishith Kumar said...

I have dared not read the book after having read five point someone.
Truly pedestrian. His writing style is pathetic and half his stories seem cooked up (in the first book itself).

Web2earn said...
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