(Fiction – INR 175/-)
So, who’s the guy?
Anonymous he is. The paparazzi was dropping a name but then you never know…Anyhow, the tale isn’t in first person and Mr. Anonymous tells it from up there, omniscient and omnipresent.
Must be an accountant but. Very well-dressed for one!
Oh, he is an accountant turned CEO. Goes by the name of Hitesh Shah and born to a set of conservative parents who want to see him married to the best bidder. Shah has a conniving boss, a non-rewarding profile, dimming hopes of promotion. Opportunity knocks at his door and before you know it, a small-time model, a secretary and a colleague are all flapping their wings at our man.
Ah, the good life. Then, what happens?
The title leaves little to the imagination. Obviously, he gets ‘scammed’. He goes through shady dance bars, meets movie moghuls and goons and even embarks on a cross-country trip with a beloved…
Now that is taking it too far. The book takes you through all that and is written in a nice and simple style. The narration is mostly very linear, even humdrum. There is a lot of insight on how these ugly scams shape up in organizations and that makes for some interesting reading.
Okay, what happens to Hitesh’s girlfriends?
Why the curiosity? Well, they are all well-defined…the characters are I mean. But they often seem straight out of a soap. There is the bespectacled good girl, the hot pants wearing model, even the hot colleague. They add some effervescence though, to Hitesh’s life and the reader’s.
Why did Hitesh go and get scammed now of all times?
Simple. This is the age of scams. Several of the big ones going around can be understood from the intricacies of Hitesh’s beleaguered cab-rental company. If there is a time to tell a scam story, it surely is now. Mr. Anonymous has cashed in well on that aspect, if I give him some benefit of doubt and assume this isn’t his story.
Let’s say it is. How does our guy tell his tale?
He tells it well enough. There are no hiccups and nothing that is hard to understand. The langauge is plain, the text concise. One only wishes that the proceedings weren’t quite as, you know, dry.
You sound sour.
Not really. It is just that a book of the purported genre is expected to have several more ‘moments’. More thrills, more tangles. What unfolds leaves a lot to be desired. It reminds of those directly proportional graphs we learnt in high school mathematics.
Verdict time. Should I pick this up?
Let me ask you some questions. Do you enjoy single-layered literature – you know, where you can easily flip the pages one after the other? Go ahead. Are you worried this might be a political thriller? It is not. Can you handle an okayish plot and some caricatured characters? That way, Grey Oak’s new offering can be quite a breezy read.
And the other way?
There is still the excitement about the Anonymous person in the black suit…Come to think of it, even the courier guy who got me the book was wearing black.