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Tag: book

The Bankster : A Book Review

by Radhika G

I was quite excited to read the new book ‘The Bankster’ by Ravi Subramanian as I had not read any fiction for a long time. The fact that it is a crime novel based in India made it even more appealing. I havent read any other books by the author before.

The Book:

The Bankster is about a CIA Agent conducting an arms deal in Israel, Africa etc. in exchange of blood diamonds, the Greater Boston Global Bank [GB2], and the locals in Kerala protesting against the Nuclear Power Plant. There is money laundering, bank staff being murdered in and out of India for being inquisitive and no one knows who is behind all of this. It is all solved by an ex employee who is currently training to be a crime investigator with one of the country’s top most newspaper.

The Review:

The story and the initial chapters move quite slowly. The story shuttle between the three places of Mumbai, Kerala and Vienna and initially is rather confusing. But the pace quickens once you are through with one third of the book. The story has quite a few characters in it, some of which have appeared in the author’s previous book but I didn’t realize that till much later. Most of the main characters are well fleshed out. He has narrated the complexities of an international bank quite effortlessly and the politics that go hand in hand. While the main plot of the story appears to be money laundering, we later realize that it is just a front for something far more sinister. There are quite a few sub-plots woven into the story, for eg: the nuclear plant in Kerala, the ivory smuggling case, the affairs between senior staff of the bank, some of which seem unnecessary. But the story all comes together when the ex employee is sitting with his team piecing together clues [in a boardroom, in total filmy style]. While we understand how it is all connected, some parts seem a tad bit stretched . For Eg: an iPhone connects automatically to the cloud via wifi and uploads images [in Vienna] that were simultaneously downloaded on the iPad [in Mumbai] which is solid evidence against the murderer. This seems possible but slightly stretched. But overall, it is an enjoyable experience. The dramatic reveal of the Bankster, is almost out of a hollywood film and provides a gripping climax to the narrative.

One of my biggest grouse was about the language. The author has used Hinglish throughout the book. I quite understand that it is probably to appeal to the masses that speak similarly everyday. But as someone who has grown-up reading the classics of Tom Sawyer and Oliver Twist, it is a put-off. Also the way we read is never the way we speak and vice-versa.

Having said that, I would recommend this book to all those who like fiction and murder mysteries and want to read something by an Indian Author in that genre.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com . Participate now to get free books!

Freakonomics: a book review

by Radhika G

Freakonomics – Steven D.Levitt , Stephen J. Dubner

I never considered myself good with numbers and any of the theories related to numbers. So I never thought that a book related to economics would ever hold my attention for long. Nevertheless, having heard about this book from various sources, I decided to give it a shot and rented it out from my school library. Not only did this book delight me but I almost felt compelled to finish it within 4 days of starting to read it. It about numbers alright but not in the way the any ordinary economist would put it. Levitt, the award-winning economist from University of Chicago has approached economics in a very non-traditional way. He has claimed to have little interest in the monetary issues usually associated with economists. He is more interested in finding out answers to other small and seeming inconsequential questions like why most drug dealers still live with their mothers? Those are precisely the issues that Levitt and Dubner have addressed in this book. Through this book they have attempted to change the way people look at things they consider ordinary or things that they wouldn’t give another thought to like whether high school teachers cheat and why? Or how is the Ku Klux Klan similar to group of Real Estate Agents! His theories on all the above questions and then some make for an interesting read and get you intrigued enough to start thinking of some more questions like this on your own. His theory on how the legalization of abortion in 1970 directly affected the drop in crime in 1990 garnered a lot of controversy but I found myself agreeing to his logic. Also his account of another young economist who spent nearly 6 six years in a gang of African-American drug dealer, just to learn the organization of the gang and how the crack trade operated. Such a first hand account is definitely riveting enough to keep you glued to the book.

But even though this was such a great read, one that I thoroughly enjoyed, it felt like something was missing. Sure this book is going to make me think of some others questions that could lead to interesting answers but without the skills and resources of Levitt and Dubner, there is little I can do about these questions. This somehow leaves me wanting more from the book and dampened my spirits once I finished reading it.

Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend it to anyone for some light reading, esp when waiting for a subway train. Now if only I could find out why the G train is never on time and yet how it manages to be so popular? Any ideas?


humble masterpieces…

by Radhika G

i work at the library in my school and i think it’s the best campus job as ever. it allows me t o see the books that are popular and thats how i came across ” Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design”. when i leafed through it i decided that a mere glance isn’t enough. i got the book home and when i read through it, i fell in love with it! the book covers all the small products that we use in our daily life and take for granted, like the paper clip, ear-buds, chop-sticks, spaghetti etc! seeing all those products made me smile and the design of the book made me drool! its square book unlike the unwieldy coffee table books! each spread is a visual pleasure. the left page of every spread is a beautiful close up of the product while on the right, there is a write up about the product, a note of its designers, company/studio, the year it was designed etc. this is one book i want to have in my design library and will have it soon! what do u think?

these are a few my favorite spreads…. [bubblewrap, brown paper bag, slinky, barcode, i love NY campaign, post-it note, condom, zipper, lighter, paperclip, zippo lighter]

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