18 February, 2013

#BookReview :: Corporate Carnival: Jack is Back by P. G. Bhaskar

When a former colleague offers Jack Patel and his best friend Kitch a job with a conservative British bank in Dubai, Jack has no qualms about taking it up. Solidity and stability are just what he is looking for.

But changes are afoot at the bank. Power struggles within a complex and changing hierarchy ensures a series of problems for young Jack. And who would have thought that the Football World Cup would turn things topsy turvy for the bank. Jack escapes all of this madness as he flies from Dubai to Africa to Chennai, hopping from one hilarious situation to the next.
He rescues Kitch’s wife from a ghost, faces a football quiz that can make or break his career, masters the nuances of Zulu pronunciation, encounters pirates (well, almost) and is forced to choose between a client’s two wives - all in all, a rollicking rollercoaster ride.

Join Jack and his band of merry men and women in this madcap canter. Who would have thought the corporate world could be such fun?

‘Jack is Back in the Corporate Carnival’ is the second book by P.G. Bhaskar, the first being ‘Jack Patel’s Dubai Dreams’. With the connection in the name I realized that this must be a series and hurried on to find more about the first book. After checking out the summaries of bot the books on Goodreads, I was pretty sure that though they feature the same Jack Patel, they can be read as a standalone too. Relieved I delved into the book.

As the book summary does a fine job of giving the plot outline, I will not go into the plot much except for saying that it is quite good - the plot, I mean. A far cry from the craze of campus life stories, this book deals with the corporate life of bankers. The politics, power struggle and work culture is portrayed in a true-to-life form (I know coz my nubby is a banker and I have to listen to his cribbing and daily doses of the ‘happening) with a dash of humour. He also depicts some situations from Jack Patel’s personal life – again with another dash of humour.

The characterization of the host of characters in the book is amazing. It was easy for me to picturise each character in my mind, especially with the way the author incorporated some typical local lingo and slang into the dialogues. Yes, you’ll be able to catch a lot of such phrases in the book that’s not in english but of different regional languages of India. It did make me stop and wonder what would an English speaking foreigner do in such situations? Probably the same thing as us when we come across small phrases of French/German/Spanish in a book that we are reading – either try an grasp the basic idea from the entire conversation or look it up in a Google translator.

Anyway, overall this was certainly one of the most hilarious books I have read in recent times and often felt that it would be great if I could actually know a ‘Jack Patel’ in my life. Yeah, things seem to happen to/with and around him all the time. It was also great to discover another IWE author who doesn’t conform to the trend of writing about cheap sex on campus and instead cut out a niche for himself!

PS: I can't help but wonder what it would be like if 'Bankster' and Jack Patel's world collided?

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