Title: A Flawed God
Author: Arjun Shekhar
PP: 284 pages
Price: Rs. 250 (get it for Rs. 200 here)
My Rating: 2/5 … Read if you like corporate thrillers, but don’t expect much real action
Before I say anything else, here is a quote on back cover of book that made me get it:
An ordinary corporate executive turns assassin to save his firm from ruin with the help of the master of a secret guild out to revolutionize the corporation…
Wow, I thought. Another thriller in making. And that too with a different story. We know all dark corporate evil people who hire assassins for their deeds. But this was first time (as far as I know) that someone was actually dirtying their own hands, or so I thought.
The back cover of book, including line quoted above, had this:
Sanchit Mishra a.k.a. Sancho is staring bleakly at his performance appraisal form when an invitation from the mysterious Progress in Work Collective lands on his desk. His colleague and confidante, Pause Daniels, urges him to dig deeper. Soon he finds himself sucked into a secret world of anonymous superheroes out to revolutionize the business world by attacking that flawed god it worships – the share market. This parallel life pumps some self-esteem into Sancho, preparing him to do what’s needed when the firm is taken over by a multinational and an ugly industrial relations situation ensues.
The case for the transfer of ownership from shareholders to employees is made through Sancho and Pause’s story in this witty, fast-paced corporate allegory.
Now this got me confused (and a bit exited) about the book and I just dug in.
First two-three chapters actually got me interested in the plot. Sanchit aka Sancho gets the invite form Progress in Work Collective or as they call it, The Collective.
He flies to Turkey (at his own cost of course ) and somehow, after a terrifying journey (for him) reaches the destination.
The Collective is supposedly an underground society or something which fights for reorganization of all typical corporate organizations and make them more Employee focused than they are now. Good concept really. Someone really needs to do that, I agree. But I did not get why it had to be underground and so secret.
Then it the story revealed that there was a nemesis for The Collective, none other than ‘Shareholder’s Conscience’. Now that is a cool name. These shareholders are supposedly dangerous people and they always assassinate the ‘Master Craftsman’, the leader of The Collective. Well, things got little skeptical here for me. But I held on.
Then suddenly, after a good start of selection process of The Collective, story jumped 15 days to Sancho’s office. Author says he did not want to bore us with details of selection procedure, but it was awesome nonetheless. Hmmm. I was dissatisfied. I wanted things to go into more secrets but apparently there were more pressing matters at hand like villain of Sancho’s career, the General Manager of his company being sacked, Sancho’s boss getting abducted by a local goon (claiming it being on behalf of worker’s Union), Management changing hands, Acquisition of company by some American company etc.
So Sancho suddenly finds himself facing a lot of opportunities to lead and he does that. He is (from start of the book) being helped by his genius colleague Pause. Now Sancho and Pause have to save company, their boss, their employees from a fiasco. Somewhere down the line I remember exactly how the story had started. And I found the most interesting part (for me) nearly forgotten. :O
The book ends with the protagonist(s) getting their love, victory and well deserved whatever. But it leaves you confused.
Good points about how Employee’s turn into mindless ‘appraisal thinkers’. Author’s HR experience surely shines here. The language of the book is really good (I recently read Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of Nagas). Concept of The Collective, however far-fetched, was interesting. But..
Author blames current share market for world’s current condition. Though he would sound perfect to people who don’t understand Share market properly, I found it little far fetched. I know some points he makes are true, but they cannot be held solely responsible for everything. And even if we ignore the share market thing, I did not understand why he had to build so much mystery about The Collective and let it go just like that. I wish he had written Sancho becoming a real sharp shooter or something and saving his company.
The Final Word:
Though I sound skeptical all through this review, I must give credit to the author for picking up a bold subject. People who go through all work tensions and know what evil thing ‘the appraisal’ is will agree with him. I would say read this book if you like corporate thrillers. The action thriller fans can skip it. If Arjun Shekhar writes another book, I will surely give it a try.****Advertisements put by blog host.. I have no control over what appears below this line *****