Book Review: One Night in a Call Center

Title: One Night in A Call Center
Author: Chetan Bhagat

I enjoyed reading “Five Point Someone” written by the same author. I thought that was a good debut novel. Most importantly it appeared genuine and had a very personal feel to it. When I heard about the author’ second book I was naturally inclined to read it. Unfortunately, this effort is a dismal attempt to re-create the success of his first book.

Once again, the author chooses a story revolving around friends. Except, this time its friends at the work place, a call center. While the book does a good job of portraying the lives of India’s “flush-with-cash-20-something” call center employees and their relationships, the rest of the book is a desperate attempt by the author to weave a story around it. The supposed turning point of the story is when the group of friends who work at the call center suddenly get a call from God. This happens when the group drives away for a long break in the midst of their workday/night. To put it very bluntly, the story makes no sense whatsoever.

It appears as though the book was written with “Bollywood” in mind. “Pick up today’s hot topic (fast growing call centers, cash rich fresh out of college kids) add some “masala” and anything will sell” seems to be the thinking that went behind the book.

Thankfully, the price of the book is a modest Rs. 95 (like the author’s first book) unlike books by other Indian authors that are usually over Rs. 250.

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