Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book Review: Devil in Pinstripes by Ravi Subramaniam

Article first published as Book Review: Devil in Pinstripes by Ravi Subramaniam on Blogcritics.

I went to the Great India Place couple of weeks back. Being a bookaholic that I am, no visit to mall is complete for me without a visit to any bookstore within. While browsing the books, my sight fell on Devil in Pinstripes.

I could immediately guess that it included dirty, behind-the-scenes stories in the banking related world. It did not disappoint me one single bit.

The author, Ravi Subramaniam, has already written two other books, If God Was A Banker and I Bought The Monk’s Ferrari, neither of which I had read but I had heard both of them. I had heard decent reviews for those two books and thought to myself "What the hell? Let me buy this one and then let’s see how it turns out to be".

What I liked the most about the book is how the story hops intermittently between past and present, how well the past and present are woven together. The main protagonist, Amit, is in a lockup and keeps on having these flashbacks of his life; while intermittently he snaps back to the gloomy present.

As a sideline, the book also teaches a lot of lessons in office politics, people grouping together and cutting someone off, having moles in other departments and people on “take”.

What makes the book very interesting is how, at different points of time in the book, one can feel similar things to have happened in our own lives. How we have always had that smug boss who felt that he was the king of his office and no one had any right to contradict.

How there is always that one “yes-man” (in the book it is a woman) who worships the boss like anything. An ambitious young man, fresh graduate of an IIM and with an intent to be the youngest partner in the history of the firm.

That urge to do more than you can handle and need to balance work with life.

The characters are very well defined. In fact not only black and white, but the yellow, red and gray in the characters also seem to have been very well described.

I am not really sure, however, how I feel about the subtle, surrogate advertising that Ravi introduced in the book, such as Amit buying If God Was A Banker at the airport or a famous hotshot lawyer "Ravi Subramanian"; I feel that that was something that he could have done without.

All in all, an interesting one time read.

Rating of 3/5.


  1. Very interesting review. I shall keep a look out for this one. :)

  2. nice review..will check for the book

  3. @Sakhi: Thanx and do read this one... have a couple of books in pipeline for me and will post their reviews soon!

    @Rajlakshmi: Welcome to my world of Wandering Thoughts... Please feel free to explore more... And yes do go through the book. An interesting read!

  4. i have read "if god was a banker", and think i am now worse off for having read it. one would be hard pressed to believe that the book was written by an IIM Grad.. and not just because of the various errors.. but also because of shabby story.

  5. @Gagan: Welcome back yaar... gayab ho ho gaya tu toh? How r things?

    I havent read "if god was a banker", but whatever I had heard of it was pretty similar to what is said about Chetan Bhagat... so i thought why not try this one... and frankly, while not really a star material, this book is a decent read, one that u might prefer to read while travelling etc. Try it, I think u might like it...

  6. Gud goin Aashish!!!
    keep on rolling

  7. @Arpana: First off, welcome to the world of my Wandering Thoughts. Feel free to esplore more.

    I am glad that you liked the review, there are a couple more in you browse through the contents...

    @Stranger... Thanx man... I am glad that u liked it... Feel free to explore more!

  8. @B2B: I am glad that you liked the review... there are a couple more reviews that you can go through, should you chose so... Some more reviews to follow soon!

  9. @Revealty: Welcome to the world of my Wandering Thoughts... Feel free to explore more... There are a couple more reviews that you can go through, should you chose so..


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