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Book Review: Devil in Pinstripes by Ravi Subramaniam

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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.

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