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Monday, June 7, 2010

Dork – Book review

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I am unsurprisingly lazy at writing review but given extra free time I have today, let me put down my thoughts on fictional novel “Dork” by Sidin Vadukut. Review contains minor spoilers.

Dork is a story of an MBA graduate from IIM Ahmedabad who lands a job at a mid-size consulting organization and his first year in the firm. Book is hilarious to the core and an easy read throughout. Book specially appeals to people who are familiar with culture of MBA institutes and consulting companies because author doesn’t bother to clarify things for those unfamiliar. That said, while some humour may be lost, others can still enjoy the book based on simply the character that the protagonist “Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese” is.

Robin, or he likes to be called, Einstein, is an utter optimist but a mediocre — as mediocre as one can be given that he is in IIMA — student who is in too much awe of himself to notice anything else. His luck, adventurous nature and audacious confidence carries him through ups and downs of campus and work life in a rollercoaster ride which will make you laugh out loud quite a few times and chuckle many more. As all Indian stories must include romantic side interest, Einstein too has one-sided (what else?) crush on his batch-mate from college which he manages to advance to “next level”. Nuggets of Robin’s self-confidence even when he is the laughing stock of the whole world give book its regular dose of wit. For instance, when projected as expert of mechanical engineering to prospective client by his superiors in consulting firm, Robin assures them of his ability because, after all, he was twelfth ranker in his class in engineering and joint fourth when only counting top three courses in last two semesters including Basic French! His interview in the end is not to be missed.

While book deals with eccentricities of consulting profession, it doesn’t take holier-than-thou attitude as I suspected when I started reading. Robin is sole focus of the book and occasional unethical nature of consulting world is mere stage for his fortune to dance upon. Most of the humour in the book is subtle (a parenthetical “not needed” when Robin is wished best of luck for a job interview, a microwave that works only for 20 seconds, and exhibition in Paris for dog) and not in-your-face “I cracked a joke now you should laugh” type which respects intelligence of its readers. While luck shines way too much on Robin, story remains largely realistic.

Book is peppered with mild profanities (‘fuck’ and ‘chutiya’) and few innuendoes (extra hard drive space) but it should offend none but Victorian prudish. For a mass-market fiction category that this books fall into, narrative and English are good (atleast as good as I can judge, which you can judge yourself). For 149 bucks, book is sure worth keeping in your library.

2 comments:

Gandhi said...

I think it is worth one read but not worth "keeping" in one's library.

Sidin said...

Thank you for the review Ashish.

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