Thursday, October 23, 2014

God is a Gamer– Book Review

Book: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Number of Pages: 310

‘God is a gamer’ is a book by Ravi Subramanian, who is one among the new generation of Indian authors.  Ravi Subramanian is a banker by profession and has written popular thrillers that are based in the banking world. I enjoyed reading his book ‘Bankster’ a couple of years ago and was really excited to read ‘God is a Gamer’ which has been marketed as the world’s first novel on Bitcoins.

The story starts with the assassination of a politician in USA.  This is immediately followed by a Phishing scam where the customers of a reputed International bank in India start losing money. Consequently, the company that manages the card operations for the bank is also in trouble. Back in the US, 5 million dollars are stolen in 2 days from 520 ATMs in New York in an ATM heist. Meanwhile in India, a powerful woman who is the ex-CEO of the bank is murdered.  In the midst of all this, there is a love story and some snippets on the personal lives of all the characters involved.

Ravi Subramanian does a great job connecting all these various sub-plots in the story through the different characters.  The story also moves at a quick pace with the scenes shifting from US to India and vice-versa across the different chapters. This is precisely the reason why the book is unputdownable and can be finished in 1-3 readings. Coming from the banking industry, Ravi also explains the technical details of the banking industry in a language that is understood by a layman.

The best part of the story is the fact it is based on the latest happenings in the technology, internet, social media space like Bitcoins, Facebook, Gaming Apps etc. This gives a very real world connect to the book. The fictional part is brilliantly integrated into all these things. This is where Ravi Subramanian hits the bull’s eye. I mean which youngster wouldn’t be interested when you talk of Facebook, Zynga and Gaming apps and then add the murder/heist/thriller layer on top it.

The other aspect of the movie is that there is no clear protagonist who calls the shots and drives the story. This makes the plot interesting which is very essential for a thriller. I wish Bollywood take a look at this book and have someone direct a movie based on it.

The only flip side of the book I thought was the ending. It is s a bit of let down which gets a tad predictable. I would have preferred the last 10 pages to be something else. But perhaps it is the element in these 10 pages which make the movie ideal for a Bollywood potboiler – Revenge!

On the whole, it’s a very good read. It is also interesting to read books that are based on an industry (Banking in this case) rather on mere personal lives or love stories.  Kudos to Ravi Subramanian for doing that on a consistent basis through his books based on Banking. This is a must read for the Ravi Subramanian fans and a decent read for the rest.

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