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2 Dec 2014

"God is a Gamer" - Book Review

PC
I have been walking around with this book in my hand for weeks now, looking for an excuse to not read it. When I expressed the requirement of having to compulsorily read it for the review, my colleague made an apt statement:

“If you read and average of a books a week from now and we’ll assume you will live till you are 80 years old, you will read a total of  2912 books. Now, do you really want this to be one of those limited number of books.”

For someone who hasn’t read more than 50% of even the classics, the sound math put things into perspective. 

Yet I ploughed on for another couple of days to ensure that my review is not biased by my personal views on writing and fiction.

God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian is India’s first bitcoin thriller. A storyline that weaves through global streets and paced at breakneck speed, the book is a huge improvement on the previous thrillers I have experienced from Indian authors. But the sheer number of characters which have been introduced with a pointlessness that numbs my mind is surpassed by the amount of effort that has gone into making those characters… well... point-ful. Unfortunately, the effort goes to waste.

Let me break it down for you.

Cons:
•    The grand finale/reveal falls flat on its face – insipid to say the least.
•    Too many focal points to the story, all good in their individual capacities, but together lose focus and thereby, are ineffective. Like someone mixed upma, parathas and KFC chicken and then threw in a taco and some beans for good measure.
•    Weak characterization; most characters have been given roles with a lot of meat on them without actually letting the readers get to the meat. This, again, is a fall out of the above point, lesser focal points would have given more scope to elaborate on the intricacies of each character line, which in turn would have added to the storyline.
•    Flimsiness – of everything. Not one character, not only event could hold my attention.

Pros:
•    Bitcoins are fascinating, I did follow the whole rise and fall of the actual Cotton Trail and all, and this book educates readers on why that is so.
•    A lot of research has gone into the writing bit of the book which is much appreciated; there are no half-baked facts on gaming, poisons and such which are covered in the book.
•    The language is simple and clean, straight-forward even. No bad grammar and typos and whatnot.

All in all, this is a book you should read when you are travelling for over a couple of days and you don’t have the focus to read a good book because of all the vendors going chaay, chaay, kaapi, kaapi, idli-vadeeee every few minutes, but you still want to read something to keep your mind off the rowdy crowd, the unnecessarily inquisitive aunty and the extremely judgmental college student in your compartment. Or if you are one of those people who carry a book around to show off.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian bloggers at blogadda