- Paperback: 166 pages
- Genre : Fiction
- Publisher: Frog Books, Leadstart Publishing India 2010
- Source: Sent to me by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Rampant corruption in India is probably something you have heard about, I certainly had but only in very vague terms. So when I discovered that in writing this novel the author is hoping to make more people aware of the situation in Indian society I was curious. In this his first novel Suresh Taneja feels he has woven the issues into a story that he hopes will encourage readers to think about strategies and solutions to address the problem.
Unfortunately it did not work for me at all but I think it is important to remember that this may just be because it has failed to cross cultures and appeal to a European reader. It was not only the story that I found boring but the language and grammatical usage left a lot to be desired. I have no idea if this novel was originally written in English or is the subject of poor translation and editing. For example early on in the book someone opens a bottle of ‘Champaign’, unless this is not ‘Champagne’ as I assumed but some drink available only in India.
The author is certainly passionate about his subject and in his novel envisages that by the year 2030 India will be the new super power of the world and free of corruption and this will all be thanks to the children of 2009 that the story is built around.
There are many characters but not one was memorable and the conversations in the book tended to be rather repetitive, again I think this would have improved with stronger editing. Overall a clever concept but spoilt by poor characterization and mediocre writing. The latter which I do feel is more than likely to be a language issue. The author may well have felt more comfortable writing in his mother tongue and then maybe the story would have flowed better. Who knows?
Normally I write a précis of the novel, without spoilers but today having not really understood or enjoyed it I have decided to just leave you with the blurb from the back cover, to make of it what you will.
FROM THE BACK COVER OF ‘WE CAN PULL IT OFF’
This is a story of courage, determination, ingenuity and love for the country.
It was the most unusual vacation for Vikram, Yuvika, Manisha and Akshay — the G4, as they called themselves. In the first few days of the vacations, they experienced some shocking incidents of declining moral values and corruption. These completely shook them up when they understood the implications. They dreaded the thought of being labelled as citizens of a corrupt country.
G4 found this deplorable and decided to plunge into action. They had two weeks of vacation, which they productively used to start an initiative to address this issue. They used their creativity and a number of unique strategies which left an indelible mark on the public, making their initiative a mass movement. The result? A complete cultural change and attitude shift in the citizens’ minds leading to a complete transformation of the nation, earning it respect and recognition globally.
Read about this movement and its impact…
The author Suresh Tanjea is a Chartered Accountant by profession and works for a large listed company in India as its chief financial officer.
I am offering my copy to the first person who asks me as I am curious to learn what others make of it. Any volunteers to read this next?