I read the first part of this trilogy, and although I disliked it, I already had the second book: So here is the review.
Am I surprised that I didn’t like this book either? No. The problem with this book isn’t the writing, it is the protagonist. He is such an awful, weasely, miserable, self-important, useless, scheming, dishonest, deluded, egomanical, miserly, morally bankrupt, scummy so-and-so, it is impossible to root for him at all. He deserves all the punishment, but each time fate swoops in to save his sorry hide. It is infuriating.
Author: Sidin Vadukut
Story: Although he actually made a mess of everything, and should rightly be relegated to the janitorial department, Robin “Einstein” Varghese has managed to get himself promoted, and now sent to London on assignment. There, his streak of incredible luck continues, thankfully without the alcohol-induced blackouts this time.
His goal is to make plenty of money, and continue to be promoted in this horrible morass of the consulting world.
Writing: Again, the book is laid out in diary entries, and it still doesn’t do the protagonist any favours. He is so horribly dishonest and unlikeable, and he constantly paints himself in a good light [or tries to] and comes off looking worse.
Again, the Malayali-ness was funny, and I would have liked to see more parallels drawn with life in Kerala. Those bits were really funny, and somewhat of a saving grace in the book. This book has also evidently benefited from feedback, and has more interest than the first one.
[On a side note: I did read that the author moved to UK, and it is very visible in his writing. Vadukut is a great commentator of what he observes and what he knows. Those parts shine through.]
Characters: Horrible characters, most of them. Right from Varghese, the corrupt Dominic, the embezzling Tom, to the blackmailing computer guy [I’ve forgotten his name]. The only person with the barest modicum of a soul is Jenny the intern. I feel equal parts of pity and disgust for Robin’s girlfriend, Gouri. Seriously babe. WTF.
Pace: The book was more complete this time around, and the pace remained breakneck. Better overall.
Conclusion: Thank God I didn’t buy the third one already.