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January 15, 2015

Book Review - 181 : The Winner's Curse

Author : Dee Walker
Publisher : Srishti Publishers & Distributors

Orphan Harsh makes it to the billionaire club with a burning vision,sheer intellect and the blessings of his political Godfather. The favours must now be paid back, through a huge Guru Dakshina. To honour his Master's wish, Harsh, with the help of his fellow IITians, sets out to create a never-seen-before governance technology that will change the face of democratic India. Everything is at stake: money, reputations, egos and morals. Even lives. Will they succumb to insatiable greed in the murky games of politics,backstabbing and subterfuge, or will they be redeemed by the “Ten Commandments” that once forged their ideals at college?

Author knows a thing or two about setting up scenes as was quite evident from his earlier foray into the world of first time writers in the blooming but still nascent publishing industry of India. There are multiple scenes in this fast pace narrative which is testimony to the same fact - Protagonist meeting with investors in Dubai or the scenes where even the protagonist have to choose between two friends . Undercurrent fact that we may be dealing with some real educational institutes of India here keep the readers genuinely hooked up and sufficiently interested.

The first 40 odd pages are dense and it will take time to actually get your head around what exactly is going on with these characters and their motivations which is a pity in a thriller of this kind. The author does well to take some hot topics in politics and governance - UIDs, Aadhar numbers, National ids, whatever you want to call it. . I also enjoyed how the author makes a distinction between the have and have nots by the way one uses technology in their daily lives.

Editing leaves a lot to be desired in this book. In the print version i had, there are multiple repetitions of sentences, sometimes even entire paragraphs have been incorrectly printed. The pacing is brisk and there are sufficient number of twists and turns to take you though this frankly, long book (280 odd pages) for a thriller genre. I am also quite sick of Indian writers using the gay angle as a surprise package to make the plot thicker, it has been done to death and quite frankly, does not work anymore and any well read reviewer will see it coming from a distance.

Despite these nags and poor editing, this is decently researched and well compiled book dealing with an unique concept about UIDs. I wish it was more shorter and tighter to have a better impact on readers. I am going with 3/5

[ Review of S.V. Divvaakar earlier book, Beaten by Bhagath here. ]

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