Book Title: Devil in Pinstripes
Author: Ravi Subramanium
Approx Leisure Read Time: 300 – 340 min
Review: This is the second book of Ravi Subramanium I have picked up to read, the first being, If God was a Banker (May do its review someday). Devil in Pinstripes is a brainy piece of art. The book has office politics, groupism, powerplay, moles in other departments and favouritism in a banking environment. It is a refreshing story, away from all the love and masala type plots by Indian authors, though sometimes I got the feeling as if I was back into his other book I have read. And this is author’s just third attempt at writing. Without further ado, lets delve deeper into the book.
The protagonist of the book, Amit Sharma is a successful top executive at New York International Bank (NYB) and Chanda is his wife of 13 years who is a biotechnologist by education but because of her marriage couldn’t pursue a career in that and shifts to working in banking industry. Aditya Bhatnagar is Amit’s mentor and the top guy at NYB and Gowri, the head at NYB Financial Services and reason of all of Amit’s problems are other two main characters in the plot.Whether it’s Amit’s tactics to manage and keep the Gowri threat at bay or Chanda who suffers from his politics around or Aditya as the scheming and manipulative chief or Gowri as one who ran the NYB subsidiary like his own fiefdom, the character set is well-defined across the spectrum of emotions. By making the story bounce back and forth between past and present events, author manages to build up anticipation of thrill slowly and it doesn’t disappoint at its peak. The climax springs a surprise but seems a notch below the peak which came somewhere before in the story.
Author chose India as the arena for this plot, but the story he portrays is not far from what could be playing in boardrooms across the world today. The author’s banking background is quite evident as he draws from them while painting a misty world of Banking – the cut-throat competition, the various loopholes that gets exploited for personal gains, the various motivations that are at play, sometimes at customers’ loss, and lastly but not in the least the toll that professional matters can take on one’s personal life.
Read this book, for it relates to most of us as if we have faced similar things in life. That is what kept me going. How we have always had that self-righteous boss who felt that he was the office’s royalty; his or her ‘Yes Man’ who blindly worships him. Then an ambitious young MBA graduate enters the scene with intent to be the youngest chief in the history of the firm and all hell breaks loose.
Boardroom politics, backbiting, autocracy, corporate governance, ethics in business – Devil in Pinstripes has it all. And top that with a young man’s urge to do more than one can handle and his struggle to balance work with life. A onetime surefire interesting read. Go to Amazon to get your copy.
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