09 February, 2008

One Night @ The Call Center

Read Chetan Bhagat's second book, "One Night @ The Call Center" this week. I found it absolute crap. I chose the book from the library for two reasons:

  • Chetan Bhagat had spell-bounded me with his Five Point Someone
  • The back cover of the book read something like this - The writer, while on a train journey from Kanpur to Delhi, meets a girl who narrates him a story on the condition that the writer would make this story in a book. The story is about about 6 people, Shyam (the narrator), Vroom, Military Uncle, Radhika, Priyanka and Esha, who work for a call center. On a particular night, they get a call - from God.

Now, this was enough to simulate my curiosity.

As it turned out, this book was nowhere close to the genius of FPS. Although it is unfair to compare, ON@TCC is not up to the mark. A friend of mine, who has worked for a call center, said that the happenings, as mentioned in the book, are quite realistic and this is what happens at a call center. Though I really doubt whether the guys at a call center can do everything, but work, while at work!

The problems with the book:

  • It is a bit slow. Though it is expected as it is just a 6-hour story in a 280-paged book. But, it needed to spend some more time on the editing table.
  • The much hyped character in the book - the God, and the call from God, was just a 2-paged affair. And, he appears during the climax of the story, although he was projected to be one of its main characters. The writer goes over-board with the fiction part of the book...what with Shyam's mobile displaying, "God calling". All the little fun and faith generated at the beginning evaporates in thin air.
  • And, to make a crap book crappier, it turns out that the girl, whom the writer had met in the train, was not after all, a girl! She was God! Hell!

I guess, had I read this book before reading FPS, it would not have made an anti-ON@TCC. I, however, still like the writing style of Chetan Bhagat. After all, ek galti sabko maaf hoti hai.

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