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Joker in the pack - Book Review

Just finished reading this book yesterday. I had picked up this book while traveling at some airport. Well, the cover design as well as the line “An irreverent view of life at IIMs” were self explanatory & it was no-brainer to guess that its another one after “Five Point Someone”, “Mediocre but Arrogant”, “Anything for you ma’am”, “Above Average” etc etc. I still picked up the book as I wanted to read some light stuff.

After Chetan Bhagat’s huge success I guess it has almost become a trend to come out with some novel with theme around “Life at IIM/IIT/X/Y/Zs…”. Surely five point someone was interesting and I personally had enjoyed reading it but similar theme of campus fiction repeated over & over again… ummm nah, I guess its too boring now L.

Joker in the pack written by Ritesh Sharma & Neeraj Pahlajani is all about Shekhar Verma (the main protagonist) & the great Indian middle class dreams. Its about Shekhar’s run in the same rat race of performance & excellence in education so as to get a good job with lots of money & foreign placement. Its about all the extras in life who take so much of interest in your performance and the world where performance doesn’t meant your own performance but performance as compared to others, well as you say typical RG (relative grading) culture!!! It surely gives a detailed view of life at IIMs, hostel life, summer placements, final placements & professional-personal life balance. Well some of the things like summer placements, hostel-life etc are so relatable to not only IIM guys but to other business school pass-outs as well. The hostel life description & Shekhar’s encounter to reality during summer placement days definitely made me nostalgic J. The summer placement part & placement description created some excitement in me as reader but rest all other parts were too predictive. Hmmm and like a general happy-ending plot this book also ends with Shekhar realizing his ultimate dream of job, foreign placement & money. The only sentence which touched my heart was the last sentence “I realized my dream but in all this never realized that I’ve lost the main force who was the motivation for my dream”. Well, in this performance obsessed world I guess this is happening with many professionals of our generation.

To sum it up, I will say it’s an average book with some interesting plots. Its one of those books which you can read casually, finish up fast & forget it immediately. Positive points – light humor filled language & effort of the authors (I must say it’s a commendable job to write a whole book with full time jobs) & Negative points – Too predictive & repetitive plot, well old wine served in a new bottle.


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