The Winner’s Curse is a political thriller penned by the author of Beaten by Bhagath, Dee Walker – the pen name of SV Divvaakar. Very different from Bhagath, this book deals with the big bad world of politics, the murky deals behind closed doors, the bureaucratic corruption and the insatiable competitive urge of the corporate world.
The ruling party in power at the Centre in India launches a massive project Jan Shakti – a unique ID for every Indian resident (rings a bell?). This is a huge game changer for politics in India and is slated to tilt the balance in favour for ruling party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
There is just a small glitch in the process – Jan Shakti is not just a unique ID programme, it is the biggest surveillance programmer launched ever that will snoop (sorry Saheb ji winks) on every Indian. Add to it some spice involving corruption, an ex-IITian turned anti-corruption crusader (now who that could be?), competition between telecom companies – The Winner’s Curse has the perfect masala for a Bollywood potboiler.
It is evident from the first chapter itself that the writer has heavily borrowed from the recent political history of India to weave a narrative that could well have some semblance in reality. The characters are well-sketched and the Ten Commandments of the IIT well used. The initial build-up of the plot eggs the reader to keep turning the pages. Somewhere after 150 odd pages the steam slacks a bit.
There are too many sub-plots in the story, something that distracts the attention of the reader from the ‘Holy Grail’ of the book – the Jan Shakti conundrum. The narrative moves between the past and the present but transitions are smooth; the author is in full control of the plot, despite the digressions. The novel could have been crisper if the flabs had been edited out.
Overall, The Winner’s Curse is a good read on a long train journey or a lazy winter afternoon. I thank the author for the signed copy of the book. I would also like to apologise to Yatin Gupta for the late review.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
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When I first reviewed a book written by Abhisar Sharma one and half years ago, I had described him as the Frederick Forsyth of India. When I began reading his latest book “A Hundred Lives For You” three weeks ago, I was amazed by the range of his writing, and the depth of his words. If Hundred Lives is the first book penned by Abhisar you are reading, you would find it hard to believe that this book has been written by the author of two action-thrillers.
A Hundred Lives For You deals with the intricacies of relationships and the human psyche. This is the story of Abhimanyu Sharma, 13, who is on the threshold of a new beginning when his father’s remarks scars him and changes his relationships forever. As you turn the pages, you will feel an emotional connect with Abhi. There is a slice you in him. We have all been through that phase of life where we had to give up our dreams to fulfill the ambition of our parents. We all had that one relative (here his Daddu) who we could confide into. From pranks on teachers to the first kiss – Abhi’s tale will take you through a joyride of memories.
Abhisar also narrates the horror of 1984 Delhi riots, and how relationships are scarred in the backdrop of the anti-Sikh pogrom. We get to enjoy Abhisar’s classic style of thriller-writing when after a decade, Abhi avenges the murder of his best friend’s father through a sting operation. Needless to say, Abhisar has poured his heart and soul into the story.
A Hundred Lives For You once again validates the strength of the bond of love. Manifested in various forms in this mesmerising tale, the novel will appeal to anyone who has their heart in the right place. From ‘The Girl By The Hut’ till the last word in the final chapter of the novel, Abhisar Sharma weaves an emotional tale of Abhimanyu, which is sure to leave your eyes moist.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
P.S. – Thank you Abhisar for the book.
Buy your copy of the book here: http://goo.gl/2rMvnU