Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A One Night Read

And the verdict is disappointing. Chetan Bhagat's second book hardly lives upto the expectations of the first. The story deals with six people who work in a call centre. All their lives magically leap to definitive misery on the same night. That's when a phone call changes their lives.

Bhagat's USP which made FPS a runaway success, was his free flowing narrative. Sadly in ONCC, the flow stretches like well chewed gum in the first part of the book. And the characters seem to be too cliched for my taste. And I don't understand why he has almost panned working in a call centre. Whatever happened to dignity of labor and so forth! The "God" factor that was attempted was cheesy to say the least. The ending seemed to be almost a rip off of Yann Martel's Life of Pi(which wasn't very good too btw!) And since his first book is being made into a movie, I guess he has decided to write a screenplay directly as his second book - complete with the Bollywoodish action climax, lots of mushy flashbacks and so on.

Despite the short comings, the book is good for a read. The story does pick at a point and if you don't invest any thought, it entertains well. It costs just Rs 95 - comparing well to the cost of a ticket in any multiplex. Where FPS was a DCH, ONCC can best be compared to a no brainer like Salaam Namaste.


Vetty Max said...

I thought the book was an attempt to show the call centre workers in a better light?

Probably Bhagat should continue to concentrate on I-Banking. :P

totti said...

Which books would they be? i havent read any of his books.May be i will give it a shot in december.I guess the hand is back on track?

Rohan Kumar said...

I was forwarded the prologue of the book fan of FPS and it seemed interesting till the point when they get the phone call from 'God'. Guess Chetan couldnt live up to all those expecttions built up by his first book.

Jinguchakka said...

For any creative person, be a writer or a film maker, their first work will be a very good one. That's because mostly it'll be from their own lives and they would have carried the concept in their hearts for a very long time, redrafting and refining it endless number of times. The giving birth to their first work also creates a sort of vacuum in their minds. It'll take some time for them to find the fount of imagination again. Yeah, I liked the 5 pointer. Yet to read this one, though. Thanks for the review.

janani said...

@vmax - Nopes! I wanted to write more about this, but that would kind of give away the plot and ending. And seriously even I felt that he would be better off not writing or maybe he should just write the story and screenplay for Bollywood flicks.

@totti - His first book was Five Point Someone. That was good actually. Though kinda exaggerated, it gives a good idea of life in a hostel. Worth a read. His second book is One Night@Call Centre.
And yes, my hand is better now. :-)

@rohan - I don't know why people try to bring God into their books. The book "Life of Pi" was touted as "the book that would make you belive in God" - but the book was pathetic. I liked Bruce Almighty though. :-)

@jinguchakka - Hmm yes, maybe you are right. I felt his first book was more honest - this one is like some hokey self help book. I certainly won't be buying his next book without anyone's reco though!

Viewer said...

Well I am yet to read ON@CC although I did quiet enjoy FPST

Anonymous said...

hi folks!
i 2 read both he books and found FPS a class apart from the way the author writes the book but very disappointed with the second one. a typical bollywood stylish. though i have 2 doubts like to be cleared. first being that who was the person calling himself god?? and the second being who was that woman who narrates him the story in the train? please help me with these two things if at all they make any sense. u can mail me @