Wednesday, October 15, 2014

God is a Gamer - Ravi Subramanian

This book is racy and is every bit the kind of thrillers written by the best western authors I used to read when I was young. I mean the well-researched, direct, action-packed thrillers that I read from the Forsyths, Archers, Haileys kind of quality. For sheer writing prowess - taut, fast-paced, action writing - that straddles the slippery worlds of banks, software, games, politics, bitcoins, drugs, sex, violence, power and perhaps, even love, I feel no one else could have written this book but Ravi Subramanian. He stands alone in this space in Indian writing in English.
Ravi is also amazingly prolific. For someone who wrote his first book in 2008, he has already written five novels and a non-fiction book. Superb stuff.

'God is a gamer' starts someplace in the USA, moves to Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and so many other places. The story sucks characters who are dealing with high security banking systems, companies that are supplying software to banks and are also into developing games, people who are in the corridors of power but who are also into formulating policy for bitcoins, ATM heists, hookers who are revealing their client details, young people who fall in love, old people also who fall in love, murders, killings, robberies, affairs, betrayal, and swirls like a whirlwind towards its end. What Ravi does so well is that he never loses a half-moment of energy or pace. Everything is so credible, so believable - whether its the White House, the FBI, the banking system in India, the gaming companies, youngsters working in gaming companies, the finance ministry - he makes it all believable.

Superb effort. Rare to see an Indian writer generate something like this. On the down side, the pace was so hot that I lost the motives of the main characters and reasons why they do what they do. But its so slick that you forgive that.

Is it a good read? Yes. Is it slick? Yes. Is it new? Yes. Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it smart and appeals to your intellect? Yes.
Enough reasons to go read it. What more do you want? 

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