Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review of : Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival

"Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival" by P. G. Bhaskar  was sent to me for review by Indiblogger and Harper Collins. 

P. G. Bhasker, is a private banker who has lived  and worked in Dubai since 1992, and this is his second novel , based on his experiences there, the first being "Jack Patel's Dubai Dreams".

I had not read the former, and so had no clue about this book. One assumed, it was something kind of steeped in financial jargon, intrigues, people exploiting banking rules to make fast bucks and so on.  

But I was pleasantly surprised. 

Jack Patel and his friend Kitch accept a job at a British Bank in Dubai, along with some other international folks from their old job.  His job appears to be solely dedicated to acquiring new big ticket clients for the bank, and this has him travelling across the Middle East, Africa and Chennai with great frequency.  Bhasker introduces a typical mix of nationalities as part of those who work with him. His friend Kitch, who has conservative parents  in Chennai, but is himself married to a lady Galiya, of Kazakh descent, who manages an Idli/south Indian food restaurant with expertise. Kitch's brother Andy, let loose in Dubai, sort of free from his Chennai roots, and playing the field so to speak, as he tries to settle in into his career. 

The story is replete with Indian folks who live all over the various continents, do very well for themselves, and make Jack absolutely jump through hoops, while deciding whether to give his bank their high value account. There are cricket crazy folks, football-mad clients, strict vegetarian types;  Jacks colleagues are also from various nations, some having their own concepts of right and wrong ethics in their working life.

Surprisingly, for a book based on life in a banking world,  one doesn't get lost in  banking specific episodes. Because the book is more about people than professions.  Kitch's  brother Andy declaring his intention of marrying his girlfriend Rachel, the expected great opposition from his parents, Jack being designated to be the one to make them change their mind. 

The amazing time he has while going back to the groom's home to retrieve an important item needed without which the wedding cannot proceed. The shocked maid at home falling into a dead faint, rushing in last minute at the wedding venue. All very entertainingly described.

This is a nice light book, greatly entertaining , without too many serious type corporate descriptions, which sound impressive but are often boring to a non-corporate type.  The author has a great eye for detail and a great ear for words as far as typical Indians go, and these are used to great advantage  in the book. 

And a near perfect cover , showing a person with a parachute, trying to find his way through the business towers and highrises of Dubai...
An enjoyable read.       

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