31 A Thriller

  • Title – 31 A Thriller 
  • Author – Upendra Namburi
  • Publisher – Westland Ltd.
  • Genre – Thriller
  • Pages – 372

Synopsis: There are 31 days in March to go for the close of the financial year. Ravi Shastry, a middle level executive in ‘Imperial Bank’ is riding high in the last quarter of a tough year for a large multinational, with every prospect of a coveted promotion. Just when March looks to be a promising month, within a week, the bank’s Brazil operations are shut down and soon the global restructuring wave pounds the Indian counterparts; Ravi and  his team.

Review: The book starts with the promise of being a corporate thriller. It’s my first read of this genre and I was prepared to dive in the book with expectations of talk about stressful lives, excel sheets, frequent meetings, smart use of technology and lots of figures.

I wasn’t disappointed on this front for the book has all this and more while Ravi, the Regional Marketing Head of South India is shown juggling his professional and personal life amidst killing pressures of the financial year ending. The setting of the global financial crisis kicking in with the Brazil branch of the Imperial bank suffering massive losses. Divided in 31 chapters, the book gets its title from 31 days in March that are declared as the deadline by which 20% of the staff were expected to be laid off.

The book gives the feel of a personal diary for it records every event with a date and time slot. The protagonist is a BlackBerry addict and at times I felt his phone was the star of the plot, but nevertheless a very disturbing one. Juggling the 24 hours of the day to stay put in the job, looking for job opportunities in case he loses it, at the same time trying to find time for his IT professional, pregnant wife who is also under pressure of meeting the deadlines and even the possibility of losing her job and their kids.

There is an interesting role played by Twitter in the story with a secret reporter in the organisation who knows all the secrets and hot gossip which he shares as tweets.

The narration does give a good overview of the high-strung lives led by the hiss brass of the corporate world but does so in a language with the generous and overpowering use of sexual profanities. It was a major turn off making it very difficult for me to read through the book.

The book fails at allowing enough room for its characters to develop. The enormous number of characters in the Ravi’s life confused me to the extent that at times I found it difficult to stay focused on the possible motives of each of them while they were busy manipulating each others lives.

I feel people from the Sales or Marketing field of the Corporate world will relate to the kind of life Ravi leads. The kind of scams and upheavals their jobs bring along. Though I failed to feel the thrill the book promised in the start. I personally found Ravi a failure at management skills (of his personal and professional life) which he should have been an ace in given his experience and position in the bank. His personal life suffers miserably cause of his inconsiderate behavior justified by the work pressure he faces.

I had a tough time finishing the book. I do not recommend the book unless someone is looking for a quick read, doesn’t mind the fancy, colorful language and can relate to the life in the corporate world.

Rating: 2/5

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19 thoughts on “31 A Thriller

  1. I read another review, which said – not recommended too. I probably wont get this book. As such the real life office pressures and deadlines are enough, I dont want myself coming back come to read something that goes on the similar lines. It really scares me to think of all those consequences of falling into the corporate world. Thanks ME, for the review 🙂 You spent time, to save others from wasting time.

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    1. Exactly GB.
      I actually strated reading the book around bedtime and managed reading hardly 30 pages before I slept. But in that short spell my mind was so worked up with the workplace stress the book stirred in my mind that I actually had a very disturbed sleep 😦
      I know I can be very crazy sometimes but sometimes I get too involved with things that I read.
      😆 @ your last line

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  2. Wow!!

    You got this book…. 🙂

    I have not read it though but from your description I can assume Ravi seems to be like a typical corporate employee… I am also surrounded by people who are at senior positions with years of experience but are disastrous as leaders / mentors for they are unable to leave their myopic view!

    Loved your review and I would surely want to read it atleast once if nothing then just for the heck of nodding in agreement to the corporate life!

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  3. The story line seems to be interesting and would love to read abt the corporate life mentioned but a rating of just 2 and you found it difficult to complete it… well that cancels it from the list of buy-to-read book!

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  4. Just finished reading it over the week-end ME and felt it was ok..I more or less liked it..Possibly because my work atmosphere is so completely different from the one at the bank and I was curious.. and all those review meetings and ratings just reminded me of what hubby keeps speaking about his work atmosphere..But agree that there were too many characters and the language was a bit too colourful..

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