Getting back to book reviewing after a long time and what better can it be than reviewing a book on change, optimism, patriotism, leadership, youth and difference! Please see the book is not meant to critiquing the art and science of writing but is all about the long required change that everyone of us so deeply crave for and hence an opinion on likability is provided here.
I thank the author Sumit Agarwal for giving me this opportunity to review his work before the book release on 29th September, 2016.
The book is reviewed with the help of DROPS framework developed by me to better understand the likability of the book.
DROPS framework for fiction forms of 5 critical elements in any fiction work.
D = Detailing to work. Score : 3/5
We must genuinely appreciate the amount of research done and the facts put forward for a piece of fiction, where there is definitely some freedom in terms of moulding of facts. The facts can easily be spotted throughout the book and is definitely large in comparison to some popular fiction authors like Chetan Bhagat or Sidney Sheldon; but when compared with the works of Dan Brown, you are definitely expecting more! You may catch something on MNREGA, election costs, collegium, JPCs or challenges associated with sports, reservation, cleanliness, social security, etc. while there are a lot of other critical issues in India and an equivalently large fact-file!
The detailing of main characters is good enough and we can gradually create a mental picture of them. But then, other supporting characters are loosely worked out. The characters from media especially have a weak outline and an equally weak dialogue delivery.
R = Realistic weaving of the fiction. Score : 3.5/5
We don’t expect reality in fiction, but a work so neatly weaved that you connect reality with it. Unfortunately, patriotism today is more of a fiction than a reality. Author’s attempts at bringing patriotism back by creating a fantasy world where things change for India seems highly optimistic (but not impossible anytime!). One may definitely argue how difficult it is for a nation so large and diverse to bring about such a large change that the book presents to us. The book does not tell us how the four main characters become such important faces in so short time and become core party members; some may even think if that’s possible (see : AAP’s journey and Kejriwal’s rise to CM). It is also strange to see how there is little opposition within party (although there is!) to the 4 main characters handling all the major portfolios, that too multiple (each handling 3 major portfolios at a time). There are many such highly optimistic things, some with explanation, some without! But the best part is that you are ready to accept at some of those points, owing to the explanation and the gripping storyline!
O = Organized. Score : 4/5
Simple organization of the book. Characters lives are rolled out and it shows their early lives. The ‘why did they join politics’ perspective! And the second ‘How they transform the country’ perspective. The lives of 4 characters- all at different places and professions, move simultaneously. They get affected due to the system. And like every story has a hero, we have 4 here. The 4 characters want to change the system. The good part is that they don’t break or fall prey to the system. The interesting part is ‘How?’ The story is well organized to give it a twisting plot at the end of each chapter.
P = Plot and Characters. Score : 5/5
The plot and the characters will keep a reader engrossed. The plot has multiple twists, woven web of causes and effects, thrills and chills, Indian political scenario, feuds and struggles, love, romance, empathy and articulation. A perfect drama to watch. And a better reality to live! The plot becomes gripping and thrilling, chapter by chapter. The Indian political scenario has a plethora of issues to offer and so does the plot. You find yourself served to a platter of terrorism, naxalites, olympic events, collegium system, political feud, political family connection, formation of new party, extortion, misutilization of temple funds, corruption and absurd-to-good media coverage. Yes, everything!
The lead characters steal the show. Aditya, a chemical businessman, who wants to see a cleaner and greener Varanasi, a better living for India; Varun, a software engineer overseas, who questions the legal system, Raghav, state education minister who challenges his CM chacha; Salman, CEO of Coffee moments, campaigns against an MLA for his falsely laid promises. Every character is a story to unfold.
S = Story Telling. Score = 4.5/5
The Four patriots is Sumit’s first book. Story Telling is an art mastered gradually, but Sumit has proved it wrong. The way story moves is simply fantastic. You don’t leave the book until you complete it. It’s like a webisode you see online. Every episode leaves a mark! The only part he could have focused was the dialogue delivery of support characters like Sumit Baksi who represents media. Simple narrative, deeply connected. Overall, story telling supported a fantastic plot and lead characters. It can very well be turned into a political thriller like 24!
We all want to see this change. Admit it, we all have imagined ourselves executing our ideas to change the country, in daydreams. All of us wanted to become The President or The Prime Minister at some point of time in our childhood (or at least at the time when we saw flag hoisting at the Red Fort or the Parade). But with time, we stopped considering politics even as a career option. It was meant for the bad and the powerful, and the sole purpose of empowering the weak and the good was lost.
Small things make impact and small changes make real change. Small steps create difference and small differences make it large! This book is a step towards such a change.
A MUST READ!
If you have ever fallen victim to the system, been humiliated, felt helpless… this book is for you.
Varun, a NRI software engineer, loves Alisha. Salman, CEO of Coffee Moments, loves Mahi. Raghav, a virtuous politician, loves Neha. Aditya, an altruist businessman, is married to Prachi. Destiny invites them to step out of their comfort zones and fight the devil that holds their country captive.
Will they choose country over love, comfort and success?
Will they enter the Chakravyuh, intricately laid down to ensure their destruction?
Will they come out of it alive and win back our lost pride?
Buckle up for a roller-coaster ride into the lives of these four young men who are out to change the system which could not be changed in the last 70 years of independence. A story fraught with romance and patriotism.
Also pick this book if you are a patriot and do not believe that ‘is desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta.’ If you do, all the more reason to read it!