Saturday, October 12, 2013

Book Review: IF GOD WAS A BANKER By Ravi Subramanian

Suddenly, over the past couple of weeks, I am able to sleep only every alternative night. One night I sleep for 7-8 hours and the next for about 3-4 hours. I realised there was a pattern to it and two days back, I was better prepared with IF GOD WAS A BANKER by Ravi Subramanian for company. I read about the author on some website recently during the launch of his latest offering – Bankster. I decided to begin by reading his first book. I am glad that the book was totally readable and I went on reading till about 4 am. I managed to complete it the next evening.

The Story from the author’s website

Two young management graduates, with nothing similar in family backgrounds and temperament, join the New York International Bank on the same day and take two entirely different routes to success. Both rise up the ranks at breakneck speed: the fast and aggressive Sundeep, who would stoop to anything to get ahead, and the mature and sensible Swami, with a high regard for good old ethics. The racy narrative set in the high-pressure milieu of competitive banking carries the undercurrent of a clash of values, in the intermeshed realms of the personal and the professional.

It’s a story peppered with ambition and frustration, deceit and malevolence, love and lust, and the desperate struggle for status and power. And, above all, there is a top-notch banker who plays the benevolent God whenever crisis looms over the young guns…

An insider’s fictionalised account of how Indian professionals experience the world of foreign banks, the story spans three continents.

My take on it….

I must say I was impressed. The book has been well researched and I enjoyed getting an insider’s view of the foreign banking system. The characters are very well etched – especially Sundeep, Swami and Aditya. Of course, the rest of them were also excellently fleshed out. I so enjoyed reading about Swami's honesty. It gives hope in one's life.

Kudos to Ravi Subramanian on writing such a lovely human interest story! It begins with Sundeep in a state of nail-biting stress in his New York apartment in the present. The author takes us on a journey in flashback as Sundeep recalls the last 15 odd years of his life.

The novel keeps you hooked as you want to know the reason for Sundeep’s anxiety. Each chapter makes you wonder whether you will know what’s happening. The plot has been put together so well.

What I liked best is the ending. God is truly all-forgiving, even in his avatar as a banker.

I am really looking forward to reading the other books by Ravi Subramanian. Only my cynical mind keeps worrying that the rest of them should not sound repetitive. Fingers crossed!

My only peeve about the book: It has been published by Rupa & Co. The book has not been proofread thoroughly. At a glance, while reading, I found at least 70-80 errors. I was extremely disappointed. This might not matter to most readers. But for me who does a lot of proofreading work, this was very distracting. I sincerely hope Rupa will polish the book well before they go for the next edition.


  1. On my to-be-read-books list. Thanks for the review ;)

    1. Hey Nilima,
      I don't know how I missed your comment. Yeah, you should not miss the book. It's very good!

  2. I want to congratulate Mr. Subramanian. I agree with every bit of what the review says. I enjoyed learning about the banking sector in the service industry. It was such an insight... and of course the way you get taken through the story is fabulous. Cant wait to read Ravi's books - the others in the Trilogy. Aditya was my favourite. Stable, Calm and determined and what a leader!

    1. Thank you for the comment Vinitha. :) I am glad you liked my review