Don't tell the Governor-Ravi Subramanian: Critical review - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Don't tell the Governor-Ravi Subramanian: Critical review

Got my copy of "Don't tell the governor" book yesterday and finished reading it by midnight. Don't tell the Governor is latest financial thriller written by Ravi Subramanian, Indian Author and former banking professional who has already authored several crime and suspense thrillers based on various aspects of money. Few of his earlier books are: "In the Name of God", "God is a Gamer", "Bankerupt", "The bestseller she wrote", "The incredible banker" and so on.

The latest book, "Don't tell the governor" focuses on role of RBI Governor. Book got released at the right time when even in reality India's Central Government and RBI seem to be in a conflict. Like always, Ravi is a master and making full use of real life incidents, using them in his plot. Don't tell the Governor is no different. Plot involves various recent happenings- tuff between RBI n Govt, Demonetization, economic offenders escaping the country, fake note issues and so on.
However, I was slightly disappointed at the end of the book due to following reasons:

1. No depth. While there was a breadth of several events, incidents, this time Ravi Subramanian hasn't gone very deep into any of the topics. In previous books one specific topic was explored in extreme detail- such as gold in the temple, money laundering, credit card frauds, bitcoin etc, in 'Don't tell the governor' none of the topics were explored in detail- match fixing, Jewelry Ponzi scheme, currency management,Vijay Malya escaping, hijacking, surgical strike and so on- all topics were only touched superficially just to supplement the plot and don't go in depth to give us a better understanding of the subject like it used to be in previous books.

Assuming core topic is functioning of Governor's office we can take some refuge, but book doesn't go too deep into RBI's operations either. I would have loved to understand how RBI is structured, how they monitor and take periodic actions and so on. Probably I should just blame myself for having hyper expectations for this.

2. More predictable and less exciting: Because "Don't tell the governor" plot using various recent real life incidents, there was relatively less suspense and excitement/anticipation was less because I could guess what will happen next. For example, moment Suyog gold scheme came up, I knew it will fail and perpetrator will escape with money. Of course fair bit of curiosity and suspense is maintained but I felt it doesn't match that of previous books.

3. No tangible solutions given: Ravi would usually end a novel in a somewhat happy note, with core problems somehow resolved. In this book, no solution offered to bring back the economic offenders who fled the country, no solution to people who lost their money, no explanation if demonetization actually served the purpose, no magic solution to NPA mess.

But despite above possible shortcomings, "Don't tell the governor" is a wonderful quick read. At its Amazon price of Rs 160 that I paid, it was definitely worth the few hours I spent reading it. Gives some idea on the functioning of RBI, gives us some imagination as to what all would have happened behind the scene on events and news we know only what's made public. We get very good idea of difference in mandates, priorities of different stakeholders. Author has not hesitated to use real incidents, almost identical names (Ranvijay Malya!- Runvijay would have been more apt, Balasubramanian Swamy for Subramanian Swamy, Mehul Modi and so on. Wondering why not Varun Jaitly or Baitly for Finance minister- may be that would have been too much).

Plot you would have guessed by now- revolves around the role of RBI governor trying to ensure low NPA, keep inflation in check and fighting the conflicting interests/priorities of those in power.

Looks like some typo on page 82: Mallaya instead of Malya was intentional? I couldn't figure out how Vicky lost his position in London- not sure if I missed a few lines.
  • Title: Don't Tell the Governor
  • Author: Ravi Subramanian
  • Publishers: Harper Collins
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages: 292
  • MRP:  Rs 299 (Rs 160 on Amazon on sale)
Conclusion: If you're a die hard Ravi Subramanian fan, if you've read all previous books and had high expectations from this one, expecting a deep, intense, knowledge rich and intricately woven story, you are highly likely to be disappointed a bit.

But if you're an average reader without any specific expectations, just expecting a good fiction/thriller and some entertainment/time pass value for the 160 odd bucks you've paid, then "Don't tell the Governor" won't disappoint. You won't know what you're missing or to look for, so the overall decent plot and narration will see you through.


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