8 Hours by Upendra Namburi
60 mins then 31 and now latest 8 hours- like Chetan Bhagat, Upendra Namburi has some infatuation with numbers. Till now all his three novels have numericals in the title.
8 Hours is a corporate thriller which is about the multi-billion dollar conglomerate company ARYA whose probable bankruptcy had triggered a series of discussion, meetings, manipulations, coalition, plotting, back-stabbing to takeover the company.
All this was taking place within the time period of eight hours. There were a host of people who were in the acquisition race with their intentions clear like the snake in the thicket and there was lone resistance put up by the protagonist Aratrika Reddy, vice chairman of the company.
Some more corporate thriller
Before this book, I have read a few of Ravi Subramanian books like If God Was A Banker, The Bestseller She Wrote, In The Name Of God, God Is A Gamer which were corporate thriller but 8 Hours is completely different.
In the past we have heard of stories of acquisition and mergers of offshore companies by corporate giants like Tata, Wipro, Infosys etc. Upendra Namburi has tried to create a similar ambience in his novel as well, where there are industrial bankers, rivals, politicians, venture capitalists all manipulating and vying to acquire the giant company.
I’d be lying if I say that I have read similar books before. It was the first of its kind and I was completely invested in the book to know how Aratrika will tide over the situation to bring the ball back in her court from where she could dictate her terms and condition.
Fast and Racy
Such novels are bound to be racy, but Upendra has also managed to keep the narrative crisp and snappy. He didn’t bother by giving details and insight into the corporate world which would have impeded the pace of the novel. As a consequence, readers might take some time to get themselves accustomed with the entire scenario. But just hang around because it is completely worth. Once you get hold of the entire situation, the book becomes unputdownable.
Toned and compact
Throughout the novel, the author has successfully maintained a sense of urgency that there are only 8 hours and anything could happen in these eight hours. This could also be a reason that the author has kept the description of characters, situations, explanation everything precise and to the point. He didn’t go much into detail and left everything to the readers to figure out. This was very crucial to give a thrill sensation to the novel.
The novel has an impeccable balance of narrative and dialogues. There are many conversations both face to face and on the phone and they were crisp and brief. Though I must admit that sometimes I completely failed to follow the conversations properly.
If I come to the characters, then they were all very complex characters in the already complicated situation. None were saints. They were all grey shaded driven by their greeds and rage. Aratrika, her ex flame Peter, her ex husband Siddhartha, her father Madhusudan all hate each other. Yet they show how to tolerate each other in the hatred. I wonder if it is possible in real life. Also something odd I found in storyline that none of the characters sleep and spend whole night drinking alcohol
If you are bored of regular novels and looking for some change then 8 Hours could be the one. For thriller lovers this novel will be a treat.