The man is no genius but he sure knows what sells.
Chetan Bhagat’s Revolution 2020 might be a page turner for some but for the few others, it is an example of how commercialism has crept into the Indian literary scene.
Without even reading the book, it is obvious from the cover and the synopsis that there’s a love triangle in the story. Moreover, the fact that the author has placed himself in the prologue and epilogue simply put me off. There was no need for those ‘real-life conversations’. Although I understand that he is known to follow this pattern, it didn’t work for me as far as this book is concerned.
The story is set in the town of Varanasi where the life of three friends, Aarti, Gopal and Raghav is narrated. While Gopal is an average student, Raghav has been described as a prodigy. The reader doesn’t give a damn about Aarti’s academic excellence because her beauty is enough to make ‘Varanasi skip a beat’. Sigh.
The narrative progresses slowly with each page but even towards the end; one is groping for the plot of the book. However simple the concept might sound, there are a lot of unnecessary elements in the book – take for instance the elaborate descriptions of all the coaching classes that Kota has to offer. The author writes about various emotions such as jealousy, anguish and redemption. Sadly, he doesn’t do justice to any. What he does do justice to is the portrayal of many underlying social issues in India such as corruption, paid news and well, the irritating SMS language that I see as no less than an issue too.
The story isn’t as gripping as it should be. The writing style is extremely mediocre but then, that’s what gets mass appeal nowadays. There were a lot of places in the book that made me cringe a little because of the metaphors and adjectives that the author uses. Also, I found that the characters try too hard to be ‘modern’ or ‘upbeat’. Nevertheless, I appreciate how Mr Bhagat at least tries to focus on the fact that there is more to Varanasi than the rivers, ghats and the rituals.
I like how the book tries to show the passion which the youth of today possesses. Still, the revolution mentioned in the book is hardly a revolution and what seems to be the twist in the end is hardly a twist. You keep feeling that the story is almost about to reach a crescendo but it never does.
Anyhow, do read it if you are looking for a typical easy, breezy read. Trust me, even if you don’t like it, you won’t be able to leave it half-finished.
I have given this book 2.5 / 5 cows because however impressive the story might sound, this love triangle is definitely made of jagged edges.