“Scammed: Confessions of a Confused Accountant” is one among the latest releases from the Grey Oak – Westland stable. Interestingly the author has decided to go with the pen name “Anonymous” rather than his real identity. On seeing that, I presumed the book delved into something really explosive – frauds, scams etc. which may shake the country and may have had the potential to give the author enough sleepless nights. So did it live up to the expectations?
The blurb goes like this –
Life is miserable for Hitesh Shah despite his coveted job in a top accounting firm. Labeled a nerd by colleagues, ignored by women and rebuked by parents, Hitesh cannot resist when offered a lucrative job as the CEO of an offshoot of the failing automobile company, Supreme Motors. So what if the owner Venugopal Reddy, a sleazy businessman with political connections, actually wants Hitesh to fix the company to save his skin? Hitesh’s drive and quest for success helps turn the Company’s fortunes around; he is seen a rising corporate star, he begins dating a model and is pampered by parents.
Championed as the poster boy of emerging India, Hitesh’s fairytale ends quickly. As his cursed luck would have it, he is soon on the run from the law – allegedly as the perpetrator of a financial scam and accused of defrauding thousands of investors! With his back against the wall, and growing public and media opinion against him, will Hitesh come out of the mess he finds himself in?
First things first. The cover of the book is visually appealing and catches your attention almost immediately. The fantastic quality of the printing paper and good font size make you want to turn the pages of the book. The publishers deserve kudos for differentiating their book from the rest right from the cover itself.
Truthfully speaking, the story is nothing much to write home about. But the treatment of the sequences, the language, the characters, the situations all make the reading experience enjoyable. Conniving politicians, career hungry models, an accountant who isn’t afraid to be a little understanding with a sinking organization in return for favours, there is all of it and more. The narrative moves at a steady pace throughout without too much unnecessary diversion from the main points and that shows the editors have done their job well enough.
The book has a few downsides as well. Even after completing the book, I couldn’t really understand why did the author use the name “Anonymous”. Some parts of the story particularly the press reportage and the climax sequences became overtly melodramatic and Bollywoodesque. Payal and Hitesh’s love saga looks poorly defined and forced.
The characters are well defined. Hitesh as the confused accountant is the heart and soul of the story. His irritation at his appraisal in Smith and Donald’s, life as a CEO, his trysts with the politicians and sleazy businessman are all portrayed pretty well. Venugopal Reddy, the hot shot businessman with strong political connections is a conniving and scheming individual who uses everyone including Hitesh for his own purposes. Then there are others like G.Vinod, Mohan, G.S Rao etc. who are the left and right hands of Venugopal. Obviously when they are men who have a mission of their own, how can scheming women be left far behind? Sandra, Sushma and Payal make up the cast.
All in all, a good read while on a journey :).
Rating – 3/5