Book Review : Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival

Jack is backJack Patel and his partner-in-humour Brahmadesam Balasubramaniam Krishnan (Kitch) are back in Dubai to regale us with their corporate adventures. Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival – as the title suggests that it’s a sequel to Jack Patel’s Dubai Dreams. Thankfully as you read along, it doesn’t make much of a difference if you haven’t read the previous book.

Jaikishan Patel (popularly called Jack in Dubai) and B. B. Krishnan (popularly called Kitch by everyone including his parents) are bankers specializing in private banking. A brief flashback lets us know that they had to leave their job during 2008 recession and return to India. This time they’re back in the deserts working with a former boss; both of them married and well settled. Their escapades into finding, convincing and retaining clients for the bank form the core plot with a few hilarious sub-plots.

To begin with, the cover is quirky enough to attract readers. There’s a parachute doodle that descends through each page of the book and gives it a comic-book effect. Self-tagged as Funniest Book of the Year, it raised my expectations, though I was a little apprehensive not having read the first one in Jack Patel series (not sure if there is a series at all) This book is a definite addition to the ones in Humour this year. It may not be the Funniest, but it’s a good one.

Author P.G. Bhaskar lets us into the nooks and crannies of hardcore corporate world. With heapful of banking jargon thrown in with a liberal hand, there is a scope of doubt about the book’s mass appeal. Honestly, I didn’t get a few jokes as they were wrapped around investment terms. I wish the author had taken a little more care to explain them. But then, it is a book on banking, you can’t expect more on Lion Safari than what’s already there. There are innumerable instances of solid humour but I wouldn’t like to reveal much for the book’s safe. Here’s a sneak peak for you – what happens when a Tamilian recounts attending a Gujarati wedding in Africa?

Dear Appa and Amma,

            …They don’t have it early in the morning like we do. They choose a convenient time during the day (or night). … The puja itself didn’t take too long and it was interspersed with Hindi film songs. They also served alcohol for the guests, who incidentally were a varied group.

…So how come they have all the fun, huh? How come we don’t have weddings like this?

Situations like these will crack one up and you’ll find yourself smiling before you know of it. There is also a liberal dose of Hindi and Tamil in the dialogues but not enough to put you off. The language is crisp, witty, a little wayward at times. All in all, this book is recommended if you want to read something funny but not cheap.

Publisher/ Imprint: Harper Collins India
Pages: 307
Genre: Fiction/ Humour
Rating: 4 of 5
Reviewed for: Author

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