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February 28, 2015 / subramanyam

The Winners Curse by Dee Walker


The title was interesting, the cover had a line that read  “A political thriller about national ID numbers, power and greed” , I quickly checked the blurb on back cover and it spoke about a rags to riches story. I did not need anything else to pick this book.  I picked up  Dee Walker’s “The Winner’s Curse”  and here is the review of the same.  Here is the blurb that made me pick the book.

thewinnerscurse-Dee Walker

The Front Cover

Orphan Harsh makes it to the billionaire club with a burning vision, sheer intellect and the blessings of his political Godfather. The favours must now be paid back through a huge Guru Dakshina. To honour his Master’s wish, Harsh, with the help of his fellow IITians, sets out to create a never-seen-before governance technology around the national ID numbers, that will change the face of democratic India.

Everything is at stake: money, reputations, egos and morals. Even lives.

Will they succumb to insatiable greed in the murky games of politics, backstabbing and subterfuge or will they be redeemed by the ‘Ten Commandments’ that once forged their ideals at college?

If you thought that supreme technology and unalloyed power can bring lasting change or that e-governance and transparency can address the ills of our system, The Winner’s Curse will force you to think again. For what’s at stake is: YOU.

The Winner’s Curse: the turbulent voyage of talent and intellect in the morass of turpitude.

An orphan who made it big in his life, a man who is still pursuing his dream, a set of like minded people from IIT Delhi with burning desire to make it big in their lives, a powerful political master, his not so good son-in-law and a wily businessman, all these people are related by a project that’s going to change the face of the nation and that’s something that is going to make or break their lives.  How would each of them approach this ? what is there in it for each of them and how are they going to fight for it form the crux of Dee Walker’s “The Winner’s Curse”.

It is a very fast paced novel that would have the reader moving through the pages quickly.  Simple English is the icing on the cake and the pages would turn even before one realizes it.  The way the lead characters were developed is also good and the readers would like it.  This books speaks about IITians, so there is a good amount of technology that is spoken about in this book.  I really liked it.  Then, the author speaks of The Ten Commandments that are guiding principles for many of the IITians, I was indeed amazed by it.  I never knew about them till now.  Actually, the author tried to relate each of the characters to the commandments and one ought to commend him for doing a brilliant job on that front.  I  loved the way Dee Walker did it.

The author did a good job in portraying the outright objective mindset of the politicians.  He depicted as to how most of them

The Author

The Author —- Dee Walker

can be ruthless and even treat people like resources. That was done in a nice way.  Then he also did a good job in depicting the inter–departmental rivalry in the public service.  I liked the way the realization dawns on one of the most important characters of the book and the way his friend conveys that to him.

Coming to the areas that I felt could have improved, I felt that there were a little too many loose ends in the story.  One of the lead characters gets a lot of page space in the initial pages but then we see hardly see his side of the story as we sift through the pages.  Some characters were introduced towards the end of the story and they end up playing a major part in the climax of the book.  I felt that they could have been introduced a lot more early in the book. Again there were many characters in the book and I felt the number of these characters could have come down as they might be counter productive at some point.

The characters use a lot curse words in the book. In my opinion this could have been avoided.  I felt uncomfortable while reading that stuff. I feel that the author could have added more political battles in the book.  While reading the book we see that a lot of business battles are fought between the characters.  It would have been great if there was a political angle to these battles where we have opposition party that steps in and makes things tough for the ones in power. Again, all these are my perspectives and opinions and they need not necessarily be the right ones.

All in all a fantastic book that takes us through the worlds of politics , technology and business.  Since we would be reading the world from the eyes of an IITian it would be even better.  Do pick the book when you have time you would get to read a nice story that has a nice moral.

“This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com

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About the Author

SV Divvaakar wrote this book under the pen name Dee Walker. Nice way to choose a pen name isn’t it ?

Dee Walker is an alumnus of IIT Delhi.

A self- employed professional, he assists international companies to invest, set up, and grow their businesses in India and serves on boards as a professional Director. He also works closely with international agencies in Pro Poor Policy and Program me Development, Monitoring and Evaluation.Through his writing and story telling, he yearns to connect with young people who he believes are the key to a better world, a better tomorrow.

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