The Big Switch: It’s Never Too Late

by John Thomas

Read time: about 4 minutes

A young lad; an IT engineer, who has: a bad manager, an immature girlfriend who loves drama, a carefree roommate, crazy work… A little too mainstream in the Bangalore IT world. This person is someone we techies come across on a day-to-day basis. Except, of course, that this story was based in Mumbai. But then, I did not see much of Mumbai in the story, so let’s just call the location another mainstream metro.

This was the first impression I got when I picked up this book to read. But the book turned out to be a little more than that. And actually I’m happy it did. I have two takes on this book, and here, I’m going to take the general reader’s take, since Meraki Post is about the entire reader community and not IT engineers.

Cover: The Big Switch: It's Never Too Late

Cover

I hate to do this, especially for paid reviews, but the cover isn’t interesting at all. The cover, from what I see, is a man who’s taking a big leap (why does it remind me of Mario?) and is mid-air. Nice symbolism, but…

The background is bluish and the font used is uninteresting. Plus, the tagline almost says it all. I wasn’t impressed by the cover.

I thought there was something going on with the negative space. I even tried a few different angles to see if I was missing something. But was disappointed in the end.

Characters

The story revolves around Keith Kurien, who’s almost an acer when it comes to work and stuff. Maya, his girlfriend, is a little too dramatic and self-centred, and makes Keith’s life hell. Brijesh, Keith’s roommate is a breath of fresh air; he’s a happy-go-lucky guy who lives in the here and now, who’s financially well off, and well, is happy all the time. Mathur, Keith’s manager, is the usual asshole that every professional hates, but has to be around.

Then there’s Ramesh, whose team Keith joins for a few days. Ramesh is the pivot that guides the course of the story from the point Keith meets him. Kyra joins the plot a few pages later, and she’s someone you’d come to like as well.

Content

I’ll say this straight: this book is not for lit-fans. This book is for that non-reader friend of yours who doesn’t read because he thinks reading is hard, and needs something simple to ease him into the world of books.

This book is a sweet, Bollywood-ish pipe-dream-like story, full of nice people who help selflessly. There are spontaneous decisions taken, which ultimately turn out to be something like “Agar ending happy nahi hai, toh picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost!” And “Agar itni shiddhat se tum kisi cheez ko chaaho, toh ssari kaaynaat tumhe usse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.”

But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. It’s about what you look for in the story.

Language

Simple. Indian. The language is good; it’s got almost no grammatical errors in it. I didn’t expect it to be this good. I’d be nitpicking if I had to find stuff, but here:

That sounds even more better.

The climate was overcast.

However, it doesn’t have the maturity that lit-fans (or even regular readers) would expect.

But, it’s still good for that friend who’s looking for something simple to read, but not something obnoxious like Chetan Bhagat.

Overall, the language is clean, without any profanity. But the author should’ve looked up the meanings of a few words he’s used.

Feedback is quintessential to the writing process.

Good Points

It’s a happy story! It has a lot of nice people, there are a lot of opportunities, a lot of dreams… It’s all bright tones. Spring.

Bad Points

It’s a happy story, has a lot of nice people, a lot of opportunities and dreams… It feels like the entire thing is not even grounded.

Also, I may be biased here, in that I usually read serious stories and non-fiction, but in spite of telling myself not to be too judgemental, the story felt a little too sweet in general.

The conversations didn’t seem natural either. Not for Indian characters anyway.

Overall

Overall, from the literary point-of-view, it’s good. It’s good, but the language and style need a touch of maturity.

Whom do I recommend this to?

My colleagues—non-reader techies.

And to those who like sweet Bollywood stories. DDLJ and 3 Idiots fans?

Quotable Quotes

When you love your job, you don’t count the hours … And when you’re not working, you look forward to getting back to work … You must love your job to have a fulfilling career.

Why does everything come so naturally to children? … it’s because they aren’t worried about failing.

One … foul routine is the desperate wait for the weekend.

Buy the book

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This review was paid for either by the author and/or the literary agent and/or the publisher and/or other entities connected to the book. We at Meraki Post work on ethics, therefore, we treat paid and free content equally, which means, paying for a review doesn’t make the review favourable or unfavourable to the requestor. Visit the Legal page for more information on paid reviews.

Ram Iyer

Writer, PowerShell addict, typographer, self-acclaimed rationalist.

Bangalore, KA ramiyer.me