Book Review of “Office Shocks: A Novel” by Sumit Aggarwal

Office Shocks: A Novel

by Sumit Aggarwal

There have been quite a few novels based around office culture of late. First campus fiction took the front seat, and now it’s the big bad corporate world! Not bad I say. People seem to be growing up to the realities around.
So, coming to Office Shock, Sumit Aggarwal’s debut novel, let me tell you that it is a decent first attempt.
It takes you through the “first day at work” of a certain new joiner- Aniket (a B-school pass-out who lands a job in an MNC), as he enters his new workplace ‘Cairn & Company’. Come to think of it, it was quite a “first day”.

The very first shock of the day was when the senior manager hands Aniket a bouquet of flowers and other team members standing around applaud. Some royal treatment that, makes Aniket feel that it’s a prank. And as the day progresses, hour by hour, Aniket experiences the shocking reality.
The unique ensemble he encounters, viz. the fickle-minded boss, the girl who gets fired, running into an old friend, the lunch hour, the real induction, the dynamic gossiping duo (Jai and Dhir), the erudite two-timing family man, the over-time, the first client meet with a lady cougar, and the revelation of the secret at the end make up for quite a shocking read.

Quirky and comical, the experiences do resonate at some level with the corporate culture we have around us. The acknowledgments are drafted like an Office Memo, like an outgoing e-mail. This novel approach makes you proceed with the pages, without much hesitation, banking on the author’s sense of humor.
Owing to the fact that this is a work of fiction, some parts of the novel did read really “made up” sorts. I did not really connect much with Aniket – or with anyone else in the book. If that was intentional – good job. Else…eh…!
The language of the book is flamboyantly lucid. The author’s knack of penning similes and articulately depicting the scenes, thus paving his way into his reader’s mind is commendable.
A bit of satire, a bit of humor, a bit of reality and quite a bit of shock.
It’s not like an “OMG! What a story!” but it definitely counts as “Hehe…Nice!”

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