Fiction / John

One Night at the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat

call-centerChetan Bhagat’s One Night at the Call Center is, to little surprise, about a night at a call center. The novel mostly focuses on a man in his twenties named Shyam and his co-workers. He is down in the dumps about one of his co-workers, Priyanka, breaking up with him. There is also a rumor going around about the call center possibly being shut down due to a lack of call volume. This slow down in calls has happened in part due to a website Shyam and Vroom, another employee at the call center, created.

While I thought a lot of the book would involve calls the characters were taking, this isn’t actually the case. During most of the book Shyam and his fellow employees are sneaking around the call center trying to avoid their boss, Bakshi, or leaving the call center to go to a night club for a few hours before returning to work. This reminded me a little of The Breakfast Club and how oblivious the teacher in charge of Saturday detention is to what Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, and the rest of the gang are actually doing. I remember thinking that their detention hall was one I wanted to be in when I first saw the movie and finding that part of the plot implausible when I revisited The Breakfast Club years later.

I did not like this book. The lack of believability in regards to how little supervision the characters had at work was just one problem. There was an interesting twist towards the end, but it was so poorly executed that the author shouldn’t have bothered. There was also an immature and hateful attitude at times towards Bakshi, like the author was trying to settle old grudges on the page. I could go on. One Night at the Call Center was definitely a disappointing read.

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