Book Review: Puppet On The Fast Track – Ilika Ranjan

There have rarely been times when I’ve not been sure of what to think of a book I just read. The only time I remember having that problem was when I had read The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time. Even today I am not sure whether I liked the book or not. I am facing the same dilemma again now while reviewing another book.

Ilika Ranjan has penned the book “Puppet on the Fast Track” which tells the story of a bank where politics is as common as potholes on an Indian road and everyone in the upper management hates everybody else in the upper management and all of their common aims is to ride on the shoulders of their subordinates to success and subsequently the next promotion. Told from the perspective of the people on the lower echelons, this book would resonate with anyone who has faced office politics.

The story of the book is quite simple, and it is quite easy to empathize with the primary characters as almost everyone in the corporate world has faced one of the situations depicted in the book. The pace of the book is quite steady but owing to a few repetitive incidents it actually feels slower than it actually is. The plot is not complex, but what lets the book down is the abrupt flow. At times I did not realize that one conversation was over and a new one has started between two other characters. The editing leaves a lot to be desired, there were instances when two different conversation topics overlapped and it became a confusing read. Few of the characters have been sketched out pretty well, and you can easily love or hate them. The writing actually improved a lot as the chapters progressed.

There were times when I absolutely enjoyed the book, and there were times it became a lethargic read – that is the reason I feel this book has me in two minds. This book seems aimed at management professionals and students considering the bits of jargon and the work environment and it is an interesting read for the target audience. For others it may get a tad tedious if they are not able to relate to the characters or the scenarios in the book.

Addendum: This is an author requested review. I was contacted by her to review the book.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: Puppet On The Fast Track – Ilika Ranjan”


  1. 1 Shilpi November 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for the review Kunal. However would like to mention that even I have read the book. I agree with you when you say “….the story is of a bank where politics is as common as potholes on an Indian road and everyone in the upper management hates everybody else in the upper management and all of their common aims is to ride on the shoulders of their subordinates to success and subsequently the next promotion. Told from the perspective of the people on the lower echelons, this book would resonate with anyone who has faced office politics…..”.

    However, what I do not agree is when you say “…..I am not sure whether I liked the book or not. I am facing the same dilemma again now while reviewing another book…..For others it may get a tad tedious if they are not able to relate to the characters or the scenarios in the book”.

    I do not know whether you have read the book completely or whether you have generally given your feedback for the heck of it as in my opinion the book is a satire on the leadership of today and is like an alarm for the young management students and qualified professionals. Just wanted to tell you that the book revolves around a young professional who despite having an outstanding educational qualification, blindly follows things at the work place and in turn becomes PUPPET.

    I am not a writer like you Kunal, but yes I am a reader. I am of the opinion that Ilika has at atleast made an attempt for the first time and we must appreciate her book and effort. Would have really appreciated your review better incase if you could have written something nice to encourage her and appreciate the book…PUPPET ON THE FAST TRACK!!

    I feel Ilika you have done a great job and keep up the good spirit of writing. Waiting for your next issue.

    • 2 Kunal November 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      You are entitled to your opinion Shilpi, I am entitled to mine.

      If you did not like my review, you can say that directly. It does not make sense for you to question whether I have read the book or not. I’m not a big-shot reviewer who has to read a book a day to review. I read each book completely and then only give my views.

      And if I am criticizing some part of the book, and even the author has no problem, why do you have one? If you do not like what I write, close the tab!

      And by the way the part of the review where you agreed with me – that is the premise of the book. I do not understand why is there need to agree with that? That is a fact, not opinion.

      Wish I could spare more time to give a proper point-by-point reply to your comment, but I’ve better things to do.


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I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

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