After I finished Homo Deus and got scared enough for the rest of my life, I decided to explore a relatively unknown Indian author who was rated highly on goodreads and has written only one book. I know, don’t look at me like that. The reason is, I didnt want to stay with the dissatisfaction of not reading his remaining, if this one turned out good. After half an hour of wandering around amazon and goodreads, finalized Pawan Mishra’s Coinman.
Number of pages – 231
Time taken to read – Around 3 hours.
Rating : 2/5
The book starts on a very interesting premise. An office setting with two floors – top floor occupied by “important managers” and second one occupied by all the staff. The main protagonist, Kesar becomes Coinman due to his habit of leaving his hands jingling coins all the time in his left pant pocket. He is definitely a very straight forward, good hearted fella who has no work defined for him. He defines his own work and neutrally assesses himself at the end of the year. There comes the rest of the folks on the floor – who gossip about him, and “the golden lady” – only lady on the floor. Things take an ugly turn when entire staff of first floor want to confront him and take away his coins. The story of Coinman is told from various angles – how he is perceived at work, at home and how he thinks about himself. This is where the good part of the book ends.
The second half is unrelated and unnecessary. Lot of things look forced – coming out of nowhere and don’t gel with the central theme of the book : A nice guy getting bullied in an office setup. The real bummer of the book is Coinman visiting Sage Mangal – a real loss of ideas from the author.
I did like the book – only in few parts. Good theme, gone awry. If you want to explore how normal people get bullied – watch the movie “A Death in the Gunj”. Same theme, in a social setting. Brilliant movie. I could not help but compare both and the book fails in most parts for me.