Surprises At The Turn of Every Page!

Review of Hickory Dickory Shock – The Tale of Techies; Sundip Gorai; Rupa & Co. 2010; Rs 195

– Shana Susan Ninan

Two things that I appreciate in Sundip Gorai’s Hickory Dickory Shock are the chapter headlines – funny and to-the-point – and the different angle through which he enables the reader to visualize the Indian IT industry. Usually, a book from and ex-IITian entails his life there and thereafter, MBAs, work and other themes. For the first time in the country we have a refreshingly-portrayed, well-executed, zappy IT thriller.

Sundip has divided the novel into several parts, spanning different sets of years from 2006 to 2009, and each chapter under them is trim, which makes for a fast read. Plus, the headlines capture the essence of the chapter’s happenings, inviting the reader to move on to the next page. Wise in his own ways, 210, the novel’s protagonist has to hunt for a job in spite of a good degree in hand. And when he does, he’s tossed into a storm he has to get out of quickly.

210’s professional life starts at SHIVAN Computers. He’s a mathematical whiz in the non-conventional sense: he can find patterns in anything that goes on around him – in menus, math problems, accounts and even in random numbers. This also makes him good at puzzles and ciphers. Everything goes fine, until he finds a web chat between two unidentified persons on the company server. Reddy, the CEO of his company is waiting for the grand launch of LoRD, innovative software that will fetch him and his company some big-time wealth. But things don’t go according to plan. Sabotages, network failures, launching glitches and problems plague them.

Along with Geethika a.k.a. Geeks, 210 has to unravel a mystery, and that, too, in a very short time. The two of them find themselves a part of the ongoing fiasco, and are racing to get to the bottom of the whole thing. Anagrams, puzzles and codes have to be deciphered to figure out who’d benefit from handicapping LoRD.

The chase towards the end of the book is the best part: it keeps you glued to the book. Those who enjoy Sherlock Holmes’s stories would definitely love this novel. And the usage of and similarity with a finance fraud that happened in India around the same time as that of the story is quite evident. That, coupled with the employment of known names, is interesting.

The characters are well-rounded, easily relatable and not burdened with layers. Sundip has used fairly short sentences and day-to-day language in his book. The humour in it comes across through witty one-liners, especially those by 210’s ex-kabbadi player mother.

The author is a BTech from IIT, and an MBA from IMT with 15 years of experience in Business Intelligence and Analytics. He is the Practice head of Business Intelligence and Analytic at a leading Indian software company. In his earlier stint, he led Oracle Financial Services analytics business in Latin America and the Caribbean. His experience and travels have a positive bearing on the book.

Barring a few typos and grammatical snags, it was a nice read. The cover page can be improved. Compared to the story inside, the cover doesn’t pack that big a punch. But the codes and numbers on it worked for me.



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Rating: 7.4/10 (8 votes cast)
Surprises At The Turn of Every Page!, 7.4 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 at 9:54 am and is filed under Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. March 20th, 2011 | Sharon says:

    Excellent review mam…….loved it like the book………..

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