Sunday, 8 March 2015

Book Review - The Winner's Curse

A couple of weeks back, I read The Winner's Curse by Dee Walker. The author was kind enough to sign my copy for me! :-)

Cover Page
Signed by the author

Fast Facts:-

Title: The Winner's Curse 
Author: Dee Walker
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Srishti Publishers and Distributors
Pages: 277
Price: Rs.195 (Paperback)

Key Characters:-
  1. Harsh Mittal: A flamboyant business tycoon who has risen to his current heights through sheer hard work, his genius and the alliance of his "Master"
  2. The Master: The Prime Minister of India
  3. Raghav Badhwar: A successful bureaucrat and Harsh's nemesis since their days in IIT.
  4. Khosla: Harsh's adversary in the Telecom business
  5. Robbie: The Master's son in law, a dimwit but very attractive
  6. Kamal Pandey: Harsh's best friend from IIT and a righteous and austere personality.
  7. Savita Bhambi: A political and corporate lobbyist who hails from a scheduled caste family in a small town.

The Review:-

The Winner's Curse is a novel that explores the dark side of success. The author maintains that as people grow more successful, they fall prey to greed. This "greed" is the curse that always chases the "winner". This is essentially the story of Harsh, a business magnate who was born an orphan. Harsh is discovered by an IITian and the founder of FIITJEE who bring him up an watch as the genius makes it to IIT himself. The book explores the stories and characters of a batch of IITians who study together and grow to be very successful in each of their chosen domains - business, politics, technology, corporate lobbying and social activism.

Harsh is asked by his Master to develop a technology that will uniquely identify all Indians and give powers to the government to directly disburse benefits and subsidies without any middlemen. And thus, Jan Shakti is born. Jan Shakti has the power to unearth corruption and make India clean. But in the shadow of Jan Shakti, there is a sinister program that will impeach on the privacy of people and lead to espionage.

In a parallel world, Arvind Pandey, an honest civil engineer, fights corruption and makes it difficult for Raghav and his corrupt politician friend to carry out their illegal mining and transportation jobs. But Arvind's foes are brutal. Kamal, Arvind's brother, takes up his case as a social activist and seeks some help from his best friend, Harsh. Only the book can tell you whether Harsh will listen to his conscience or let his promise to his Master compel him to do what he shouldn't.

Dee Walker sketches his characters really well. They are all well fleshed out, and the common thread of IIT is woven very well into the story. The story is fast paced and very interesting. The best thing about this story is the fact that you can relate the characters to many real world people. I could draw similarities to Manmohan Singh, Robert Vadra and Nira Radia [the (in)famous lobbyist from the Radia tapes fame]. Many of the incidents also bear resemblance to real life scandals.

My Verdict:-

Walker's grip on the story is very good. His dialogues are impactful and fresh. The book still needs another round of proof reading, but is entertaining nevertheless.

This book gets an overall rating of 9.5 on 10 from me for keeping the book so engrossing throughout. Dee Walker's novel has all the trappings of a classic corporate fiction. You must pick this book up wherever your can!

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This book review is part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours. To get free books, reach out to

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