Book Review - 60 minutes (Upendra Namburi)

Title: 60 minutes
Author: Upendra Namburi
Genre: Fiction (Thriller)
Published by: Westland Ltd
No. of pages: 361
Cover price: Rs. 350

Agastya is the chief marketing officer in a big company, on the verge of an important product launch, which can give a big boost to his career. Suddenly, everything seems to be going wrong. 60 minutes is the story of that one crucial hour when his career and his personal life, including his marriage seem to be on a downward spiral.

Sailesh, in contrast to his past modest past and academic brilliance, is part of the corporate maze too.

60 minutes begins with Maithili's struggle to hold on to her sanity. Maithili is a beautiful, successful woman, who feels she has lost it all.

Sailesh and Agastya are both exceptionally good at their jobs. So, not only are they aggressive competitors, over the years they have gotten to respect each other too.

60 minutes is a fast-paced thriller, set in the corporate world. Not even a sentence seems to drag the story. Even the descriptions, whether of feelings, or of surroundings, convey the underlying mood.

The book starts with an impressive epigraph. The last line of the epigraph is 'The truth lies in the shades of grey'.
Each character in 60 minutes has these shades of grey. I may have felt repulsion for a character, but the same character would rouse feelings of pity and understanding too.
The story effortlessly moves back and forth between present and past, giving glimpses of 'what is' and 'why'. With each revelation, my affinity would shift from one character to another.

This book brings into focus the pettiness of the politics in corporate culture and the almost-inhuman stress.

Each chapter has a few intense words as if giving a peek into what is to come. One of my favorites is 'history trusts turmoil and suspects stability'.

Poignant Quotes from '60 Minutes'

  • "The illogical nature of the corporate world was far removed from the order of academia and research... The fetish for emails amused him, the illogical allocation of resources on the basis of persona over economic opportunities fascinated him. He was disgusted with the obsession with designations..."
  • "Revenge is a natural instinct... But there's more often than not too much collateral damage and in most instances we miss the point in the process, and hurt ourselves."
I feel happy when the stories I read, give closure to the characters. The only thing that had me a little restless at the end of 60 minutes is that I would have ideally liked something else/more for Agastya, Sailesh, and Maithili. I guess what I am asking for is that everything be tied in a pretty little bow. I do realise that it is foolish to expect everything to end in the perfect way. Certain imperfections are the truth of life, and thus of fiction too.

60 minutes by Upendra Namburi is a riveting, page-turner... although I am sure it would have been yet more interesting to me had I known more about the corporate world and stocks. The upside, I got an insight into a world I don't know much about.

An interesting read...

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