9 July 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

The Fixer by Suman Dubey (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

2077th BLOG POST

24th Book of 2023


I completed watching the first season of Inside Edge on Amazon Prime just last weekend. Co-incidentally I also finished reading a book named “The Fixer” written by author, Suman Dubey, almost at the same time. I was comparing both of them and I was surprised to realize that even though both the works are based on the same topic/theme but the execution is so very different. I am glad Suman took a completely different perspective while telling a story which speaks of something that’s equivalent to religion in India- Cricket. Moreover, as it has concept similar to IPL on which the match-fixing etc. has been based upon, I am glad that Dubey speaks in a manner that it still makes you feel excited and curious to know what’ll happen here and how.


This 290-pages book published by Rupa Publications is a perfect page-turner. It is a wonderful thriller where you wait as a reader to know what’ll happen with each and every character of the story. Author has not talked specifically about the world of cricket - but its more about how members of a dysfunctional family are trying to survive against each other and secure their future. It also dives into how a business family thinks about their business and what are the challenges that they have to go through not only professionally but personally as well. Later, the book explains how when such business gets into a completely new zone such as Cricket, the ideological shift is tough to adapt with which creates more feud among all the family members involved in the business.


Hence, Cricket is a by-product of the above themes which are majorly spoken in the book. The character of Neil Upadhyay is so perfectly written that right from the 1st page, you are with him and his thoughts. You feel for his loss every time he fails at proving himself. His role in the 2nd half of the book makes it very interesting and you keep on cheering for him every now and then. The way his conversations are drafted with all the characters are a masterpiece as they give you a sense of how the story takes a new shape as soon as the talk ends. His passion for Cricket and his firmness for his morals and values teach a lot in hindsight. His chemistry and topsy-turvy relationship with Kanika give the story the much-needed glamour and mind-game.


The match-fixing part is dealt in a very distinct manner than what we have already seen in movies. All the narrations related to fixing, dressing room, field action, post-match scenarios and the changing dynamics between characters are nicely executed and does justice to the cover page and title of the book. We get an overview on how different kind of Cricketers such as legends, new-comers, out of form players, in form players etc. see their game as. We understand the psyche of why few players go the wrong way without thinking of the future opportunities and after-effect. Similarly, author tries to give us a glimpse of how club Crickets which involves entrepreneurs in the game as well can never be as clean as international formats where countries play against each other. We get detailing on how money and popularity comes over the game in such Club formats.


Overall, the book is a power-packed story which keeps you glued to it. The second half gets more fascinating as compared to already interesting and over-the-top 1st half. The way author tries to give a backdrop and importance to every character involved in the story is a brilliant execution. We are able to empathize and understand the mindset of every character. Similarly, author doesn’t confuse us with multiple characters considering that even the players are a major part of the story. Somehow, we are able to remember their role in the story even if we read the book in different sessions. The struggle of a rich and insecure family is given prominence where reading about siblings and their view about each other makes you understand how selfish we, as human, get at times. The pre-climax and climax are a good closure to the story. Suman is a wonderful writer and I am wondering why he has still not come out with another book yet. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.






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