What a very clever and intriguing whodunnit this book is. A financial thriller, involving banking (yes, indeed, banking of all things) and gaming and bitcoins and politics and death and love – and the whole combo makes for a great read.
This is the second book by Mr. Subramanian that I have been asked to review, and one thing is patently clear – the writer has got himself a way better editor this time round. When I reviewed “The Bankster” I commented on the poor editing that did Mr. Subramanians’s fine writing no favours.
No such issues this time round.
So, the story. I can’t tell you anthing about the ins and outs of the plot, now can I, since this is, after all, a story involving murder and crime on a massive scale, so any plot spoilers would be, well, just downright criminal.
Mumbai, Washington DC, New York, Goa – the action shifts between these places, involving a cast of Indians and Americans. The story unfolds in short crisply written chapters, as we explore worlds that were totally unknown to me before – the worlds of gaming and of bitcoins. “God is a Gamer” reveals to us the highest levels of finance and politics, top secret computing and the virtual bitcoin economy. The story centres around high-level technology, but manages not to baffle the reader. Take me, for example – I knew next to nothing about gaming and bitcoins – and yet never felt excluded from the story. Enough was explained to bring me up to speed, without the storyline being slowed down. Good writing, if ever there was.
The gradual drawing together of all the different threads in this tangled, dangerous, intercontinental web – politics and romance and computing and terrorism and murder and the FBI and banking – is cleverly done. But I can’t tell you how or why, or it would spoil a great story.
If I have one teensy weensy caveat, it is that the end seems rushed. Throughout the book, the writer maintains a detailed pace, leading us slowly and carefully ever deeper and deeper into the dark heart of his story, and then all of a sudden, it’s over. There’s a quick bit of mopping-up in the epilogue, telling us which characters went where and did what and where they ended up, but I felt a bit cheated. I would much rather have had a longer read, and no quick wrapping up.
But there is one great twist, right at the end. Really clever.
I certainly learned a lot from this novel, because of course I googled bitcoins and TOR and Satoshi Nakamoto.
And they all exist.
Which makes me wonder, of course, what else and who else also really exists outside the pages of this book…
Just published by Penguin, the paperback of “God is a Gamer” costs Rs299 (real money, not bitcoins).
If you would like to read the book now, having read this review, it couldn’t be simpler.
Just click on one of the links below :