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Tekijä: Vikas Swarup

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
18311143,410 (3.18)11
Fiction. Mystery. HTML:

Sapna Sinha, an ordinary salesgirl in an electronics store in downtown Delhi, is approached by Vinay Mohan Acharya, a billionaire industrialist and one of India's richest men. He offers to make her CEO of his company. There is only one catchshe must pass seven tests from the "textbook of life." Thus begins the most challenging journey Sapna has ever undertakenone that will test her character, her courage, and her capabilities. Along the way she encounters a host of memorable personalities, from a vain Bollywood superstar to a kleptomaniac Gandhian. At stake is a business empire worth ten billion dollars and the future she has always dreamed of for herself and her family. But are the seven tests real, or is Acharya playing a game driven by a perverse fantasy?

Vikas Swarup, acclaimed author of Slumdog Millionaire and Six Suspects, has written a compelling, suspenseful tale about the lure of money and the power of dreams. The Accidental Apprentice is international crime fiction at its most entertaining.

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englanti (10)  katalaani (1)  Kaikki kielet (11)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 11) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
worthwhile.
  Angel.Tatum.Craddock | Dec 17, 2020 |
"It's a basic rule of human nature that the promise of unexpected wealth short-circuits both intelligence and common sense."

As with Vikas Swarup's hugely successful debut novel Q&A, which was subsequently made into the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire, The Accidental Apprentice returns to the theme of: What would happen to your life if you were suddenly offered the chance of a lifetime.

Sapna Sinha is a twenty-three year old shop assistant in an electronics store, a dutiful daughter and main bread-winner after the death of father for her sickly mother and younger sister Neha. Sapna is too bright for her job but is too constrained by loss and responsibilities to pursue her own dream.

One day on a visit to a temple she meets one of India’s richest men, Vinay Mohan Acharya. who offers her the chance of a lifetime: he wants to make her his CEO and the heir to his vast business empire telling her that he sees a certain spark in her. However, the offer isn't unconditional. To get the powerful position and the fantastic salary that comes with it she must pass seven undisclosed tests. Sapna initially turns him down thinking him a madman and the offer a scam but when her family is faced with being evicted from their apartment after a massive rent hike, she accepts.

Sworn to secrecy as part of the deal Sapna must carry on her daily life ever unsure whether her experiences are part of the tests or merely the vagaries of life. So she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The first six tests in particular read like something out of a fairy tale but the seventh will really test Sapna's courage and strength. The tests that Sapna must pass are moral rather than physical but they are not without their dangers.

Growing up we all have dreams of making it big on the world stage whether it be as a sports star, an actor or a dancer, an astronaut or in this case the CEO of a multi-billion company. This doesn't alter the fact that this is a rather outlandish premise for a story but does mean that straight from the outset we feel an affinity with Sapna and are willing her to succeed. However, perhaps Swarup's greatest skill is that he doesn't allow it to veer into the absurd although I felt that Swarup's dealings with television reporter Shalini Grover (an integral character) and the police officer ACP Khan at the climax of this book came very close even if the final twist wasn't one that I had anticipated.

Swarup writes with beautiful elegance and a certain sly wit. Sapna is a well drawn character as are the minor characters who despite their apparent unimportance never felt incidental. Sapna is a modern woman, with traditional beliefs, normal desires and temptations,The tests that Sapna must pass are moral rather than physical,she must use guile and cunning to overcome them, but they are not without their dangers: at the end of it she will discover exactly who she really is and the reader is also asked to consider what they would have done in similar situations.

One of the quotes on the blurb for this book describes it as being "Gripping stuff- The Accidental Apprentice is awaiting its Danny Boyle" and for me that is where this book falls down. Given the phenomenal success of Slumdog Millionaire it is perhaps unsurprising that Swarup would want to emulate that but I personally couldn't help feeling that this book was aimed purely at the movie industry, whether it be Hollywood or Bollywood, rather than the reading public which felt like a bit of a cop out.

The reader is given a fleeting glimpse at middle-class life in India but perhaps the overarching message of this book is that extraordinary things can sometimes happen. As Swarup states at the very end of the book "Life does not always give us what we desire, but eventually it does give us what we deserve."

Overall a delightful and light bit of escapism that wouldn't be out of place on a long train/plane journey or on the beach once the various lock-downs have been lifted. ( )
  PilgrimJess | May 28, 2020 |
A racy thriller with all elements of a Hindi film.

For a complete review click on the link below:

http://onerightword.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/the-accidental-apprentice-vikas-swaru... ( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
I wanted to read something light and was looking for some unread Jeffery Archer's book when I spotted The Accidental Apprentice in my collection, which I bought a while back after seeing it in a friend's shelf. I got intrigued by the description on the back cover and this book is written by the author of Q&A, which was adopted in the Academy award winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, I haven't read the book but I'd enjoyed the movie a lot. So, I decided to read The Accidental Apprentice instead of Archer.

First, the good things about this book. The writing is simple, the story moves steadily, each character is given a decent development, description of middle class life in Delhi is very close to reality, and twist and turns keep the story exciting. The Accidental Apprentice doesn't try to be a great book. It tries to be an entertaining book and it succeeds at that. The pace is even and the story doesn't fall flat anywhere, in fact, it gets pretty exciting towards the end. I've given an extra star just for the fast paced story in the last hundred pages. If you enjoy masala Bollywood movies, then you're going to enjoy this book. And perhaps it'll also get adapted into a movie like Q&A.

Also, although this looks like a thick book, over four hundred pages, but the writing, language and story is very simple and engaging. One can quickly read quite a lot in one sitting. If you're new to reading and looking something to boost your confidence then pick it up.

But, this book has its weaknesses. Jeffery Archer or Michael Connelly are my default goto authors when I want to read something entertaining and The Accidental Apprentice fell way short of the quality of writing by either of these two seasoned Internationally bestselling authors.

The biggest complaint I've about this book is that the protagonist, Sapna Sinha, is an ordinary girl till the very end, there's nothing special about her or her character. It can be argued that she had a good character and morals, but every other middle class person shares the same set of morals. The only thing different about her is that she can be a stubborn and can act heedlessly to defend her moral ground. And an in many ways, it's the luck and not the skills of the protagonist which rescues her out. In almost every situation she didn't have any backup strategy. The author knew what conclusion he wanted at the end of every chapter and he concocted events to force that conclusion. The seven tests from the "textbook of life" makes up for an intriguing premise, but the eventual storyline looks unconvincing.

Another quibble I've is that lack of empathy I felt for the characters. To be fair, Vikas Swarup did try to provide an emotional depth to every character, they have backstories and motivations. But it felt that he underutilized the classic writing philosophy, Show, not tell. He described feelings in words rather than in actions and that failed to generate any emotional resonance in me for the characters.

You'll enjoy this book is you know what to expect. Think of it as a book adaptation of an unreleased Bollywood movie. It's entertaining, but doesn't have much substance. ( )
  nishangu | Apr 16, 2017 |
I agree with the reviewers who found this book disappointing. I really enjoyed Q & A and rushed to buy this as soon as I noticed it. But I not just disappointed, I am very annoyed. Because I always finish a book I have started, I finished this. From the off it was silly and it just got worse and worse. Implausible is a gross understatement of this book's key fault.
Vikas Swarup is now promoted to number one on my do not read list! ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 11) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Fiction. Mystery. HTML:

Sapna Sinha, an ordinary salesgirl in an electronics store in downtown Delhi, is approached by Vinay Mohan Acharya, a billionaire industrialist and one of India's richest men. He offers to make her CEO of his company. There is only one catchshe must pass seven tests from the "textbook of life." Thus begins the most challenging journey Sapna has ever undertakenone that will test her character, her courage, and her capabilities. Along the way she encounters a host of memorable personalities, from a vain Bollywood superstar to a kleptomaniac Gandhian. At stake is a business empire worth ten billion dollars and the future she has always dreamed of for herself and her family. But are the seven tests real, or is Acharya playing a game driven by a perverse fantasy?

Vikas Swarup, acclaimed author of Slumdog Millionaire and Six Suspects, has written a compelling, suspenseful tale about the lure of money and the power of dreams. The Accidental Apprentice is international crime fiction at its most entertaining.

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