Review: How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina

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Ramesh is an ‘examinations consultant’. He is a cog in the wheel that keeps India’s middle classes thriving. When he takes an exam for Rudi – an intolerably lazy but rich teenager – he accidentally scores the highest mark in the country and propels Rudi into stardom.
What next?
Blackmail. Reality television. Grotesque wealth.
And after that?
Kidnap. Double-kidnap. Reverse kidnap.
In a studio filled with hot lights, with millions of eyes on the boys, and a government investigator circling, the entire country begins to question: who are they? 

I don’t often pick up thrillers, especially this kind of thriller, but something drew me in with the synopsis. This book sounded intriguing, and it definitely lived up to expectations on that front. How to Kidnap the Rich follows Ramesh, who impersonates his clients in exams to help them in their next stages.

But his life changes when he impersonates Rudi and accidentally scores the highest mark in the country, propelling Rudi into stardom. Here begins a story of the two being intrinsically woven together through thick and thin, having to do anything to get people to stop looking their way.

It is our great contribution to world culture,

There was a lot to like about this book, and I can definitely see it being a brilliant movie. The aspects of the stardom Rudi achieves would look amazing on film. It also made me laugh out loud in multiple places with absurd and witty comments keeping the atmosphere lighthearted even through the most difficult times. The satirical look at Indian culture and class divide was so interesting to read about, and I really enjoyed the snappy commentary on the middle class.

However, the biggest disappointment for me in this book was the pacing. I needed it to be quicker, and the 10-20 page chapters definitely didn’t help. I just didn’t quite get the turn-paging aspect I wanted, and I wasn’t propelled to pick this one up when I wasn’t reading it. By the end, I was drawn in and read the last 100 pages much quicker than the first 200, which made me feel like there was just too much build up with not enough payoff.

that and the bhangra song they play at gora weddings.

Overall, mixed feelings. But I still enjoyed it, and if you’re looking for a snappy, satirical and laugh-out-loud funny book about Indian class divide with thriller elements, this one is for you!

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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