Book Review: ‘Revolution 2020’ by Chetan Bhagat

‘Revolution 2020’, the fifth novel by Chetan Bhagat (after ‘Five Point Someone’, ‘One Night at a Call Centre’, ‘Three Mistakes of my Life’ and ‘Two States’), too begins with a Prologue just like all his other novels. The Prologue binds you to the story as a reader. The only difference is that this time the prologue continues at the end of the novel and the whole story of ‘Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition’ is a flashback of the events that have already happened. As a reader, I found the prologue comparatively a bit less effective in evoking a sense of suspense and mystery.
As far as the pace of the story is concerned, the pace of events happening in the first half of the book is fast but they become a bit dragged in the second half. Inspite of this, the greatest achievement of Chetan Bhagat is that he keeps the reader hooked on to his book till the end. Though Chetan Bhagat has none of the literary touches (you’ll be totally disappointed if you are a fan of Salman Rushdie, Rohinton Mistry, Jhumpa Lahiri or Amitav Ghosh), yet he is a good story-teller. At times the things become predictable, just like it happens occasionally in Bollywood masala flicks. After all, soon ‘Revolution 2020’ would be one amongst them.
At the very onset of the story of the novel, Bhagat visits GangaTech college in the city of Varanasi, where he is to deliver a lecture. The story presents before us a love-triangle, which involves two childhood friends, Raghav and Aarti, and Gopal. As might be expected, Gopal falls in love with Aarti, who instead professes her love for her childhood friend, Raghav. And then in vengeance, Gopal sets out to prove himself better than Raghav. In this venture Gopal entangles himself in educators-MLAs nexus. Thus, Bhagat weaves in a social message along with a masala story.
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