Book review: Chetan Bhagat’s Revolution 2020

To hate Chetan Bhagat and his works has become quite fashionable these days. I have seen people mock the writer cruelly on their Facebook pages. But I’m so sure they’re the ones who read him cover to cover. Much like Rihanna fans who profess their passion for rock music. I will risk a downfall in popularity and confess that I’ve read most of his books. And redeem myself by saying that I enjoyed only one, 2 States. Of course, it helped that I love racist humour. The reason I end up reading all his works is that my sister leaves them within my sight, and they’re super quick reads. Give it 4-5 hours, and you’ve finished the book. There’s a certain thrill in finishing a book, even if you haven’t enjoyed it, I think.

So yes, the book at hand – Revolution 2020. Three words: Old and boring.
Old, because EVERYONE in India is aware about the problems the author address – the rotten Indian education system and corruption. Stories of how lakhs of students compete for AIEEE exams every year is a non-story. Everybody knows that, so I didn’t enjoy half the book devoted to protagonist’s cribbing about not getting a good enough rank.
Boring, because the second half is about the now-a-college-drop-out protagonist proceeding to set up his own  business, which happens to be an engineering college. The guy has to pay bribes to just about everyone, from government officials for getting sanctions, to professors to join as faculty. Again, why would I be interested in reading the entire second half of the book about this, when I know that corruption levels in my country are at an all time high.
Bhagat adopts a style similar to Charles Dickens in David Copperfield (forgive the simile); talks about socio-economic issues at hand without offering a hint of solution.
Oh, and of course, there’s a love triangle thrown in, with the girl talking in typical Indian English. Really, now, don’t I have blogs if I want to read such SMS language. The foil to our protagonist is an AIEEE rank holder, who throws away his career to become a journalist who unearths scams, hoping to start a youth revolution in India to topple the current system and install a better one in its place. Yawn.

Why actress Sonam Kapoor launched the book (resembling a multi-tiered cake, no less) is no one's guess.

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32 responses

  1. I bought the book on the very first day of releasing… I liked 3 mistakes of my life… 2states was funny enough n never makes u bored… 2020 never rchd expctns…. its the same chetan bhagat stuff…

  2. Hmm, I admit I don’t hate Bhagat or his books. I don’t see the point of attacking him personally. I don’t like his books except 5 point and Two States.

    The problem with people is they will still read the book even when they have already made up their opinion beforehand. This hypocrisy I don’t get.

    The simplest solution was given by Bhagat himself – If you don’t like my books don’t read every one of them

  3. ROFL @ ‘Multi – tiered cake’!

    I enjoyed 5 point someone as well (apart from 2 states)

    The books are good substitute over movies – you can finish any of his book in 3 hours flat – much better investment of time than watching another slick bollywood movies!

  4. TBH i am yet to read 5 point someone, touted to be Bhagat’s best work. 3 mistakes of my life to me was boring as hell.Two States i thought was a breeze read. Made me read it throughout without my obsession of finishing something i have started come in the way. Revolution 2020 i have not made up my mind about yet. Should I pick it up or should i not!? The dress Sonam is wearing does not help his cause though! lol … Nicely captioned 😉

    1. Skip 5 Point. Please. Don’t even get me started on 3 Mistakes. And please don’t read Revolution. PLEASE.

      1. Lol.Skipped, Wont start and wont read revolution. Urgh, no more Chetan then.

  5. I think the reason we read his books is because everyone else does. That’s probably the reason why the Twilight Series and the Immortals of Meluha are selling like hot cakes – even non-readers are reading them.
    He writes screenplays, not stories. But yes, I really enjoyed Two States. Being of South Indian origin, I found his descriptions of Tamilian propriety and culture hilarious. The rest of his writing is real crap. Would you believe that the only part of One Night @ Call Centre I enjoyed was when God calls up?

    1. Mrigank, you’re right. I wouldn’t know about Twilight because I’m an out and out Potter person. Immortals of Meluha stands out on its merit – great story and greater narrating by Amish. They’re not overtly ‘literary’ which is why, I think, even non-readers are taking to them.

  6. well , i read revoultion 2020 bt i really thnk chetan bhagat should come out of this same things lyk iit , enginnering , hostel . it gets boring reading same scenario over and again but on whole good attempt . but stil i prfer 2 states 😉

  7. i read this book while waiting for my doctor’s appointment. If you want, you can also read my blog here
    http://thebookadviser.blogspot.com/2011/12/revolution-2020-by-chetan-bhagat.html

  8. Chetan Bhagat sucks at both writing as well as storytelling. I just read 5 point and that was about it. I couldn’t get the hype.. He is like the Karan Johar of Indian film industry. Turning out atrocious stories with atrocious writings and people still lap it up. He is what Amir Khan says in “3 Idiots” clueless because he did his engineering then did an MBA and ended up working in a bank. If he wanted to work in a bank then he shouldn’t have done engineering at all.

  9. LOVED the review. I’m sorry, but I do come in the category of Chetan Bhagat haters. I just don’t see what his claim to fame is. I read, “One Night @ a Call Centre,” and I swear I have never regretted reading a book more than that one! After that, I point blank refused to read any more of his books any further; a vow I plan to break soon, albeit only to analyze his writing so as to criticize him further! I know countless bloggers who can write better than him.

    1. Haha! You silly kid! In fact, you certainly write better than over half the kids your age.

      1. My dear, I’m 16 this year. I think you mistook me for fourteen; or so you said in one of your comments on my blog 😛 Do check out http://www.wherestoriesareborn.wordpress.com for the review site I’m co-authoring with 2 fellow bloggers 🙂 You write really well and interestingly too; just wish hyou’d write more often 😀

        1. 16! Will totally keep that in mind 🙂 And I’ll go over and check out your site!

  10. LOL, al2895! I agree with your comment completely!

    I am not a Chetan-hater and I did like FPS enough to try ON@CC. That put me off CB for life! Some friends have advised me that Two States is well worth a read, so I might just give that a shot some time.

    Nice blog, Sosha!

    1. Thanks, Gargi! If you don’t mind racist humour, then 2 States should be fun.

    2. Prathik P Jain | Reply

      nice

  11. well revolution 2020 is good story but i wish it could hav got happy ending……….;-)

    1. yuppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Prathik P Jain | Reply

    the book was so good that i read it 2 types

  13. abhishek arora | Reply

    i loved the story its just awesomeee… but felt really bad for gopal.. actually some part of the story resmbles mine… 😦

  14. I just finished 2020 minutes ago.
    Starting was good but I hate to say this “Ending Sucks”
    Damn!
    What the fucking problem with Chetan Bhagat?
    Did he actually have a heart?
    If he really wants to settle things, he could have confess his sins (in his language) to Aarti and marry her and became good friend of Raghav and give him a good job.
    But no, Mr. Bhagat has a unique way of storytelling.
    Wish, Someone can kick his ass.

  15. yup i loved all chetan bhagat,s novel….. 2 states , 1 Night @ da C.C , 3 mistakes n , 5 pt. some1 but revolution 2020 …it was kinda boringgg…. but only the half stating part but after that i thought it was a gr8 story n now i m lukin up to his next ovel what young india wants?!!!!

  16. The first half of the book was pretty ok, but the second half was pathetic.
    I found Gopal’s character full of attitude until the end.
    Why do CB always lay more emphasis on sex rather than any other social issues?

  17. i jst luv his books…..the way he writes, its jst awesomee…….nt only this revoluton 2020 bt also my marriage , 5 point someone,2 states,3 mistakesof my lyf were also awesomeee……

  18. i really loved d book-it was amazing-d best chetan bhagat book till now-shows the plight of few of indians youngsters now-a very good book

  19. The book was awesome……specially the sacrifice of gopal. The point that touched most was gopals dedication for aarti….but at the end he gave his life his aarti to raghav….that was solid….and I hate CB for this tough end.

  20. five 5 point someone in my view is best book.other than 3mistakes and one night@cALL CENTER.

  21. End of the story must is not good….!!!

  22. One of the best books i have read.character of gopal is awesome and same goes with aarthi.But last ending felt too much impossible to happen.Anyway kudos chetan for such an awesome book.

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