Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy by Pawan Mishra
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Thanks to the author for allowing me to review his book!
This one is a fairly difficult book to review, because while certain elements were dong very well, the book didn't stay within the lines of how it began, how it progressed, or how it ended. It started out as a pretty funny Milton-like office satire, with tons of details that really showed us how horrible the corporate world is in bright and shiny satire.
The way the Coinman was shown to us, I was frankly expecting this to turn into a fantasy where the coins jingling in his pockets annoying all his coworkers would turn into some sort of magical realism, and especially when they ganged up on him and made his life a living hell, I rather hoped for some sort of dire revenge or a setup for a greater fall for Coinman, himself.
But no. Instead, the novel became a pretty decent setup for a horror novel, with Coinman's early life, troubles, social isolation, obsessions, and a number of truly pathos-inducing incidents that make him what he is in the modern Office-Space. I felt the dire-build-up. I felt like we were headed toward tragedy town, with Coinman being the tragic hero. The novel set up me up for a few anxiety attacks. Hell, perhaps there should be a trigger warning on the novel for people who are introverted and isolated. By this point, I wanted some serious resolution in a positive way for the man.
But then, the novel took another turn and we got to know his wife, his home situation, and things only get worse for him.
Where's the satire? Well, it's there, still plowing away at us and it's still good, but the humor has given way to sadness, and I'm not entirely sure that the novel worked well for me at this point.
The whole office conspiracy was a pretty good setup, and I did eventually like Coinman, even if he was a very flawed individual, and each of the elemental setups were good by themselves, but they were promises that weren't really filled by the end of the tale.
In this respect, it's more of a mainstream novel. Maybe a bit arty. Let you make up your own mind who's the hero or even if there was one at all. Unfortunately, it's not really my kind of thing.
Fortunately, I was never really bored by the book, though, even if the ultimate satisfaction wasn't there.
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