If I had to sum this book in a sentence, I would say this is a watered-down Jeffrey Archer style political thriller that is worth reading, if just to stay away from boredom. Because that is one thing I can be quite sure of, as far as this book is concerned. Predictable, it is. Unbelievable in places, yes. Boring? Definitely not. This is an excellent page-turner in the best sense of the word.
Having heard so much about Krishan Partap Singh and knowing my like for political fiction and non-fiction, I picked Young Turks. This is the story of Karan Nehru and Azim Khan, childhood friends, accidental entrants to politics and later, cabinet ministers. A friendship that has endured and flourished over the years stands in grave threat of collapsing, when the Prime Minister's chair is waiting for one of them to take over. Who will it be?
Reminiscent very mildly of Archer's Kane and Abel for the powerful lead characters, Young Turks is worth reading if only for the heady mix of history, politics and patriotism that it provides. The different struggles that the men face in their political and personal life are chronicled in an easy, interesting style. Karan Nehru, a man who holds a surname of astronomical importance in Indian politics, is the brash, outspoken, vivid, fun type. Azim Khan, a fierce patriot who insists on putting his country before his religion or anything else, is soft, sensitive, practical, intelligent and honest. I couldn't help but admire Azim for his clear, sensible vision for his country, while I thought Karan is a fun yet very predictable character.
I feel the book stops itself from being an epic political thriller because it glosses over and moves too quickly from scene to scene, time period to time period. Singh explains a lot of political, diplomatic and military issues to aid the reader in understanding the intensity of each situation. I admired that the author paid tribute to Jawaharlal Nehru- the 'architect of modern India', by adequately and rightly referring to and praising the great man that he was, in this book. The political speeches of the characters are well-written; just what a common man would like his leaders to say. The book also sends a simple but important message, that of a united, strong India.
I had some problems with the book, one of which was the implausible final events leading to the climax. It was just too dramatic and unbelievable in my opinion. Another thing that irked me was the presence of grammatical mistakes, spelling errors ('foriegn' minister?!) and typos in the book. I dearly wish the editor had checked through the book well enough and avoided these errors that irritates the reader.
In conclusion, Young Turks is a great way to pass time, especially if you're in the mood for a page-turner or a political thriller. Krishan Partap Singh writes in an easy style that would attract all readers and I'm looking forward to reading the other two books which along with Young Turks forms The Raisina Series. I hope Singh gives Chetan Bhagat a run for his money!
This book rounds up the ten books I needed to read for the South Asian Author Challenge hosted by S.Krishna's Books. Needless to say, I'll continue to read a lot of Indian authors. Expect a challenge review post coming up soon :)