Sidin Vadukut is back with the Dork, and the Dork is exactly as we remember him! "God save the Dork" is the sequel to the highly successful "Dork: The Incredible Adventures of Robin 'Einstein' Varghese." There are few people who can write comedy with the flair that Vadukut does, and he excels at it again without comparison. However, thought the overall wit and tone of the book remains comic and totally savorable, it does fall flat in parts with the author going overboard with office discussions and meetings and management jargon which start to feel more official than funny. However, maybe this is because I am also one of those people so saturated with jargon that I would rather watch Twilight with Justin Bieber play in the background than sit and yawn at "various stages of quantitative revenue optimization strategies enhanced by interpolation of key business metrices within operationally redundant dimensions." Well, thinking about it, maybe not.
Anyway, in Dork 2, Robin 'Einstein' Varghese is now in London (on-site, yay!), working on the Lederman project for Dufresne Consultants, the position he so diplomatically earned through the optimum leverage of voicemail systems. Goof ups and stupidity happen aplenty in London as it did in Mumbai, and the Dork is essentially the same, a mix of delusion, fallacy and stupidity, pretentious about himself within but unable to show outside, terribly ambitious but clueless and so on. His major misadventures include those with a wax statue, clip-on microphones which he inadvertently takes to the loo with him (while still clipped on and transmitting), exchange rate goof ups, various hilariously failed attempts to visit British museums, his travails trying to woo the cute Chinese intern and getting blackmailed into helping the clueless hotel IT manager land a job in Lederman and so on. Of course, Einstein is committed at giving the client optimal value addition at any cost through his brilliant methods of strategic consulting, suitably propped up by stupendous participation in extra curricular activities. But almost all of them backfire spectacularly. But thanks to hilarious coincidences, he manages to slip through each one of them and come out glorious in the end with flying colors, saving the day just like Shikari Shambhu would!
Dork 2 is far from perfect in any sense. But when it comes to humor, everything else is forgiven and forgotten as long as the humor is humorous. The first half of the book falls short by miles, I turned many pages by just glancing through them. There was nothing much there but meetings, jargon, dialogue and more meetings. In fact, it was boring through many chapters. I could not understand why there had to be so many meetings about something called LLTLF or something, and a huge hoopla about something involving a wax statue. Though the famous Einstein mannerisms were present, they seemed to be missing in intensity. Then the second part of the book, "Downfall" happened, and it was all nonstop bwahahaha till the end. Vadukut hands over the reins to Einstein and leans back in his easy-chair and watches the proceedings as Einstein makes hay.
As it was with the first part, the sequel is also immensely readable with sentences exceptionally strung together, thankfully in third person. Humor seems to pop out especially right where you expect it, and in some cases where you least expect it. The plot is conspicuous by it's absence and most of the time seems to be made up of disjointed events. Many parts are not explained effectively, like the wax-statue event, whatever it is, and leaves one a bit confused, as does the entire LLTTE-whatever-program. The book does explain a lot of office related stuff and frustrations, but I don't believe all that hardly reflects a mention. And of course, Mohanlal and Mallu-ism have gone a little over-the-top. The writing is easily palatable, and there are not many cliches and stale dialogues. He employs quality language but the books is easy reading. The best part and Vadukut's forte is the seamless integration and timing of situational comedy, and emotion translation: CAPITAL LETTERED! :)
All said and done, the Dork books are and will be remembered for only one thing - Robin 'Einstein' Varghese. That is right. The series is about him and only about him, and nothing else matters. There is no one like him, though there is a bit of him in every one of us. The guy represents every thing that is wrong with what is with the entire corporate world and life. He also reminds me why I will never make it big in this world, and that is not the life for me. Einstein is incredible. Despite being the ideal cartoon character and poster-boy Dork and blundering through daily life and has everything coming for him despite all the mediocrity and all the delusion! One feels jealous of him, and irritated at the same time, sometimes.
God Save the Dork definitely merits a read, if only for Einstein. It will cost you around 130 bucks. Have fun, and don't be put off by the no-so-intriguing first half of the book.