Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister – Tabrik C – Book Review


Goodreads blurb: India has a new Prime Minister but is Siddhartha Tagore the product of his genius or of his dangerous mind?

India is on edge, as a subversive internal revolt against the Constitution and the threat of Jehadi terror of an unthinkable level, are looming on the horizon. Ringing Shivas damaru in and out of Parliament, a sudden turn of karma catapults outsider Siddhartha Tagore – a conflicted genius, music maestro and prodigal son, with forceful views on China and Pakistan into national prominence as the head of the Opposition Alliance and finally as the newly elected Prime Minister of a disturbed nation.

But buried secrets are being resurrected and threaten to expose the past. Twisted within the double helix of menacing politics and hidden lust, Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister is a scorching account of Siddhartha Tagore’s fascinating journey from Harvard to 7 Race Course Road.


As the blurb clearly states this book is set in India in the near future 2016 as the country is on the brink of quite a few political and geo-political issues. A set of circumstances which forces the new Prime Minister Siddhartha Tagore to take urgent and decisive action to bring some semblance of maintaining order and control in the country. What follows during the first few days of his reign as prime minister forms the crux of this part of the book.

What however forms a major part of the plot is the back story of who Siddhartha Tagore is, what made him the man he is today, why he is the way he is, and that sure makes for some interesting reading. The debut author Tabrik C has done a good job in etching out all the characters quite well and doesn’t short change any of them, while not letting go of the taut pace of the plot itself. Starting from Siddhartha’s tryst with his roommate Greg at Harvard and moving on to his encounters with Ruby and Karisma from Yale, his experiences at Harvard and New York in general make up for a decent portion of the book, and give us a window into some of the more important aspects of his persona and let us know to a large extent why he is the way he is.

Readers also get deeper insights into the more serious determinative aspects of the main protagonist’s psyche and this portion of the book per me is really well written as it clearly etches out the character of Siddhartha Tagore really well. Given that the book alternates between the first few days of his Prime Ministership and the years he spent in the US, the segues that the author uses between these two time periods is also quite nicely done.

And just like any other potboiler, this book also has a lovely ‘antagonist’ if we may call her that in Rukmani Devi, the Nobel Economics laureate, the one thorn in Siddhartha Tagore’s side, the one bête-noire that believes that the new Prime Minister is the only hurdle in her path to India adopting a Vedic constitution and a Vedic way of life. A decent portion of the book has been devoted to her relentless pursuit of trying to outdo the new Prime Minister and get her way done. However, the author has etched her character in a manner that is relatively more substantive than ‘villains’ usually are and how the character arc moves and the steps it takes towards the end of the book are quite nice.

Suffice to say that while I picked the book for its offbeat title, the book itself didn’t disappoint me and I was pleasantly surprised to see the extremely conventional and offbeat way in which the character sketch of the main protagonist was built. Given the setting in which the plot was set namely contemporary politics, the central theme (sorry but am not revealing it here as it would be a spoiler) chosen by the author and how he has graphed out the character arc will stand out in my mind for some time to come. Do read this book if you like well written books that deal with contemporary themes and are looking for a different kind of plot. You sure won’t be disappointed.


This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian bloggers. Participate now to get free books.


Name Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister
Author/s Tabrik C
Publisher Hachette India
Year published 2014
ISBN 13 9789350096703
Goodreads link Link
Flipkart link Link
Amazon link Link

2 thoughts on “Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister – Tabrik C – Book Review

  1. I just happened to go to the author’s twitter page… and his tweets there tell me a similar story that he is trying to tell us through the book. So now I am seriously thinking if the book isn’t an attempt to actually implant a concept in our minds… 🙂

    Your review is nice… have always loved your writing style, Jairam.

    Arvind Passey

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