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One Night at the Call Center

2.46  ·  Rating Details ·  43,824 Ratings  ·  1,219 Reviews
Press 1 for technical support.
Press 2 for broken hearts.
Press 3 if your life has totally crashed. . . .

Six friends work nights at a call center in India, providing technical support for a major U.S. appliance corporation. Skilled in patience–and accent management–they help American consumers keep their lives running. Yet behind the headsets, everybody’s heart is on the l
ebook, 320 pages
Published December 10th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published 2005)
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I'm really hungry which means I'm in a really bad mood and I will be until I eat something. There is pasta on the stove. Do not fear my hatred. Embrace it. It is hungry, it is the truth. I hated this book in a complete way, like where you go on a journey of hatred to be able to clearly and openly hate it. I hate people that like this book, which is apparently a large portion of India. I hate that I sat on the freeway in traffic thinking "well, I guess it's for a certain sort of reader that doesn ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Darsana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have a major problem with Chetan Bhagat.

Mind you, I am glad he has gotten a lot of people to read in this country and that can never be a bad thing. I know a lot of people who've started out with his books and then eventually progressed to better forms of fiction. SO I'll begin by first acknowledging that Mr Bhagat has indeed created a niche for himself and has paved way for Indian authored books that sell.
Kudos to the Marketing genius you're.

Now that that's out of the way, I am annoyed and qu
Oct 11, 2009 Trin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, indian-lit, 2000s
Like a Douglas Coupland book set in India, this novel follows a group of six people working the night shift at a failing call center on Thanksgiving Day. They have to deal with Americans who don’t know how to work their appliances, but they also have their own personal problems—families, romances, career woes—to grapple with.

I liked Bhagat’s characters a lot; I enjoyed their somewhat meandering conversations and their relationships with each other. I also, for the most part, like the marriage of
Dec 06, 2011 Dyuti rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Chetan Bhagat book that I'd read, soon after it was published, and trust me, I totally regret the decision!

It is one of the trashiest books ever written, by an author(!) whom I consider to be armed with more strategies on how to sell his book, than on how to write a better story!

This one man singlehandedly allowed the standard of contemporary Indian English literature to plummet down to such depths, that now no one can really assign how low it has fallen! He inspired thousands
I think the author knew how bad this book was and published it anyway on a lark! Maybe he wanted to test the blind faith his "readership" has in him and do they love him! This book was massively popular on release though its poor structure and ridiculous plot were well known. I blush every time Chetan Bhagat is considered the shining beacon of modern Indian Literature.
He explain how he met a mysterious girl on the train who narrated the story and how he had an epiphany. Simple explanation- he w
Apr 04, 2008 Swapna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is the best book i have for quite sometime because it depicts so realistically what goes inside the call centers.Also you really can relate to some of the characters...the story holds you till the end and very enjoyable.....

Oct 06, 2010 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-about-work
This is the only book I have ever read where the author thanks Microsoft and MS Word in the acknowledgments section.

Pretty thin soup, overall. I picked it up because it's been very popular at the library, and I was interested in the depiction of what it's like to be a young person in India working at a call center. Those day-in-the-life details were the highlight of the book for me. Bhagat's main thrust is that his group of five characters need to face reality, stand up for themselves and have t
May 08, 2007 Ina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The resemblance of the storyline with Chetan's previous book (Five Point Someone) made the book pretty dull and almost predictable. This book very simply leaves you depressed.
Don't just follow the herd...give this one a miss!
Feb 16, 2012 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-drama, india
I can understand why a lot of people really hate this novel: It's not that well written, it's unrelentingly insulting in its attitude toward Americans, God enters into the story in a rather goofy way, and the ending is lousy. Still, I had a good time reading it, and that makes up for a lot. Bhagat may not be the best writer around, but, in a way, his immature writing style really captures the essence of the youth culture he's writing about. It's more realistic than, say, Reality Bites, but not n ...more
Jul 24, 2009 Geetika rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well thats a loser thing to read.

I have heard of so highly about Chetan Bhagat and his first attempt toward writing i.e. "five Point someone" that i decided to read the second book " one night @ the call center" .

Trust me i was seriously disappointed after finishing it up. This was pretty idiotic stuff from someone who very proudly boast himself to belong to the best thinking tanks of the country (the IITs and the IIMs)

The initial Call Center stuff was okay-okay and i wished it remained to that
Riju Ganguly
Sep 08, 2015 Riju Ganguly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What an utter piece of s**t! If I try to enumerate the no. of things that make this book so horrible, I might make some of you curious about the book, in the process helping this book get another reader. NO. Let me simply state that reading this book would result in serious reduction of your ability to think properly, and would make you shudder every time you think about a call-centre, America, Indian youth, even God!

Humble suggestion: avoid this book.
Biotech Myfoot
May 13, 2011 Biotech Myfoot rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Garbage recyclers (Bhagat can do better)
I can write a better book than this. No..seriously! Don't know why Bhagat stoops this low when it comes to literary content. (or just raw content for that matter.) His book(s) has/have got neither. Not that he had stooped any higher before, but you get the point right? The story is so filmy,a cheesy film has already been made on it(and it did bomb big time obviously). Agreed that he's making India read like never before, but sadly he's making them read zilch. Now that he had his fair share of fa ...more
Catherine Hill
Sep 25, 2007 Catherine Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This is a rather astonishing book. I picked it up at the library partly because my son works at an American call center (Comcast) and partly because it is Indian. Were all familiar with Indian call centers; this is feedback from the other end. They arent too impressed with us, either. The fictional call center provides help to customers of a household appliance manufacturer, and the six person group involved handles the frequent and difficult callers. Though the money is good, all six face perso ...more
Angelica Watson (psst! amrutha)
Aug 12, 2011 Angelica Watson (psst! amrutha) rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
It was not awesome, or good.
Just in between somewhere..

I liked the ending though.
How God calls, and helps them out. I find it verrry difficult to believe.

For the rest of it, you are most certainly wasting your time. Sadly, you have to go through the beginning, middle and end to get the whole story. So, torture comes first, and then freedom.

It's like that typical book, with the lead character repenting himself and mumbling and grumbling all through.
But, of course, in the end, everything's okay
Camelia Bhaskar
I bought this book as i love chtan bhagats books . I have read five point some one two times and two states also two times , so when i hadcollege break I thought to buy this book. This book as usual was lucid to understand , the characters were well defined but I found the story quite dragging.It was not fast moving and had twists and turns but it was sometimes boring, I loved the humour shared by the author at appropriate places which was amazing but the ending was unrealistic according to me a ...more
Jun 21, 2009 Sowmya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book sucked at all levels. That the author found an audience is surprising, shocking even, considering the numerous books under the 'Indian-Writing' Genre which are so much better and that just go unnoticed.
A group of call centre workers discuss work and personal life over the span of one work-night. Most of the dialogue is cliche, the personal situations that form part of the story seem like a melee of anecdotes picked from other books rather than inspired situations. The preachy conclusi
Finitha Jose
Nov 07, 2012 Finitha Jose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never seen a single Chetan Bhagat fan who loves this particular book. As I am not an admirer ( and also this is an edited version of Reader's Digest), that might be the reason I find this his best work. Other day I attended a pre-Ph.D synopsis presentation on anti-globalisation in Indian literature and this was one of the selected works. It seems I am not alone.

What is special about this one? All his other works are quite evidently autobiographical in which IIT and its entrance examinati
May 12, 2009 Meera marked it as desi-book-club  ·  review of another edition
This book was awful. If not appalled by the total lack of characterization and inane plot (this book makes Bollywood seem realistic!), not to mention BASIC EDITING, you will be disgusted by all the ethnic and racist stereotypes.

The sad part is that the topic of call centers, and the lives of the Indian youths that maintain them, is actually an excellent premise for a novel. Bhagat really could have really shed some light on the topic - describing the sacrifices that these workers make: the fact
May 13, 2012 Giridharan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An utter disappointment from Chetan Bhagat.I was quite carried away by Chetan's reputation that I never realized it was the worst book I had read, till I completed half the pages. Well, to begin with,the characters were quite ordinary.The novel revolves around a group of six call center employees working in Connexions in Gurgaon, Haryana. It takes place during the span of one night, in which all of the leading characters want their lives to change.Told through the eyes of the protagonist, Shyam ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Eti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in single night which, at the end, made me feel that the night was simply wasted. The meekly existing veil of inclination towards chetan bhagat's books too simply burned up to ashes after reading this book. No worthy content, no enticing plot and nothing. May be he showcased the woes of call centre people but it's no way narrated genuine and placid. He tried adding some spice to the story but failed. He tried to include a fragment of philosophy by bringing God into context b ...more
Dec 31, 2009 Deepak rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A very disappointing second novel from Chetan Bhagat. As usual, he spins a (ridiculous) story around a topic that is bound to buy him readers - a call center (of the many) in India.

Bollywood is what he seems to be heading for; in all probability, the B-grade movies that people go to watch with their brains turned off. The story has some outrageously fantastic elements (like a phone call from God), while being narrated in the most pedestrian of ways.

I would not dwell on the plot at all; there's
Darshana Unnikrishnan
i didnt like the book that much. the story is so predictable if u know chetan bhagat s writing style. its a quick read. i decided to read this book only because this was the only book of chetan bhagat that i have nt read yet. the book is just ok ok.

at the end god appears n starts giving advises. in my personal opinion though that thought was ok it could have been written in a better way.

overall just read the book to say that u have read the book. dont keep much expectations.
May 08, 2015 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel so dumb. I feel like the little intelligence I had has been taken away from me. I decided to read this book as an experiment, to judge what Chetan was like, because I heard so much about how terrible a writer he is and all. I apologise to myself for putting myself through this [I can't believe I read till the end.] It was all so lame - the story, the 'jokes', the writing, everything! Never again, is all I can say.
Apr 18, 2015 Alia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nope, nope, nope. Just no. It was a struggle to read this and I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. If you don’t want to have a reading slump for the rest of your life, do yourself a favor and skip this book.
May 10, 2013 Richa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I fail to understand the hype!
Oct 04, 2013 Vivian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For the first three-quarters, this is a perfectly decent novel about a group of people working at a call centre. Shyam, the team leader and the main character, struggles to get over his old girlfriend, Priyanka, who works in his team. To add to his unhappiness, his boss Bakshi is an unprincipled moron who routinely takes credit for Shyam's ideas and work. Priyanka still has feelings for Shyam, but wants to make her mother happy, and her mother wants a "better match" for her. The other agents hav ...more
Oct 21, 2011 Sneha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the part of the reading experience that I have shared on a mail.

I really loved reading the book, it was
like a movie & I can see the characters playing there part, their way
of talking, the sophisticated pretension, friendly concern, all of
them were like the regular peoples we meet in our day to day life, but
as it is said "heroes are not born, it is the situations they face &
the way they deal them, make them one!". I would like to clear it that
I am not comparing a book to a movie
Tim Byron
Apr 11, 2012 Tim Byron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india, fiction
Very mixed feelings about this book. Start with the good things (which I am afraid are outweighed by the bad things). Bhagat writes well, characters are varied and resonate with real life. It gives a fascinating and others have said accurate insight into the world of the Indian Call Center, which encapsulates the change that the new urban young are experiencing. There is a savage, if not very profound critique of consumerism, which I welcomed. Sometimes it is laugh-out-loud funny, the book picks ...more
One Night at the Call Center follows one night in the life of Indian call-center employee Shyam. He and six of his co-workers are all facing personal crises and essential life decisions: Vroom's idealism is at war with his job, Radhika pops pills to deal with her difficult family life, Esha is learning about the compromises she might have to make to become a model, Military Uncle is estranged from his son and grandson, and Shyam's ex-girlfriend Priyanka's mom has just arranged her marriage with ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a more detailed review, take a look at my blog.

One Night at the Call Centre was for sale at a local bookstore and as it sounded like a nice read I bought it not expecting very much. And I have to say, that the story turned very much out like I thought: It is told by Shyam, a young man from India, who works in a call centre together with his ex-girlfriend Priyanka and four very different friends. Everyone of them has their own small or bigger problem with life and love. And during one special
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Chetan Bhagat writes op-ed columns for English and Hindi newspapers, including Times of India and Dainik Bhaskar, focusing on youth and issues based on national development. Bhagat is also a motivational speaker and has given talks in leading MNCs and other institutions. He quit his international investment banking career in 2009, to devote his entire time to writing.

In 2008, The New York Times ca
More about Chetan Bhagat...

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“Love? I need a lot of love."
Of course you do. Everyone does. It's funny that we never say it. It's OK to scream, 'I'm starving' in public if you are hungry; it's OK to make a fuss and say, 'I'm so sleepy', if you are tired; but somehow we cannot say, 'I need some more love.' Why can't we say it? It's just as basic a need.”
“There are four things a person needs for success: a medium amount of intelligence, a bit of imagination, self-confidence and failure.

For once you taste failure, you have no fear. You can take risks more easily. Then You don't want to snuggle in your comfort zone anymore-you are ready to fly. And Success is about flying, not snuggling, God said.

God sighed before speaking again. I think you need to understand how my system works. You see I have a contract with all human beings. you do your best, and every now and then, I will come behind to give you a bonus push. But it has to begin with you, For otherwise I can't distinguish who needs my help most”
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