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Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy

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Coinman is one of life's victims, the receiver of subtle bullying in an office environment and thinly disguised control in his own home, but remains true to his desire to be polite and accepting of how he is treated by everyone. Then an incident at work changes all that.

Huffington Post: One of the best literary fiction books of 2016 (Independently Published).

230 pages, Paperback

First published November 4, 2015

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About the author

Pawan Mishra

8 books187 followers
Born in 1976 in Aligarh, India, Pawan Mishra is an award-winning author, producer, director, and a leader in finance and technology industries. In Jan 2017 Huffington Post listed his novel "Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy" as one of the best independently published fiction books of year 2016. He conceptualized, produced, and directed the animation series "My Teacher Hilda".

He completed his education at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Pawan lives in Apex, North Carolina, with his wife, Ritu, and two daughters, Mitali and Myra.

Visit him at:

"The richness of the world around us constantly inspires me to write in a way that's humorous and symbolic at the same time. The small spontaneous things that constitute this beauty, sometimes bright and dark at other times, have so much left unsaid still that I find myself up against an immense number of doors. Coinman was one of such doors which opened several others as soon as I knocked on it." ~Pawan Mishra

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 128 reviews
Profile Image for Archit.
824 reviews3,217 followers
April 1, 2018

Bewitched, captivated and mesmerized by the beauty of it! Seriously.

Well, to begin with :

My assumptions before reading the book :

It is a mystery and thriller novel with the detective named Coinman (similar to James Bond, Detective Gopichand etc. ). He is going to solve crimes, murders and cases never seen solved before! Criminals will shiver hearing just his name! He is the God of the city!!!

The cover itself shows that some bigger racket is going on under police's nose but Coinman will be ultimate and overshadow all the detectives born before!

Hail Coinman!!!


I've no words in my mind to tell you how superb Coinman is!!

One thing you should know, it is NOT a mystery book, it is MORE than this!

Other than being honest, a cry baby, obedient, having TOO-much-good-to-everyone attitude and no-friends-at-all-man, his only major, visible and AUDIBLE characteristic is, that the protagonist, Coinman loves the sound of coin jingling!!

That's it!

That's very much it!

And if you are thinking, like I did, that how can someone come up with a story about this good-for-nothing guy! How can a story even exist about this useless person!!

Then, you are SO SO wrong, mi amigo!!

Pawan Mishra has nailed it!

Not only he speaks eloquently to readers about the adventurous, unique and honest world of Coinman with vividness and genius intensity but also he makes you feel that you see a Coinman everyday in your office, bus stops and streets until you, yourself become a Coinman!

Everyone in his office is one way or other familiar to you. They are people who love to gossip and that's their life! Hukum, Panna, Sevak, Shimla, Imli, Keshar and Andar, Bandar, Chandar! Tell me, how are you to resist laughing when you have characters with these names!?!

Ratiram's "Coin" was ultimate of all of them!!

Like all my other reviews, I'll tell you where I had to put down the book and laugh for a really long time! For me, it was when Coinman's wife, Imli, thinks, (yes, thinks) that "I'm a stranger!"

(Read the book, come back to this line and you'll know why!)

Verdict: this is THE book, my friend.

P.S. I would have written much more, but it's time for my coin-jingling session! Coinman's addiction, you see!
Author 0 books249 followers
April 8, 2017
You can never imagine what human minds are capable of!

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

You hardly expect any book to be as enchanting as this.

Let me tell you, the characters are super duper simple, real-life ones and extremely likable.
Coinman is a person you meet or see in a day to day life. He sits with you. He talks to you and you don't behave well with him. Yes, he's that tragic person. What it's like to hear his story? You better find it out reading it.

Why Coinman? Couldn't the author come up with any other name?

A Big NO!! Coinman, in my opinion, is the best chosen name ever for a character like in this book. He loves to jingle coins. He can't help it. He loves the sound of the coins, colliding with each other. Oh My, would you ever think in your entire life that a novel can be written on a person of this kind?

At least I never thought so. Narration, theme, setting, characters : Everything at their bests!

I enjoy too much drama in a book, how some people bully the protagonist and in the end he overcomes his troubles. Well, Coinman : An Untold Conspiracy was much more than entertainment.

It has been written with humorous punches (Warning : They hit you hard!), a sarcastic tone looming over every sentence and a fantastic set. I was completely arrested to this book and its narration.

Books like Coinman are infrequent to find. This book is nothing less than a trophy for the literary arena. I highly recommend it.
I congratulate the author for picking up the most common character we can imagine and making him a superhero! A Coinman!

Fabulously narrated and one of the most entertaining novel that I ask you to not miss.
Profile Image for Stjepan Cobets.
Author 13 books502 followers
July 8, 2017
In the book "Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy" by Pawan Mishra, In the story, we meet the main character Kesar who because of his obsession with the coins becomes Coinman. But his whole life was a tangle of various events that the condition to become the way it is. His mother and father are full of love for him but also those directed him throughout his life, holding all the strings in his hands. His father and mother take responsibility for his education, work, and marriage. He listens to the decision of their parents and respects their demands and accepts what they want. But if this is what they want does not matter, because it must be so. Jingling coins which rotate in its pocket is the only thing he loves. It relaxes and soothes, but people view him with suspicion. But in this world, if you were different this immediately causes gossip that people invent things that have nothing to do with the truth. Gossip on his work slowly but surely becoming so branched that their makers are gathering in the cafeteria where a wider and eventually culminates in consequences for all participants. The writer Pawan Mishra, the story takes us steady hand showing us through Coinman lifetime reasons why he is the way he is. The writer very good describing draws us into the story in order to understand the reasons why some characters are as they are. Personally, I liked the book and I'd like to recommend to readers who love a good book, and that this book is.
My rating is 4.5 out of 5.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,099 followers
February 10, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,063 reviews1,473 followers
May 30, 2016
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author, Pawan Mishra, and the publisher,Lune Spark LLC, for providing me with a copy.

I can honestly say that this book is unlike any other I have read before. Whilst reading, the first two notes I made were “curioser and curioser” and “is the Mad Hatter our protagonist!?”. This book started, in a word, oddly. But it was odd in the most wonderful and fantastical sense. I loved the personal manner used when addressing the reader, I loved the sardonic and humorous tone, and I loved that straight away I was borne away on the story. I had little idea of what was going on, but that was okay: to be a part of it was enough. I did, however, find it initially jarring to feel so totally lost in the world presented to me and dually find it totally recognisable for its contemporary and realistic setting. It felt like two genres has collided and left this medley in its wake. And I think it was a success! Although it did take some getting used to, this book wasn’t set out in the typical forward-motion timeline, and the beginning, middle and end felt like they had been stirred together. Over time, this proved to be part of the book’s overall appeal.

Coinman is the story of Kesar, whose bad workplace etiquette, in reference to his incessant pocket coin-jingling, leads to alienation and isolation from his peers and the subsequent loss of his identity; forevermore to be referred to, as the title suggests, as Coinman. Quite a simple premise, really. What wasn’t simple was the multitude of perspectives and angles offered to the reader, the time frame that dipped between past and present and the varied insights into the home, social and work life of multiple characters. All of which combined to muddy the waters of the good guys/bad guys binaries and keep me at a total loss of where the story was going. In short, what I learned was that nothing is quite as it seems in this book…

The characters each have distinctive traits, so enhanced as to almost appear as caricatures. This, I believe, was a deliberate stylistic approach from the author to heighten the discord between characters and the satirical angle of the book. If the characters were larger than life, then the tales they conjured about Coinman’s habits outside of work were even more fantastic. These tales were nothing more than fancy, but it was these fancies that fuelled the work cliche's hatred for Coinman and kept them from internalising any of these feelings onto their own innate flaws (they had many) or focusing too closely on the unlikability of each other.

Amidst all the satire and hilarity, it wasn’t hard to remember that this book was just a more obvious and heightened version of exactly what occurs in many workplaces. The gang mentality instanced here wasn’t an isolated, fantastical occurrence and I felt the book morphed into a didactic outlook on the events occurring, despite never claiming partiality for either ‘side’. The workplace bullying instanced was horrific and, despite being an unlikely hero, I found myself continually in Coinman’s corner. He clearly has issues of his own – his personification and affinity towards his beloved coins, as though they were living, breathing things with wills and whims of their own and his social anxiety and awkwardness – which did not always make him the most likable person, but the warmth I felt for him stemmed from his treatment by others. My affinity for this antihero continued to grow, and my emotional investment in his welfare was only ever heightened as more and more character flaws of his were revealed, embellished or artificially created. Long live Coinman!

Would I have chosen this book based on synopsis, if not provided for me by the author? Honestly? Probably not. The synopsis betrayed little that immediately grabbed my attention and I was more curious than captivated. I was totally unprepared for the U-Turn my feelings would take. I feel completely grateful that I was given the opportunity to read outside of my preferred genres and comfort zones and to find that I actually love it! I think the overall message here, in reference to the book and Coinman himself, is that different doesn’t always equate to bad.
Profile Image for Ashley Lloyd.
Author 12 books123 followers
May 15, 2016
As an author myself, it takes a really great book to drag me out of the depths of my writing and get me to take a break. This book was fantastic! We have family in India and this story was true to the culture! I laughed and was fully immersed in the story to the point where I had to remind myself where real life ended and began. For me, that's the true test of a great book! I will definitely be reading it again. Bravo!
Profile Image for Susan Hagan.
10 reviews1 follower
August 14, 2016
Very few books are written once. This is one of those books. Most of the books I read, except for the classic stories or the different books that come out once in a while, have something or the other that I would have read somewhere else.

As I started the book, I was a bit lost on the first page, but since the writing was wonderful, I kept going for on the promise of intelligent writing. It was very soon that I fell in love with the writing: every word, every sentence I read seemed to be refined very thoroughly. And the story, the plot, the characters? They were so wonderfully original that I wanted to deliberately go slow to thoroughly enjoy the book. The book is so well written, and carries such an elegant & sophisticated way of storytelling that it should belong in the libraries as text book example for creative writing.

Now on the not so nice part. I don't think the book is for everyone. Definitely not for readers, we have plenty today, who read to increase the count of books they have read, who want to finish a book in a day by browsing through writings that lack substance. This book has to be savored slow to understand two or three layers of wit, sarcasm, and humor. Most readers today turn to books as they turn to fast food. So I am not sure everyone would like this book.
Profile Image for Pankaj Goyal.
265 reviews54 followers
March 30, 2016
Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy by Pawan Mishra is the story of a junior level office worker in India. Known as Coinman due to his habit of never-ending tinkling of coins in his pocket, Kesar is the laughingstock of his office. He even does not find solace in his home as his wife Imli (a passionate actress) completely dissolves herself into different characters on a regular basis. Something unexpected happens when his office colleagues (getting tired and irritated of the continuous jingling of the coins) come together to conspire against Coinman. This book thus illustrates the permanent plight of an office worker both in home and office due to his eccentricities in a humorous manner. The readers will certainly get impressed by novel’s comedy, its lyricism and its fine intelligence. While the novel will make you laugh, it will also bring a subtle but genuine tragic resonance in your heart.

As indicated above, the novel under review is all about Coinman’s personality, life and career. Even the title of the book is an unmistakable pointer of the basic theme of this book. Coinman’s plight evokes not only our sympathy but his character also wins our heart. His becoming Coinman is itself symptomatic of his identity crisis. The past events of Coinman’s life have been woven brilliantly. The author handles the shifting surfaces of past and present with extraordinary fineness and delicacy, and produces a controlled but intricate narrative structure. Even the rest of the characters leave a long lasting impression on your heart. All these characters are easy to identify with. The author has also paid enough attention to name the different chapters. The names of these chapters go well with the flow of the story-line.

The most striking aspect of the comedy in the novel under review is its apparently bottomless and amazingly diverse fund of linguistic humour of all possible kinds. This sense of humour, according to me, deserves all high praises. The style in which the characters of this book speak can only be described as a well of English well-defiled or a verbal version of the Indian rope trick. In other words, it is a brilliant linguistic muddle and a stunning display of stylistic somersaults. The style of the novel is an intricate mosaic fashioned with care. The author employs different speech patterns for different characters and this makes these characters memorable. The characters often lard their speech with jargon drawn from an astonishingly wide range of human thought and activity. And, most importantly, this jargon does not trouble you or irritate you. On the other hand, it keeps bringing smile on your face. You will be amazed to read the speech patterns and word-plays of different characters of this book. These speech patterns are alone worth reading.

This book is certainly unlike any other I have read so far and I am delighted that I chose to read this. In fact, I am finding it difficult to describe the beauty of this book in words. I would just say that the book under review is a fun-filled laughing ride and will force readers keep laughing.

A must read for all. Go for it!

Note: This review was originally posted on
Profile Image for Simon Brading.
Author 22 books80 followers
December 13, 2015
I had a slightly hard time getting through the first few dozen pages but it was worth it when I did.
The story is curious, in a setting that is unusual (for me at least) but I found it thoroughly enjoyable.
If you're looking for something different from the usual fare then I'd recommend this.
Profile Image for Ritu Mishra.
2 reviews3 followers
May 13, 2016
Sharing the review from SPR:

Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy by Pawan Mishra is a quirky, heartfelt novel about finding your identity – and keeping it.

The search for personal fulfillment is a lifelong journey for most, and along the way, it is necessary to establish the identity you want, the work you cherish, the people you respect, and the love you deserve. In Pawan Mishra’s oddly charming novel, readers are welcomed into the strangely neurotic, passionate, and unfulfilled existence of Coinman, a simple office worker with a jangling passion for coins.

The title of the book suggests this slightly odd premise, but the majority of the book is actually a “day in the life” look at a humble Indian man trying to make his way through a rather extraordinary world.

The author raises the banality of normal life to new heights within this novel, and does so in an amusing and thought-provoking way. Office pranks and casual crushes are depicted in epic fashion, while simple conversations, glances, or offhand comments are pulled apart and analyzed by the author’s tireless narration. This offers room throughout the story for social commentary about the dull pain of dead-end jobs, casual betrayal, the evolution of marriage, two-faced friends, the fear of aging parents, and other less common emotional issues of adulthood.

This book is largely character-driven, and the author gradually reveals the internal mechanics and daily madness of Coinman from different perspectives, slowly earning him the empathy and understanding of readers. The different points of view used within the story also show the author’s ability to inhabit a variety of characters, and tell a comprehensive tale that can be appreciated from all angles.

Readers are invited to peek in on rather ordinary scenes of Coinman’s domestic and professional life, and experience the detailed struggles of adult life from all sides. As readers begin to understand the diverse contexts in which Coinman exists, they inevitably see more of themselves in the character. He is not a bumbling fool, nor is he deserving of the mockery and wrath of his co-workers or wife. He is merely a man doing his best to survive without compromising the things he cares about, or the identity he works hard to cultivate.

The search for identity and comfort in one’s own skin dominates many of the short vignettes and interactions between characters, and is particularly strong in the character of Imli, Coinman’s wife. Her theatrical roles come to define her life, from playing a ghost and abandoning all mortal possessions, to acting as a jealous wife who suspects her husband of adultery with the maid. She is a chameleon in every sense of the word, deriving meaning and purpose from the masks she wears, and forcing Coinman to temporarily inhabit those worlds alongside her. This is starkly contrary to Coinman, who seems determined to find pleasure in his own strange brand of life, yet also remains endlessly devoted to his unusual partner.

This is far from an action-packed book, namely because the author tends to use narration a bit too much, not allowing characters to speak their minds, but rather utilizing internal monologues and heavy exposition throughout the story. This can get a bit much at times, but this is also Mishra’s time to flex his literary and descriptive muscles.

While the author’s native language is clearly not English, the slightly odd dialect of the dialogue makes it a more endearing and authentic story, and isn’t as distracting as one might expect. A steady editorial hand would have also helped with some of the more disjointed scenes, and suggested where the plot could be strengthened (or cut down). Despite its occasional failings, the story is uniquely enjoyable, and Coinman is a character that will be hard to forget.

Profile Image for Punya Nayak.
141 reviews42 followers
May 16, 2016
Thanks to the author, Pawan Mishra, and the publisher,Lune Spark LLC, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I feel completely grateful that I was given the opportunity to read this, even if it is not one of my preferred genres and to find that I actually love it!

Coinman is the story of , who has an obsession with jingling coins in his pocket. However this bad habit drives his peers into hating him. Soon he is isolated and becomes the scapegoat for gossip mongers. His peers begin to call him by the name "coinman" which causes him to lose of his identity. Thus our mighty hero becomes an office stooge, the butt of many jokes.

I can honestly say that this book is unlike any other I have read before, a breath of fresh air. The writing is superb and the characters are different. I loved the sardonic and humorous tone. I immensely enjoyed the Indianized style in which the characters of this book speak. The story felt strangely relateable because I felt that this book was a exaggerated version of exactly what happens in my college. Despite being a very unlikable character, I found myself favoring coinman because of how he treated others. The plot is simple, but it offers different perspectives and home and work life of multiple characters. One of the strengths of this book was that its timeline dipped between present and the past and the author has done this brilliantly. This book is one of the few Indian novels where it doesn't contain the same old romance cliche with sex thrown in to make it crispy.

What confused me about this book was that it is narrated by an unrelated character called Sesha which felt unnecessary. I might have missed something. But it left me frustrated to understand the story for the first few pages.

Concluding I would like to say that this is a wonderful book and makes you believe different or odd doesn’t always mean bad.

Highlighted quotes:
1. “You can make any promises as long as you are not going to be there to fulfill them.”
2. “With the wolves around, your humbleness is your worst adversary.”
3. “Disappointment has quite a penchant for taking one by a surprise.”
4.“As soon as anger knocks at one’s door, wisdom prepares to leave.”
Profile Image for Hristina.
517 reviews80 followers
January 24, 2017
I received an audible copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Actual rating: 3.5

Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy is beautifully written and the story is nothing like what I've encountered before. The story revolves around a man with OCD who likes to jingle coins in his pocket, so his coworkers nickname him Coinman. The group of people he works with constantly gossip about him, spread rumors, mock him and pull pranks on him... basically bullying him. Coinman doesn't have the easiest life at home either, with a wife obsessed with her own well-being, and a mother obsessed with making her son's marriage successful, the man can't catch a break.
I was really close to giving it more stars but something kept haunting me: this book is marketed as humor. And while it is filled with humorous elements, I was too frustrated by the behavior of all the co-workers to really focus on the satire.
But I still recommend it. It's an amazing read.
Profile Image for Heena Rathore Pardeshi.
Author 1 book255 followers
May 16, 2016
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

"It all began with high expectations."

I rarely read literary fiction but when I was presented with an opportunity to read Coinman I thought of giving this one a try as the author is a fellow Indian. Though initially I had a few reservations about reading it, this book turned out to be a really interesting one. Coinman is a really unique read about a man who is obsessed with jingling coins.

Author Pawan Mishra has done a great job writing about a character as bizarre as Coinman and that too with dollops of sarcastic and classy humor blending it brilliantly with the main conflict of the story.

Though I'm not a huge fan of literary fiction, this book was fairly good and I enjoyed reading it. At times, I was chuckling loudly making everyone around me uncomfortable... so you can imagine how much I enjoyed it.

This book cleverly explores the day-to-day problems, faced by people who are termed as different or socially awkward by the seemingly "normal" people or the people who proudly calls themselves as extroverts, with a fine layer of sarcasm and wit to make the reading a really pleasant experience. It also covers the issue of bullying, which, I'm sure, will make many heads nod.

Overall it is a brilliant read and I'd recommend it to everyone as there are a lot of other social themes which will appeal to the masses.

You can also read this review at The Reading Bud.
Profile Image for Davyne DeSye.
Author 10 books117 followers
September 25, 2016
This was a very quirky, satiric look at office politics and their often ridiculous nature.

The main character is Coinman, a nickname given him because of his constant habit of jingling coins in his pocket – a habit that drives all of his co-workers absolutely insane. I really enjoyed his character at the same time that I often felt sorry for him. I also enjoyed the exaggerated nature of everything – Tulsi’s beauty, Ratiram’s wisdom and, of course, Coinman’s habit itself. I also liked the glimpses into Indian culture. The mystique that surrounded ABC and the “disappearance” of office employees after a meeting with the three dreaded figures was hilarious. I’d want to be asked to retire!

I must admit to being a little disappointed by the end, but I suppose I shouldn’t be because Coinman’s life is destined to be so much better. On the other hand, I will miss Coinman’s quirkiness.

This book takes the reader on an odd journey… If you are looking for a straightforward book told in a straightforward manner, this book is not for you. If, on the other hand, you are in the mood for hyperbole, (sometimes odd, sometimes profound) philosophy and digressions that are mini stories in themselves, this book will definitely hit the spot!
Profile Image for John Naylor.
929 reviews15 followers
March 12, 2016
I received this book for free via Goodreads First Reads.

I sometimes finish a book and think I have never read a book like it before. That was definitely the case here.

The main theme for a lot of the book is bullying. Both in the workplace and domestically. It is interesting that the main character is never portrayed as weak despite the fact he is bullied. The supporting characters maybe could have been fleshed out a little more but the titular character is fascinating enough to make up for this.

I enjoyed the story and it has enough sub-plots to keep it going. I think certain plot points deserved a conclusion but I wonder if the author has a sequel in mind.

My only real gripe about the book is some scenes and conversations seem slightly overwritten. It feels like the author tried to hard to fill some spaces (which a lot of new authors do). This is just an observation that I make quite often when I review a book and it did not spoil my enjoyment of the words.

I would recommend it to people who are looking for something a bit different. I enjoyed the read and I am sure a lot of other people do.
Profile Image for Margaret Chadwick.
92 reviews12 followers
October 10, 2019
Author: Pawan Mishra
Title: Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy
Genre: Humour, Fiction

Synopsis: Coinman, a junior level office worker in India, has a number of eccentricities. The laughing stock of the office, he finds no release at home, his wife Imli, an obsessed actress, completely vanishes into each role. When tough bully, Hukum, beautiful enchantress, Tulsi, and the office sage, Ratiram, unite the office to conspire against Coinman, they have no inkling of an apocalypse looming in the office.

Review: This is an excellent book and I found myself lost completely amongst the pages of the book for hours and hours. I found this book really easy to get into and I was just endlessly amused by the storyline. This is such an amazing book that I will be keeping in my collection for many years to come and I will be reading it again in the near future as I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book to anyone as it is such an intriguing and funny story.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ginger Bensman.
Author 2 books59 followers
July 14, 2016
This story is a modern day parable. Coinman, Mishra’s protagonist, is often hapless, frequently pathetic, and always likeable. His seemingly harmless compulsion to finger the coins in his pocket leads to chaos at work (he’s singled out, harassed and brutally bullied by his colleagues), and there’s trouble in his marriage (he is henpecked and abused by his ridiculously self-centered wife). The Coinman’s troubles take place in India and the prose reflects an Indian sensibility and cadence. If the novel has a fault, it’s that Mishra dwells overlong on certain aspects of the story, for instance, I thought scenes that elaborated Coinman’s penchant for coin-jingling could have been pared back to good effect. Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy, is laced with psychological insight, pithy wisdom (e.g. “a man in pain is more likely to take refuge in telling the truth”), and is an astute parody of the dynamics of office politics and “group think.” (4.5 stars rounded to 5)
Profile Image for Ana Meyer.
Author 3 books97 followers
January 31, 2016
Unique is the first word that comes to mind when describing this book. The second would be refreshing, it was refreshing to read such a unique story. I love the quirky nature of Coinman, he was entertaining and fun. I loved the storyline and the issues dealing with his co-workers as well as his wife. I think that this story holds its own in the story world and I cannot sit here and say "oh yah I have read this story before" I really think most people who like to get outside the comfort zone and try new stories will really enjoy this one of kind book.
Profile Image for Lorraine Carter.
100 reviews6 followers
May 26, 2016
I love a real life parody and they don't come much better than Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy. I gave up office life a few years back but reading this novel took me back there and put a real smile on my face page after page. Pawan Mishra has done a superb job of bringing his characters to life with verve and wit that infuses his plot. A genuine delight to read and one I would definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Merril Anil.
807 reviews73 followers
July 24, 2016
its massively twisted and coiled

First of all a huge thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book to read and Kavita Ramesh for recommending me to the author though i am sure after reading this he wouldn't be too happy about it :( and you probably would want to hide to save yourself from the wrath of the author and let me know where you plan to hide so that i can join you as well. :P

I admit that the book is a lot different and definitely stands unique from its contemporaries but perhaps I am not the right audience that this book was targeted to either that or the concerns I had with the book was indeed true.

The language of the book is so twisted that I felt that if I pick a sentence of the book, it could easily be broken and dissected to form an entire paragraph because each sentence had things worth an entire paragraph rolled into one.

What happens with such kind of narration is that by the time one finishes a sentence you feel you have read almost an entire chapter yet nothing has registered in your mind because you were trying to find out meaning of each word that you lost the bigger picture

The author sadly gets caught up in bringing out events after events that the actual track sort of derails. The author unfortunately also gets lured in background details a little too much. Ironically there is a sequence in the book where couple of characters gather around to hear latest gossip from their local gossip supplier and the guy is so distracted and busy narrating the background details that the other characters starts getting angry at him for not coming straight to the point and wasting time and trying on their patience . Funny enough that I thought this was exactly what was happening to the actual book

I also suspect that the book got run over by a thesaurus truck because at same places things don't even make sense because of the Wrong synonyms taking place and changing the full meaning of the sentence.

Now that I have been saying bad things let me come to good points. I noticed that the author had used very unique and different similes and phrases ... Quite unusual and unheard ones and that definitely was pretty interesting and charming. There are portions where individually each line is amazing but when put together with the rest, it sort of fails to sit well with the context but still there are some really poetic and erudite lines in the book

I guess I was the wrong audience for the book because for me personally the language was a tough one to crack for being really twisty and running long and most importantly the book got drowned in background details too much that it turned out difficult for me to pick out the main plot in the book but when I eventually did, I was actually impressed with how one little personality trait was used by the author to weave a complete story. Wish the author had simplified the treatment of the plot a bit more for the ease of a wider audience

Profile Image for Lune Spark.
27 reviews13 followers
May 5, 2016
Review from IndieReader (with a 5 star rating):

Social commentary highlighted through a curmudgeon’s antics in: COINMAN

"This articulate, wryly amusing creation focuses on simple situations that often have an unexpected, almost magical, twist."

The anti-hero known as “Coinman” is an irritating co-worker, an inattentive husband, a not-so-dutiful son…yet his apparent lack of love conquers all.

Coinman (his real name is Kesar) gets his nickname for his disturbing habit of constantly jingling coins that “occupied an eternal place in the left pocket of his trousers and…constantly slithered through the narrow space between his fingers.” Driven nuts by this annoying quirk, his coworkers begin slowly inching their desks away from him, a tactic that Coinman counters by measuring the progress of their retreat with tape and markers. They then instigate a series of increasingly hostile pranks designed to get him fired.

Set in India, COINMAN is narrated by Sesha, a storyteller who interjects his commentary at the beginning and end. The novel’s office scenes satisfyingly satirize the inner workings of a tight-knit bureaucracy: the irrelevant meetings, the arbitrary policies, the workers’ fears of management. But it is not only at work that Coinman’s odd personality arouses concern. His mother worries that he will never find a wife. When he finally does, his bride spends the first few weeks of their marriage weeping ceaselessly, then turns her attention to her own pursuit—the theater—having accepted that Coinman is not interested in producing offspring.

For all its darker aspects, this episodic work is curiously lighthearted, concluding on a positive note, with the bureaucracy working for, rather than against Coinman, and the subtle intervention of a famous guru working mystically on his marriage.

The author of this gentle parody of human frailty, Pawan Mishra, is an Indian residing in the US who states in a Foreword that his love of folktales began in childhood, hearing older relatives tell “bedtime stories that were never written down.” This articulate, wryly amusing creation focuses on simple situations that often have an unexpected, almost magical, twist. Mishra has taken what could have been a tragic tale of bullying, workplace harassment, even violence, and deftly transmuted it into a droll parable. In COINMAN, he has fashioned an archetypal folk hero who, seemingly oblivious to the criticism and opposition all around him, gets his way as it had been planned all along.
Profile Image for Snehal Amembal.
41 reviews4 followers
March 19, 2016
I received this book to review as part of a Goodreads initiative. The synopsis of the book appealed to me as it is set in an office environment and my background in human resources and organisational behaviour added more fuel to the metaphorical fire.

The protagonist of the book is a chap called Coinman, your average office goer who finds himself at the brunt of office politics and a victim of bullying behaviour. It was difficult for me to not classify the various miseries that Coinman faces as gross misconduct on part of the perpetrators (Yes, my HR hat remained tightly secured).

The book is based in a small city in North India and the characters that you come across are easy to identify if you have worked in a small private ltd company in India e.g. the loyal employee with an unreasonable sense of entitlement, a clique of 3 to 4 employees who dare not deviate from group norms, an ‘off-handish’ manager, a female employee who is the ‘heartthrob’ of every male employee solely because of her perceived film star looks and last but not the least, senior management who only make an appearance to reprimand or fire someone.

I couldn’t help but empathise with the protagonist and wanted him to succeed against the bullies in each cruel situation. Although the plot was well thought through, I felt that the use of language left much to be desired. Having said that, I will give the benefit of doubt to the author as this may have been done intentionally in order to be in sync with the characters and the setting. There are many Hindi terms used in the narrative which gives the reader a good feel for the environment in which the story transpires. A glossary with the terms explained is useful for a reader not familiar with Hindi.

My profession dictates that I am alert to the prevalence of bullying in the workplace so I must emphasise that I felt very uncomfortable reading about the details. This doesn’t take away from the fact that this type of behaviour is unfortunately not uncommon in organisations. Therefore, by addressing this often ‘brushed under the carpet’ topic, Mishra has indeed done well. Finally, does the book have a satisfying ending? I’ll let you decide!
Profile Image for Jodi Perkins.
Author 5 books157 followers
May 23, 2016
Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy is a literary fiction that takes everyday workplace dynamics to preposterous levels in a satirical story written with much intelligence and dry wit.

What I loved most about this quirky little tale is that anyone with a job can relate to Coinman’s plight. On the one hand, much of the bullying behaviors performed by the sadistic antagonist Hukum (and the rest of the staff) seems to be an unrealistic stretch for adults, and is more reminiscent of playground behavior than that which transpires in an office. On the other hand, I found this exaggeration of behaviors to be not only entertaining, but also an effective literary device--one used as a deliberate social commentary on the nature of cattiness and gossip-mongering in the workplace. Even though I, the reader, have never been humiliated by a malicious and vile poem posted in the workroom, or any of the other absurd bullying tactics that Coinman suffers, at the minimum I can connect with that feeling of being left out of a clique, or talked about.

In many ways, Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy reminds me of a caricature, managing to capture and explore the human condition by garish means. Is it absurdly exaggerated? Yes. But this exaggeration is deliberate and intended to highlight real truths. I could easily see this novel being incorporated as required reading in a college course exploring social aspects of human behavior.

Thank you to author Pawan Mishra, who contacted me to give an honest and unbiased review.
Author 3 books63 followers
May 31, 2016
This was a great read! It explores an eccentric workers habit of jiggling coins, which leads him to be subjected to bullying by the coworkers. Trying not to reveal too much about the story or the plot, let me explain why I love this book so much.

Most importantly, I find the writing to be honest and passionate. The satirical aspect is brought with intelligence and wit; exaggerations are intended to highlight the universal truths of life.

Mishra has vividly written the characters into existence; the psychodynamics of main characters are well thought through and masterfully described. This depth adds another dimension to the comic aspect; it is never cheap or shallow. I laughed many times, but I’ve also learned about many aspects of social interactions.

The plot grabbed my attention; on many occasions I eagerly awaited what will happen. The story is told very well and it took me often into the unsuspected directions. There are many interesting anecdotes depicting the Indian culture, but they also very relatable to readers in other cultures.

This book is original, unique and odd…in the most magical way. It is certainly not from the department “more of the same”. Read it if you are looking for something fresh, juicy and different! I will most certainly reread this book from time to time, because it is hard to leave the world the author has created. I am looking forward to reading the next Mishra’s book!
Profile Image for Saleh Radaideh.
Author 19 books11 followers
February 12, 2016
This is a very interesting read. I found it hilarious and entertaining. Coinman is such a funny, laughable character who I would want to be friends with. There are many incidents throughout the story and in the office where one would laugh hysterically. Caught between the stress at home with his wife, Imli, an actress, and his goofy friends at work, Coinman goes on all sorts of crazy, humorous stunts in order to cope with these people. It turns out that Coinman isn't even his real name! His silly friends at the office renamed him from Kesar to Coinman due to Coinman's deep appreciation for the coin. The gossip from the office about this nickname ended up consuming his whole life and every thing with his real name on it. There's a lot of background to the humor, which makes the humor even better. I think that this book is unique when it comes to its humor, as I don't come across many books as funny as this one. This is a very entertaining story, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun read, and something interesting and unique.
Profile Image for Katja Vartiainen.
Author 40 books126 followers
May 26, 2016
This is an enjoyable novel about a man with a peculiar habit and events in his life. I have never lived the office life, and it seems to be a reproduction of the school class, as in this story. The author, Pawan Mishra, describes well the tyranny of the bullies and the group dynamics. This is why I call this a novel, not so much as humor. It made me more pensive than it made me giggle. Which is not a bad thing. There are a lot of interesting, bizarre characters and twists in the story. All comedy balances on the razor's edge. On the other side is laughter, on the other awaits tragedy. Both are hysterical, and most of the great comedians have been depressive. It is a tough job to find the light int he tragedy and convey it to others. This made me think about my own mprojects and definitions... ANYWAY. The author likes to juggle with dialogue, which is quite amusing. The end seemed a bit rushed. We'll wait for the next one.
Author 2 books157 followers
May 15, 2016
“The mind numbing sound of relentlessly jingling coins was something the people of the office, the center stage of this story, hadn’t quite learned to live with yet…”

Coinman is an absolute delight! I found myself absorbed in the life of this low level office worker in Northern India. His eccentricities are intriguing and I found myself laughing out loud in amusement at some of the antics that happen in his life. His wife and boss are a trip to read and you find yourself rooting for this man to overcome his obstacles. The conspiracy held against Kelsar, aka Coinman, by his co-workers, and their interactions, are what keep this story interesting. Although humorous, the story also pulls at your heartstrings. A refreshingly great story!
Profile Image for 251 Things To Do.
89 reviews25 followers
May 20, 2016
Pawan Misha isn’t your typical author, that’s why I loved this book. You may find yourself caught in a confused state as you begin to read, meanwhile asking yourself ‘what on earth am I reading…’, but slowly Pawan adds puzzle piece by puzzle piece and it starts to come together as a fun comical masterpiece. Constant twists and turns, he’ll keep you asking and guessing throughout. The plot was heavily detailed, and there were heaps of surprises. With an adult version Dr. Seuss-esk style, this was really fun to read. Warning: contains foul language, which I find adds lots of spice to the character. If you love comedy, crazy dialogue and a little foul language, you'll love this. Pawan, you've just acquired a huge fan!
Profile Image for Ellen.
516 reviews11 followers
April 14, 2016
I won this in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway...thank you! Well, this book was definitely an oddity, but funny? Not really. A little smile here and there I guess. Did I like it? Sometimes...and then sometimes I was just irritated by it. At times the writing was good, sometimes the style was quite cerebral, and at other times the choice of words or language was really awkward or unsuitable. It's a book about office bullying with a whole lot of other ridiculous side-stories thrown into the mix. And the ending left me saying, "Huh?" I am pretty baffled by all the rave reviews. It was just okay...but maybe it just wasn't the right book for me. My apologies to Mr Mishra.
Profile Image for Catyana Falsetti.
Author 2 books6 followers
May 27, 2016
The story of Coinman is like an Indian meal, with so many rich spices that contribute to the complexity of the overall flavor. One to be eaten slowly, and savored. The author takes us through the story and describes many characters backgrounds, explaining why and how they each developed their personalities. The Coinman's stress is explained from all sides, the workers, his family and then from the agony of someone with an impulse he cannot stop, the Coinman himself. I enjoyed the humor, the office worker scenes as well as hearing about Coinman's personal history and how it is a journey to a higher state of being for all.
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