I had high hopes for The Temple Goers. The promise of murder and corruption are always a good start; alongside this it threatened an exposé of the heart of new India's elite. Unfortunately the writing failed to deliver either an engaging or enlightening read. In the main, this was due to the characters who inhabit the world the author portrays. They are almost without exception neither engaging nor particularly interesting and it was impossible to empathise with any of them. Clearly, given the stated intent of the book this may have been the author's aim - however it could only have worked if there was something else to captivate the reader and unfortunately, there wasn't.
It wasn't all bad however, there was potential, but this was only realised in small measures. The relationship between Aatish and his personal trainer helped to develop a number of the key themes and was reasonably well executed. The writing style too had commendable moments, but these weren't sustained and the book felt stilted and unfocused. The pacing of the narrative was too pedestrian and for a book of only 300 or so pages it took me a long time to motivate myself to finish it - reading this was like drawing an exceptionally long line with a pencil, then measuring it - sounds interesting at first, but a week in and the exercise has somewhat lost whatever appeal it had. Where Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger was able to create an exciting and vibrant landscape that held interest whilst providing an articulate and enrapturing narrative of the conflicts between old and new India, the Temple Goers presented a more sterile read that, despite the potential (and hype) failed to deliver.