Book Review: Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat

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Book Review: Five Point Someone

Author: Chetan Bhagat

Originally published: 2004

Page count: 270

Genres: Novel, Fiction, Humour

About the Author

Chetan Bhagat (born 22 April 1974) is an Indian author and columnist. He was included in time magazine's list of World's 100 Most Influential People in 2010. Bhagat graduated in mechanical engineering at IIT Delhi and completed a PGP at IIM Ahmedabad. 

He started his career as an investment banker but left it after a few years to pursue writing. He has written nine novels and three non-fiction books. His first novel, five-point someone was published in 2004. His novels have been listed as bestsellers

About the Book 

This is the story of three friends who are pursuing engineering at one of India's most prestigious institutions, IIT. It is important to note that it is a common deception among Indian novelists who want to discover, in their plans, the similarities in their upbringing, education, or emotional anxiety. Chetan could not think of anything else but to risk his experience by continuing his writing of Indian fiction. 

This is good in another way and in another context, it reduces his thinking because he can only write down what he has experienced - so strengths and weaknesses go hand in hand. He also introduced the novel's strategy in his later days by resolving the issue of IIT Delhi college, his alma mater.

There are three hostel partners Alok, Hari, and Ryan who are more interested in cracking jokes than in participating in conversations. They failed to understand the IIT system and resolved a bad start. Their performance does not reach the mark and they pass, somehow, through the Lowe CGPA. 

This is a major theme of the novel in which the author tries to suggest whether those who do wrong have the right to live modestly or that most of them are doomed to a bad reputation, who do not deserve undue criticism. The story goes on and they live in good positions in their lives, three IIT friends. 

Apart from this, they have their own romantic forums and it is a well-known fact that Bollywood movies and modern novels can be made without the love story and some protagonist heroic scene. This is a brief story. There are many episodes of humor and cunning sarcasm and facts, romantic and evil, crass events. However, that is best when the student first hears the hand.


This book was very ahead of its time as it talks about the cons of the Indian Education System. The story is grounded, and you can actually imagine the struggles of being average where generally toppers are found. One thing I didn't like though was that the author actually involved himself at the beginning of the book. 

I thought it was only in half girlfriend, but I saw the exact same thing in the three mistakes of my life as well. So a bit down because of that, and I thought that the book actually did not clear the suspense about why Ryan's relationship with his parents was like that and there should have been a chapter reflecting it. 

Also, Ryan kind of takes it cools when Hari writes to his parents, and I didn't get it. The book also does not specify whether the lube project got what it was being expected of. These are my only complains but otherwise, the book is worth a read. The characters are well defined, the story well thought of and the approach of the book is really good.

What I liked about the Story?

· The usage of colloquial language to make it look greater natural and to provide it a feeling of the university.

· Describing the mindset of the characters.

· Displaying the pressures of a scholar definitely.

· Pointing out the mistakes of an institute clearly.

Things which I don't like about the story:

· The main characters are of top ranks as mentioned at the beginning of the story. Yet, their becoming one of the least scoring students is somewhat unbelievable.

· Hari's details are not much explained here, for e.g.-his parents, whether he loves studies. This makes it hard to understand some parts about Hari here though he is the one narrating the story here.

· Certain short forms are confusing, for eg. prof can be read, p-r-o-for professor. I would have liked the author to make it more clear here.

The only real mistake I find here is how people who have scored well earlier can get so low later. Take for example Ryan Oberoi who scored Rank 91, he really can't go so low later. 

The other mistakes are just negligible. and is just my point of view. Hari's facts being not disclosed in the story adds a layer of confusion in his biodata though after reading the story we clearly know his personality and mindset. Even after reading the story, I still don't know whether the students call their professors prof or professor

So yeah, the final review. Five-point someone is a book that talks about the whole IIT system and what actually students face in their college life. It also briefly talks about what the actual system should be, which is based on understanding instead of by-hearting. Chetan Bhagat paints a picture of the various types of students here. 

A truly captivating plot I must say so, Chetan doesn't let the reader's attention diverge. I really like the informality of storytelling that is used here, instead of the traditional style. It is equally interesting. The story also lays emphasis on why a person should not judge a person on their marks but on their personality and understanding, by the innovation and creativity of a student. In the end, really good book.

My rating for the book - 4/5
You can easily buy a copy of this book from Amazon - Five Point Someone

Written By - Ishita Sharma
Edited By - Anamika Malik