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Between the Assassinations [Kindle Edition]

Aravind Adiga
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Review

Blazingly savage and brilliant. --The Sunday Telegraph

One of the most important voices to emerge from India in recent years. --The Guardian

Adiga is a real writer - that is to say, someone who forges an original voice and vision. --The Sunday Times

Review

"A page-turner [with a] limber structure...It is Adiga's near-sightedness that brings his writing to life. His subject is the everyday frustration brought about by discriminations of status, class and religion. Yet his sense of a great Indian comedy is never far away." --"The Observer"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 523 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1439152926
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003HMOWAW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #119,081 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras in 1974. He studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities. His first novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize for 2008. A former Indian correspondent for Time magazine, his writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the Financial Times, and the Sunday Times among other publications. He lives in Mumbai.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adiga does it again 2 Sept. 2009
Format:Hardcover
Aravind Adiga follows up The White Tiger, his brutal dissection of Indian society, with yet another offering.

This time it is a collection of short stories that share a common theme - endemic corruption at all levels among public servants and a look into the flaws of the Hindu caste system, where so-called 'untouchables' exist.

Despite the country having made rapid strides in the last century, I'm afraid this book reinforces the enduring presence of these social attitudes in India today.

I felt this book was darker than the White Tiger, and lacking its lighthearted narrative and the naivete of its protagonist.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No second chances for the poor 26 July 2009
Format:Hardcover
This is billed as a novel, but it isn't really that. It is a collection of short stories all set in the same location. One might think of it as a constellation arrangement (in Benjamin's sense) in that the stories are connected, but only indirectly, via the eye of the observer. I think some people have been disappointed by this book because it isn't as satirical as White Tiger, but in many ways that is what makes it a better book. There is a real honesty to this book that is quite disturbing. It doesn't sugar coat things, nor does it create false tales of redemption like Slumdog Millionaire. If it has a single theme it is this: the very poor don't get to make mistakes, one error of judgement is fatal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brief lives. 18 April 2012
Format:Paperback
I share the disappointment of those readers who expected this to be a novel but I'm glad that my ignorance led me to buy what is a deeply thought-provoking and skillfully written collection of short stories assembled within a loose geographical and chronological frame.

The stories present the experiences of a number of characters of varying social class and religion living in the same town at the same time.There are odd moments of linkage but by and large,there is no direct intersection between the stories.Each one gives a different perspective on life lived in India at a particular time.Many of the central characters are desperately poor,some are middle class and there is a least one spoiled rich kid amongst them.

What the frame allows Adiga to do is to present a society existing in various ways:there's no easy poor/rich,good/bad paradigm here although all the characters exist within a system which values individuals in terms which have little to do with character,talent or decency.Because of this,some characters are shoved into misery or madness but some also make choices which bring about their downfall or a small measure of triumph.However,none of this is clear cut:the endings of the stories are often inconclusive and enigmatic implying that a lack of "ending",happy or otherwise is part of real life.

I didn't think that any of the stories in themselves were especially brilliant but all of them were well crafted vignettes which effectively presented life in a world which is foreign to me.By the end, I found myself becoming familiar with Adiga's version of this world in much the same way that I was with Joyce's depiction of his city in "Dubliners", although I make no comparison between the two in terms of quality of writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Vignettes - but just a little worthy 16 Mar. 2011
By wolf VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Adiga's Booker winning White Tiger was a very good read: satirical, hard edged, brimming with wit and pace, it felt like it cut to the heart of modern India. Many readers may come to this hoping be for the same - and be disappointed.

Although this is Adiga's second book, it feels like earlier work. The writing is just a little less assured; the weight of its ambition hangs heavily over it. It is a determinedly serious piece. It lacks anything of the sour wit and vibrancy of White Tiger's somewhat amoral narrator.

Once you accept this, however, there is much to admire in Adiga's stories. All set in a fictitious town between the assassinations of Mrs Ghandi and her son, they spotlight the injustices of life in India: caste, poverty, corruption, religious intolerance, corruption, ignorance and yet more corruption. Generally, they avoid being depressing - even if their subject matter is - through the virtue of being beautifully and elegantly written. Artfully chosen details and metaphors illuminate the lives of Adiga's cast. Some are mundane, others more baroque, like the newspaper man who ends up literally eating the printed words.

There is something highly reminiscent of Joyce's Dubliners here. It is not just the fact that these stories all centre around the lives of ordinary, and not so ordinary, people in one city; it is also a similarity in the cultures - halfway between the life of the west or of the mainland, which seems to promise freedom and modernity, and a certain parochial staid small town attitude - that seeps into the stories. It is in the jewel-like quality of lives crisply and perfectly captured. And that's high praise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Guide to All the Indias... 12 Feb. 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
...is the tag line that I used in my review for Ved Mehta's classic Portrait of India I had previously felt that Mehta was the most insightful guide to the Indian condition, but now he has met his equal, or been superseded by Aravind Adiga. Medta's book is set in the `60's, and ranges across India, from Bollywood to the steel mills in Orissa, from the Himalayas, and the conflict with China in Ladakh, to Calcutta, and Mother Teresa. Adiga chooses to portray India by creating an imaginary town of 200,000, Kittur, placing it on the southwest coast, north of Kerala, and south of Goa, and describing the complexities and uniqueness of India in 14 vignettes. The time period he chose was before "the call-centers," in the late `80s, between the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, and that of her son, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991.

I found each of the vignettes rich and satisfying; none were weak, none were a favorite. Adiga deftly sets the parameters of each tale in a page or two, and then continues, and it is in his subtle details that he conveys the poverty of human existence, or, in Thoreau's expression, which has virtually become a cliché: the lives of quiet desperation. There is the youth, Ziauddin, who is finally afforded self-respect, as a "Pathan," and who is recruited to count the arrival of Indian military trains; the corruption involved in normal business practices that Abbasi is subjected to in running a shirt factory, and the unforgettable ways he seeks revenge in the ways he serves his alcohol to the bribe-seekers; the seller of pirated books "Mr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Collection of short stories
Essentially a collection of short stories, so does not reflect previous books, however it is well written.
Published 2 months ago by Steve P
2.0 out of 5 stars The authors voice
I didn't like it but ploughed on with it thinking it was going to go somewhere but it didn't. Maybe the author wanted to portray the pointlessness of people's life in India, or... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mrs. H. J. Mould
1.0 out of 5 stars So bad it shouldn't exist
I bought this audiobook to keep my mind occupied on my long comute to work. Terrible mistake! The story is low in interest as the author, Aravind Adiga keeps making the same points... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Darkcc
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money - DO NOT BUT
This is the worst book i have ever read. Its a compliation of short stories which have got no ending. Its a pointless book which should have never been published. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Naturelover
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing
A beautifully written book. The writer draws word pictures of India that take you there, the characters, everyday people, are so believable and the story is well paced,slow but... Read more
Published on 7 Dec. 2012 by Rvc Butters
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm off to find his next book...
A gripping, well written, incisive, accurately observed and witty account of contemporary India.
Snaps of the lives of ordinary people living in this fictitious town- so... Read more
Published on 19 Oct. 2012 by farah
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost, but not quite
A selection of snapshots of different character's lives in a fictional mid size Indian city.
This is well written and takes the reader to places that most books don't cover. Read more
Published on 9 Jun. 2012 by Mr. Roy T. Nolan
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and entertaining
If anyone enjoyed White Tiger then this book is for them, each chapter is different and interesting in its own right
another book which is difficult to put down
Published on 15 Mar. 2012 by Mark Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to dip in and out of
Having read White Tiger, I was eager to read another Adiga novel. This one was a little different, but equally compelling. Read more
Published on 16 Jan. 2012 by blue finch
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing form
Aravind Adiga's White Tiger won the Booker Prize and was notable for its intriguing form. I thought it would be a hard act to follow. Read more
Published on 6 Jan. 2012 by Philip Spires
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