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Between the Assassinations [Paperback]

Aravind Adiga
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Mar 2012
Welcome to Kittur, India. Of its 193,432 residents, only 89 declare themselves to be without religion or caste. And if the characters in Between the Assassinations are any indication, Kittur is an extraordinary crossroads of the brightest minds and the poorest morals, the up-and-coming and the downtrodden, and of an India that modern literature has rarely addressed...
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857896202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857896209
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

The dazzling and masterful new book from the winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize. Abridged edition, read by Kerry Shale --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adiga does it again 2 Sep 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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, unsentimental tales of the downtrodden 1 July 2009
Format:Hardcover
"Between the Assassinations" isn't a novel but a dozen or so short stories set in the fictional Southern Indian town of Kittur, very much like R.K. Narayan's classic Malgudi tales, but without Narayan's universality and charm. Rather, Adiga has a savage streak, and unlike Narayan, he has a message and a purpose. His portrayal of the lot of the poorest is unembellished, unapologetically in your face, and often angry. He refuses to allow us to walk past the downtrodden with eyes averted.

The first few stories are quite dire, schoolboyish, and smutty. However, as with all short story collections there are good ones too. I liked the tale of Gururaj the journalist in a vain search for the uncorrupted truth, with its dark and mischievous ending. My favourite was the tale of George and Mrs Gomes, a searing indictment of using an advantageous relationship with a boss to obtain work for relatives. When the tables turn, it isn't just George who loses out.

Adiga is an unsentimental writer and offers up no happy endings. `Good' fortune is always relative and temporary for those who have drawn the short straw in the lottery of life. The rich are born to prevail. The lower-castes-turning-on-upper-castes theme of "White Tiger" predominates in these gritty stories, sometimes repetitively so with vicious, often lavatorial humour. But Adiga's great achievement in the best of the stories is to make us squirm uncomfortably at the power of the rich over the poor and their constant willingness to use it.
Overall, four stars for the book. But some individual stories merit only two.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Richly imagined 9 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover
Adiga's follow up to the White Tiger is this collection of short stories, set in the fictional town of Kittur in Southern India. For those who read and loved the White Tiger as much as I did, this book is not going to live up to expectations. But the way in which the author imagines this fictional town and is able to build up such a rich picture of life makes it well worth the read.

I found this a difficult book to begin with, as I'm generally not a fan of collections of short stories and had chosen to read the book simply because I had enjoyed the White Tiger so much. But I persevered, and once I had got through the first few stories, this picture of a town divided by wealth and poverty was fascinating. One of my favourite stories was the life of the bus conductor, because it was so well imagined and drew in the themes of affluence, exploitation their overspill into politics so well. This was just one of a great number of the stories that were able to build up this picture and convey these ideas.

Adiga's characters are so well imagined and their stories so aptly told that I was left wishing, in some cases, that he had built a novel up around some of the characters instead of pursuing this collection. For me this would have been a more fulfilling read. However, I did enjoy the book and I would recommend it for a rich and insightful glance into life in South India.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in comparison 16 Sep 2009
Format:Hardcover
I awaited the release of Adiga's second book after reading the much enjoyable 'White Tiger,' I felt that this book would have the same insight into the complex society and culture of India.

The thing is that this isn't exactly a novel, but a collection of short stories chronicling the lives of the residents in the small town of Kittar. The blurb will tell you that the stories overlap, but they don't and this is what lets the book down. It's just that the characters he creates and their stories aren't that interesting and you move on to the next one whilst instantly forgetting about the previous. There were only two stories out of the entire collection that gripped me, the rest were boring and taught me nothing new about the human condition and Adiga has added nothing new to his compelling insight on Indian culture that he gave us from his first book.

It's not a complete write off, to be fair. I think my opinion may be swayed on the high expectations I had for this based on what I thought of 'The White Tiger.' I just hope that with Adiga's next book, he returns to the novel format and manages to produce another interesting narrative just like he did with his debut.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 11 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 14 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 17 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 21 months ago 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 23 months ago 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Brief lives.
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... Read more
Published on 18 April 2012 by Valentine Gersbach
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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