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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Orion; Abridged edition edition (1 July 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1409114368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409114369
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 13.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,582,441 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

Adiga's characters are almost touchable, brought to life by the power of the words. At times this is almost too raw to be comfortable. (DAILY EXPRESS)

These stories take place between the assassinations of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi in the fictional seaside town of Kittur. Each is prefaced by a tourist-brochure description, which throws into relief the squalor and corruption revealed in the stories. (OBSERVER)

In Kerry Shales exuberant reading, a bleak social comedy comes over loud and clear. (TELEGRAPH.CO.UK)

The stories of spoiled schoolboys, destitute beggars and lovelorn political activists infold in a vibrant jumble. Kerry Shale gives a virtuoso rendition of the narrative cacophony. (DAILY MAIL)

...only India offers such a teeming panoply of characters from mega-rich to starving untouchable, and only a writer with Adiga's vision and sensitivity can bring them so vividly, so moveingly to life ... Shales' reading is a tour de force. (THE GUARDIAN)

Book Description

The dazzling and masterful new book from the winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize. Abridged edition, read by Kerry Shale

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. Hasnath on 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 By Ian M. Buchanan on 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 By Parvati P. on 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 By Brummiegirl on 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 April 2010
Format: Paperback
"Between the Assassinations" is a collection of short stories set in the fictional South Indian town of Kittur, which is almost certainly Mangalore (where the Adiga grew up). But the plight of the residents can be found in any Indian city - which I imagine is Adiga's point of setting it in a fictional location. The 12 stories are vaguely interlinked (there are some recurring characters) but for the most part the stories stand alone. The time period is set between the assassinations of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, although like the location, the time period and the assassinations of the title have little bearing on the events themselves.

"Between the Assassinations" was written before Adiga's "The White Tiger" and it shares many of the issues addressed in his Man Booker-winning novel, namely the plight of the poor, the disadvantaged, the caste system, religious tension, class and political corruption. Both books also share an interesting set up. While in "The White Tiger", the story is told in the form of a letter to the visiting Chinese leader warning of the "real India", here, Adiga structures his short stories around a fictional guide book for his invented town (although the sites mentioned, and even the names, are either similar or the same as those found in Mangalore) on a recommended seven day tour. Both books rage at the external views of India that are presented in contrast with the realities for its urban poor. At each location, we are led into a story of residents who live or work in that area - which are so different from the tone of the `guide book' that visitors see.
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