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|Print List Price:||£8.99|
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Between the Assassinations Kindle Edition
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|Length: 353 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A moving - and often harrowing - collection of snapshots into the lives of an Indian city populace. These are stories of India's working class and poor; exactly the kind of people... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ged
As the late-lamented ‘News of the World’ used to proclaim, ‘All human life is there’ and the same is true in these short stories that centre on the fictional town of Kittur,... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dr R
Odd book giving much insight into the dismal life of the lower castes in India via stories of different individuals living in the same town but they weren't in any way linked so it... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jilly
The stories are uneven and usually grim. It's not a feel-good exotic book by any means. However, people familiar with South India will find it a good way to be transported back.Published 18 months ago by maxf
Essentially a collection of short stories, so does not reflect previous books, however it is well written.Published 22 months ago by Steve P
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 morePublished on 29 Jun. 2013 by Darkcc
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 morePublished on 24 April 2013 by Naturelover
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 morePublished on 7 Dec. 2012 by Rvc Butters
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
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