Selection Day Hardcover – 25 Aug 2016
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Selection Day is at its heart an engrossing and nuanced coming-of-age-novel . . . intriguing and subtly developed . . . [Adiga] has succeeded in composing a powerful individual story that, at the same time, does justice to life's (and India's) great indeterminacies. (Sunday Times)
[A] finely told, often moving, and intelligent novel . . . Adiga's novel takes in class, religion and sexuality - all issues that disrupt the dream of a sport that cares for nothing but talent and temperament. Because Adiga is a novelist, and one who has grown in his art since his Booker prizewinning debut, The White Tiger, he knows how to talk about all these matters through his characters and their compelling stories. (Kamila Shamsie Guardian)
[Adiga] has always been drawn to that gap between the glitter and gleam of India Shining and the violence, inequality and social misery that give a partial lie to the nation's desire to rebrand itself . . . [he] has written another snarling, witty state-of-the-nation address about a country in thrall to values that 19th-century moralists would have damned as "not cricket". (Observer)
Top-rate fiction from a young master . . . Adiga's plot is gripping. (Times)
Nobody can write with such dark wit about the story the social tumult of contemporary India like Aravind Adiga, who won the Booker prize for his 2008 debut, The White Tiger . . . Four years on, his characters' voices still jump off the page. (GQ)
What makes Selection Day special beyond its journalistic achievements is its sure sense of the eroticism of the locker room. Stripped of his cricketing whites and chest guard, the sportsman is at risk of exposing his heart . . . Never predictable, never simple and never consoling. (Literary Review)
[Selection Day] brings Mumbai to life . . . Adiga handles painful subjects - abuse, violence, corruption - with sensitivity and dazzling flashes of black humour. (Daily Telegraph)
Adiga excels . . . [He] has written another snarling, witty state-of-the-nation address about a country in thrall to values that 19th-century moralists would have damned as "not cricket". (Sukhdev Sandhu Guardian)
Adiga's novels . . . get better and better . . . The social, economic, and environmental preoccupations readers have come to expect of him take [Selection Day] to another level of enlightenment (Sydney Morning Herald)
A well-observed, compulsively readable story of adolescence and ambition, fathers and sons and India today. (Tatler)
A moving and beautifully observed new novel, of adolescence, ambition and self-realization, of fathers and sons, set in contemporary Bombay, by the Man Booker Prize winning author of The White Tiger and Last Man in Tower.See all Product description
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Unlike Radha, Manju has interests in addition to cricket, in science, and in forensic science in particular – so much so that Radha often addresses him as “scientist”. Yet begins to score more than his elder brother. It is Manju, not Radha, on whom another wealthy Indian, Karim Ali, bestows a scholarship to go for six weeks to an international school in England, to play cricket and attend science classes. This upsets his father, whose plan had focussed on Radha becoming the best. More naturally, Radha is also deeply upset. And Manju feels guilty at “stealing” from Radha.
There is another promising youngster, Javed Ansari, a 15-year old Muslim, who is being tipped for greatness in cricket. Initially Manju feels hostile to him; but they become good friends, with Javed the dominant partner, sometimes helpful, sometimes cruel. He will not be a slave to cricket: he challenges the cricket cult, just as he challenges conventions. This gets him into trouble, but he comes from a wealthy family and his father always bails him out. He is also a homosexual. The embittered Radha spreads the story that Manju, too, is gay; and he does indeed have feelings that way, though they horrify him too much for him to turn them into action. Most of the time he is unhappy and tortured, and so is his brother.
There is a lot of material that isn’t properly integrated with the main story; and in the second half of the book, the writing is in part quite surrealistic, so much so that I couldn’t follow it. I could not even fully understand the reactions of both Radha and Manju to the crisis on Selection Day. For my enjoyment it was worth two stars at mostr; but I do appreciate Fictionfan’s five-star review for bringing out the merits of the book.
When both are spotted by talent scout, Tommy Sir, and taken into a development programme financed by wealthy dilettante Anand Mehta, it seems that Mohan's dreams are to be fulfilled. However things start to unravel when it becomes clear that the greater cricketer, not his favourite, Radha, but the younger and smaller Manju. However,while Manju is extravagantly talented, he isnot at all certain that he wants to dedicate his life to the crash of leather on willow. He is fascinated by science in general, and by the forensics of CSI in particular. When he makes the acquaintance of the wealthy Muslim fellow pupil, JA, a further world of sensuality is opened to him.
At its basic level, Selection Day is a coming of age story set against the background of filial competition. It is the story of Manju's journey from unquestioning acceptance of his father's direction and his brother's superiority, to a position where he is developing his own identity and questioning the very fundamentals of his existence. Does he even like cricket. As a story of adolescent growth and sexuality in a sporting context, it has similarities with Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas.
Selection Day is about a wider search for identity than Manju's. It is about a search for an Indian identity. Tommy Sir, typifies a post colonial world where the British influence remains strong, whereas Anand Mehta leans more towards a brasher American spirit. This fight for cultural ascendancy is also experienced by Manju and JA who are tempted away from cricket to play baseball with a group of street children.
Selection Day is very much a post-modern novel, refusing to provide a tidy denouement, and leaving much in the air at its ending.
Overall this is an interesting, evocative novel, but not one with which I felt massively engaged and I the end,the very postmodern-is made it a little unsatisfying.
This novel is a cricket-themed beauty. It surpasses other beauties including 'The Chinaman' and other fictions over the last decade.
With a firm grip on reality in terms of its sporting citings in and around the cricket field the book gives serious insight into the difference between wealth and poverty on the giant Asian continent, in particular within the harsh and intent caste system of India, arguably the world’s biggest democracy. The book repeatedly reminds the reader of the struggle and accompanying fatigue of people fighting for survival and then finding themselves and some sustaining passion through the very POWERFUL medium of cricket. This is, with spectacular success on the field and humour off it, one of the appealing mixtures that the scenarios built by the author supply us with.
I liked the constant scenario switching as well as the passion of the two boys; it really is something to behold.
"Cricket is the triumph of civilisation over instinct" was my favourite quote.