Top critical review
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Disappointing in comparison
on 16 September 2009
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.