Between the Assassinations

Between the Assassinations Welcome to Kittur India It s on India s southwestern coast bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Kaliamma River to the south and east It s blessed with rich soil and scenic beauty and it s

  • Title: Between the Assassinations
  • Author: Aravind Adiga
  • ISBN: 9780330450546
  • Page: 385
  • Format: Paperback
  • Welcome to Kittur, India It s on India s southwestern coast, bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Kaliamma River to the south and east It s blessed with rich soil and scenic beauty, and it s been around for centuries Of its 193,432 residents, only 89 declare themselves to be without religion or caste And if the characters in Between the Assassinations are anyWelcome to Kittur, India It s on India s southwestern coast, bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Kaliamma River to the south and east It s blessed with rich soil and scenic beauty, and it s been around for centuries 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 the poets and the prophets of an India that modern literature has rarely addressed A twelve year old boy named Ziauddin, a gofer at a tea shop near the railway station, is enticed into wrongdoing because a fair skinned stranger treats him with dignity and warmth George D Souza, a mosquito repellent sprayer, elevates himself to gardener and then chauffeur to the lovely, young Mrs Gomes, and then loses it all when he attempts to be something A little girl s first act of love for her father is to beg on the street for money to support his drug habit A factory owner is forced to choose between buying into underworld economics and blinding his staff or closing up shop A privileged schoolboy, using his own ties to the Kittur underworld, sets off an explosive in a Jesuit school classroom in protest against casteism A childless couple takes refuge in a rapidly diminishing forest on the outskirts of town, feeding a group of intimates who visit only to mock them And the loneliest member of the Marxist Maoist Party of India falls in love with the one young woman, in the poorest part of town, whom he cannot afford to wed Between the Assassinations showcases the most beloved aspects of Adiga s writing to brilliant effect the class struggle rendered personal the fury of the underdog and the fire of the iconoclast and the prodigiously ambitious narrative talent that has earned Adiga acclaim around the world and comparisons to Gogol, Ellison, Kipling, and Palahniuk In the words of The Guardian London , Between the Assassinations shows that Adiga one of the most important voices to emerge from India in recent years A blinding, brilliant, and brave mosaic of Indian life as it is lived in a place called Kittur, Between the Assassinations, with all the humor, sympathy, and unflinching candor of The White Tiger, enlarges our understanding of the world we live in today.

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    One thought on “Between the Assassinations”

    1. The title of "Between the Assassinations" refers to the seven-year period between 1984 -- when Indira Gandhi was assassinated -- and 1991 when her son Rajiv was also killed. Set in India, the book captures a cross-spectrum view of life in a town called Kittur, where the characters include a drug addict's chldren who have to beg to keep up their father's habit; a 29 year old furniture delivery man who realizes that this is his life; a servant to a wealthy man who has no control over her own life; [...]

    2. Short stories - really good. Adiga can make you feel and smell and taste the poverty of India, through description and character, and it ain't pretty. But it's real. Or at least it feels real -- I've never been to India, so what do I know?Heavy on bodily discharges of all sorts; and each seenscene (egads!) drips with almost unbearable heat and humidity. The filth is metaphorical too: corruption, physical pain, disease is everywhere; violence looms (although here, unlike in The White Tiger, it ne [...]

    3. Better than White Tiger. I was born in Calicut, north of which this book is based. Some of the tensions and by plays are very familiar and resonate painfully.Brilliant book, makes small town Southern India come alive in a fashion that hasn't been seen in 'Indian literature in English' for a long time. I'm using my words carefully here, there are several brilliant portrayals of Small town India in regional writing in India in several languages - malayalam, tamil, kannada and so on. Several good t [...]

    4. Thank god this is short stories, so I was able to pause between the resounding slap of each delineated life. We know we're privileged, right? Living in India would be pretty bad, "local color" aside, right? If you're white, sitting in an armchair with a computer in front of you, well - you'll never even get close to understanding it. But perhaps you might try, with a book like this.This book is angry like a furnace about caste, baksheesh, poverty and poshlost. It's set in the '80s but clearly, n [...]

    5. After loving White Tiger I was quite excited to read this one but it is a let down on so many levels.The format is annoying - it is neither a novel nor an anthology of stories -more a collection of episodes related by setting. The writing is inferior to White Tiger and only after reading did I find out that this was a rejected work that went unpublished until his Booker prize win.Disjointed, episodic tale of an Indian townme of the episodes are interesting othersrticularly the last two are just [...]

    6. I really enjoyed this collection of stories set in a fictional southern Indian town, Kittur. The stories are mostly bleak and morose. Adiga's characters face life with the fatalistic belief that nothing will ever change for them. They are stuck in a cycle that they know they will never escape. Some are angry, some are resigned, and some (very few) are hopeful in tone. But the main character, throughout all the stories, is India, in all her guts and glory. While I enjoyed some stories in this col [...]

    7. I really liked The White Tiger, but I’m a bit disappointed in this, a collection of short stories – written before Adiga won the Booker last year, but not published until afterwards. Publishers sometimes do this with prize-winning authors: they resurrect previously rejected work and rush it out into the bookshops while the author’s high profile guarantees good sales. I have learned the hard way to be suspicious of books published too soon after a big prize by a first-time author. Between t [...]

    8. 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. It would need a great writer to be able to make a repeat match of both originality and style with engaging content. So on beginning Between The Assassinations I was prepared to be disappointed. I need not have worried because Aravind Adiga’s 2010 novel is perhaps a greater success than the earlier prize winner.The novel does not have a linear plot, nor does it [...]

    9. Between the Assassinations - Aravind AdigaFrom a well praised author of the book The White Tiger, comes Between the Assassinations. At first glance, the book is luring, it seems to prompt secrecy and mysteriesbut instead has a deeper theme - Corruption!The stories in this book are set in Kittur, Karnataka(never heard of it before). I thought this book would be light and entertaining like Tamasha in Bandargaon(a delightful read) by Navneet Jagannathan but if truth be told, I put this book at leas [...]

    10. I understand why Aravind Adiga continues to live in Mumbai; he is sitting on an endless mine of literary material that would keep him writing into a ripe old age. Although never advertized as such, this is a collection of short stories connected only by locale, the city of Kittur, a microcosm of Mother India with it all its fables and foibles.And so Adiga takes us on a seven-day tour of Kittur, unearthing its myriad denizens and their bizarre situations: from low castes to Brahmins, violent scho [...]

    11. A breathtakingly realistic combination of short stories that conspire together to imprint in your mind the story of Kittur in 80s through the army of characters that populate this allegedly fictional town. If you wanna read about the real India, this is the book to go to.

    12. It did not seem that this was a collection of stories, not a single novel, when I bought this book. The book contains, in the form of short stories, glimpses of the lives, predominantly sad, of ordinary citizens living in an ordinary south indian coastal town, in the seven-year period between the assassinations of Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi. The best thing about this book is the way Adiga paints the town and the people and everything else; the reader can actually see, smell and feel [...]

    13. I haven't read Adiga's Booker-winning debut novel The White Tiger (yet, I should add). However, I've recently read at least two Indian novels - Farahad Zama's The Marriage Bureau for Rich People and Vikas Swarup's Q&A - that try to present the issues facing modern India for a Western audience. There's a lot of talk about the conflict between the old caste society and new "modern" values, clashes between different religions, the supposed but not all-encompassing rise from third-world poverty [...]

    14. Between the Assassinations is really good. It's quite a bit different from Adiga's earlier work White Tiger. Though portions of the story are told through first person narration, this book deviates significantly from the formula he very successfully used in the past. The characters in this book never meet. Their only connection is the city in which they live. The novel is told through vignettes which reveal the intricate social and political climates operating in the fictionalized city of Kittur [...]

    15. So ridiculously rich--but it burns the fat right out of you, it's so damn fierce.This is Adiga's second book. And while his first won the prestigious Man Booker prize, I think reviewers did not really serve it well. I mean, White Tiger, and Between the Assassinations, both are rooted in the history and sociology of contemporary India--and this rootedness is important--too often White Tiger was reduced to just a report on Indian current affairs. Even when reviewers noted the literary elements, th [...]

    16. A compelling read. Couldn't put this book down. Would suggest everyone who loved "White Tiger" to read this.

    17. I wonder why this book got surprisingly low rating. I really like it. The characters are all interesting, the description of the city Kittur is amazingly detailed- I had so much fun imagining what the city look like. The hard problems faced by every character feel very real to me. I think this is a really great book and I'm telling everyone I know about it!

    18. I didn't have a clue of what I would get from the book and even now, I am not sure if what I got is what I should have got. I have read Aravind s earlier book "The white Tiger" which had won him the Booker Prize. I had liked the book then and so the author was familiar. Also, the title had hinted at some sort of murder and possibly a whodunit type of story. I couldn't have been more wrong. This book is all about an imaginary town by the name Kittur nestled on the coast, South of Goa and North of [...]

    19. BETWEEN THE ASSASSINATIONS spans the years between the assassinations of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and her son, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991. Mrs. Ghandi was assassinated by her Sikhbody guards; 7 years later her son Rajiv was assassinated byTamil separatist rebels. Mrs. Ghandi's second son, Sanjay,avoided political death, dying in an aviation accident in 1980.The family tragedy had nearly Shakespearean proportions.Kittur, the imaginary city where the action of BETWEEN THE ASSASSINATIONS takes place, is in [...]

    20. As I was reading Aravind Adiga's Between the Assassinations I couldn't help but think that if this book had been written in the first person it would be very similar to Sapphire's work. It had that same kind of poverty fatalism. This is a book made up of characters attempting to better their life, their station (their caste, perhaps) and often failing. At the same time, it presents the town of Kittur as a character - the book is written in the style of a guide book - a passive character who quie [...]

    21. Another well written book by Arvind Adiga – a master story teller who does it with such an ease without the need for exclamation marks and long descriptions. His style of storytelling is simple – the way it should be – the way it happened. He takes simple characters from our normal daily lives and tells their stories like they would normally. A small Indian city of Kittur, and its range of characters, moving from one landmark to another dating between one Gandhi’s assassination to anothe [...]

    22. I'm probably one of the few who read this collection of stories without reading White Tiger first. It's a fascinating collection, glued together with excerpts that take you on a seven-day tour of the town of Kittur. The themes are familiar ones: the fate of those born into crushing poverty and destined to die in it, the all-permeating caste system, the inevitable struggles in societies that mix Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, widespread corruption, and more. Adiga's prose paints a beautifully d [...]

    23. These short stories provide a glimpse of the sustained power that the author would deliver in "The White Tiger" and "Last Man in Tower". Short vignette pieces that drop you into a humid and fetid corrupt small town anywhere that just happens to be in India. While "class" exists in every society nowhere is it more complex than in India. India has some two thousand ethnic groups, untold language variations, religions of every shade and color and all of this is a sub-text of every story and every r [...]

    24. This is so unlike the Adiga we know from his other 2 books. This short story collection, teeming with life is based in the small Indian city of Kittur between the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and that of her son Rajiv in 1991 and that is how the book has got the name. It is a completely different kind of book with a variety of short stories of all kind. The only common thread which runs all along in the book is the city where all the stories are taking place! Kittur is a unique city fo [...]

    25. Actually, 3.5 stars, but I couldn't quite bring myself to round it up rather than down. Unlike some reviews I've just looked at, I found the structure worked well: it's a guided tour of Kittur and after a short description of each place, we get a short story based in the area. The stories tell of poverty and corruption. I was going to say the writing makes you feel like you are there, but I have never been to India, so I don't know. The places certainly felt very real to me, which is what matter [...]

    26. This was actually the first book I read for 2011. In short: "White Tiger" this is not . Framed as a travelogue of a south Indian city named Kittur, tied together by a series of short stories/vignettes about people throughout the town. Adiga's talent is evident in some of the stories, but overall the whole seems somewhat less than it's parts. The book reminded me of "Tales of Firoush Barg" by Mistry, although I seemed to like that one slightly better.Overall worthy of a read, but after reading "W [...]

    27. I loved The White Tiger, so I bought this book. I did not know it was a book of short stories when I bought it. I'm not really a fan of short stories but I did find myself enjoying these. If you like short stories and Indian fiction then I think you would enjoy this book.

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