Between the Assassinations
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Between the Assassinations

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  3,001 ratings  ·  359 reviews

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 any

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Paperback, 281 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Picador India
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Nancy Oakes
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;...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
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...more
Anna
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...more
Lisa
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 the Ass...more
Mark
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 town....some of the episodes are interesting others...particularly the last tw...more
Numey Berry
Sep 16, 2012 Numey Berry rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: No One...maybe people who want new abusive words..
Recommended to Numey Berry by: A friend..who hadn't yet read it
Between the Assassinations
- Aravind Adiga

From 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 mysteries...but 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 l...more
Aarti
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...more
Ravi Menon
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...more
Philip
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 fea...more
Shane
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...more
Laura
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...more
Mary Mahoney
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 Sikh
body guards; 7 years later her son Rajiv was assassinated by
Tamil 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...more
Ken
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...more
Neha
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 another. They...more
Rob Cheney
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...more
Bjorn
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...more
Dan
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...more
Rishi Prakash
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...more
Karen
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.
David
Not that I know the first thing about this city, but the stories in this book seem to marvelously bring forth the city and the people who live there. Great images, great moments, and great descriptions. In short, some really nice stories.
Alisha Lakhani
Beautifully written, another great book by Adiga. It provides a glimpse into the lives a various, different characters whose lives are somehow entwined. Adiga explores the effects of caste, religion, class, status and also the importance of money in India. I particularly enjoyed the passages about the idealistic journalist who is on a quest for the un-corrupted truth. This book exposes the dark reality of corruption in India; what struck me was the bit about how even the homeless had to pay prot...more
Jairam Mohan
Am truly left with extremely mixed feelings after I finished this book. While Adiga manages to bring to life the small sleepy town of Kittur in coastal Karnataka with his collection of short stories, the fact that he chose to put all of the stories in grim settings with relatively depressing people is something that struck me as a little odd. While grim realities, sorrow, people's daily struggles make for good literature, the fact remains that I generally am in favor of more upbeat books, that's...more
Vijayavel
I am enjoying so far..
Mitch
The title of this collection of stories refers to the time frame that unites them; all the entries take place within a few days, bracketed by two famous Indian political assassinations. They are also all set in Kittur, India and occasionally refer to common characters peripherally.

But that's just what holds this diverse collection together.

The stories are harsh. Adiga often deals with the relationship between castes and the rich/poor. He does an excellent job depicting the life, feelings and att...more
Jonno Cohen
If you're expecting a follow up in the same vein as the White Tiger, you'll be disappointed. That's how I felt as I waded through the first 120 pages of random short stories about the people of a fictional Indian town, waiting for something to tie them together.

Eventually I realised that's not what this book is, and accepted it for what it is - a collection of character sketches and stories about people grappling with poverty and caste in modern India. That's when I began to really enjoy the sto...more
Katherine
“ ‘Corruption,’ Abbasi said. ‘Corruption. It’s like a demon sitting on my brain and eating it with a fork and knife’” (31).
“Some of the boys had gone back into the building; they stood out on the balconies of the three floors of the college and shouted down to those on the ground; and this added to the hum, as if the college were a beehive struck with a pole” (51).
“He had thought, at one point, of sending a manifesto the Dawn Herald: ‘The man Lasrado is a fool, and the bomb was burst in his clas...more
P J
Sep 21, 2011 P J rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Mostly the reviewers very much liked Aravind Adiga’s first novel ‘the White Tiger’. I was uneasy at its unremitting, unapologetic corruption and violence. Perhaps it was an attention-grabbing ploy, I thought. Well, OK, he got our attention and I for one am bloody glad of it, because ‘Between the Assassinations’ is excellent. The assassinations are those of Indira and Rajiv Ghandi which set the time within which Adiga has created a week in a fictional city by the sea, Kittur, populated by a heter...more
Michele Weiner
The title of this book refers to the years in India that separated the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on Oct. 31, 1984 and the assassination of her son, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991. Each chapter begins with an entry from a fictional travel guide describing local sights and suggesting an itinerary of attractions, such as the only Hoyka temple in India, the old dysfunctional fort, a locally famous boys' school, the shopping district, and so on. After each day's trave...more
Kieran Mcmahon



Indian writer Aravind Adiga won the 2008 Booker Prize for The White Tigerand this collection of stories, although it was written earlier, was published shortly after. For Between the Assassinations,Adiga invented Kittur, a fictional city on India’s south-western coast, between Goa and Calicut, and it resembles more than a few real cities in that area. Kittur is a cultural crossroads of the kind you only ever find in India; it has a Catholic cathedral, a Jesuit school, Muslims, Communists, se...more
Alicia
I picked this book up in a bargain sale, I think it was 3dollars. I liked the book, but the word like is as far as I could go. I didn't realise it was a set of short stories until I started reading it and in between reading read a few reviews of it on Goodreads. I'm not a big fan of short stories. I mean I like them but as I said before that's as far as it goes. So this book wasn't as gripping for me as other books. The stories were good and the writing style was very good. The book as a whole b...more
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Aravind Adiga was born in 1974 in Madras (now called Chennai), and grew up in Mangalore in the south of India. He was educated at Columbia University in New York and Magdalen College, Oxford. His articles have appeared in publications such as the New Yorker, the Sunday Times, the Financial Times, and the Times of India. His first novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize for fiction in 2008...more
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