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Between the Assassinations

3.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,053 Ratings  ·  443 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 a ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Free Press (first published 2008)
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Nancy Oakes
Jul 21, 2009 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it
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)
Jul 10, 2011 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ravi Menon
May 12, 2010 Ravi Menon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 25, 2009 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2009 Aarti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
❄️ Propertea Of Frostea ❄️ Bitter SnoBerry ❄
Sep 16, 2012 ❄️ Propertea Of Frostea ❄️ Bitter SnoBerry ❄ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One...maybe people who want new abusive words..
Recommended to ❄️ Propertea Of Frostea ❄️ Bitter SnoBerry ❄ 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
Nov 22, 2011 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 30, 2011 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 24, 2013 Bjorn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india
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
Jan 09, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
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
Karthik Parthasarathy
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
Nov 01, 2012 Santhosh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Er, Indian noir?
Mary Mahoney
Feb 27, 2011 Mary Mahoney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 13, 2012 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Rob Cheney
Apr 26, 2013 Rob Cheney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2016 Dan rated it liked it
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
Neil George
Dec 17, 2015 Neil George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
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 ...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
Mo Shah
Jun 10, 2011 Mo Shah rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
Mahantesh Goudar
Apr 07, 2016 Mahantesh Goudar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was the mid 80’s. To be precise 31st October 1984, ten years before my birth. It was the time when Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her own body guards. Entire nation was in utter turmoil. Seven years later another prime minister, her son Rajiv was assassinated. Between this period of seven years of extraordinary transformation, Aravind Adiga etches out the stories of ordinary people of a small coastal town in Karnataka – Kittur. Hats off to this man for the way he narrates the stories which gi ...more
Elliott Bignell
Apr 11, 2015 Elliott Bignell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a present from German relatives who travel on business to India and it refers to a British edition purchased in Europe. I have not (unfortunately) seen India myself.

Aravind Adiga is a find. His measured and readable prose paints portraits of times and persons which seem to leach into your bones as you read. His characters are all fairly ordinary people afloat in a vibrant, rapidly changing and deeply troubled community, never leaders or visionaries, and their stories spea
Oct 05, 2014 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aravind Adiga’s first novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Mann Booker Prize. The same year, Between the Assassinations, a collection of inter-related short stories, was published – with most of it, if not all, being written before The White Tiger. Thus, his "second" book provides a look at the ideas and themes he later developed in his award-winning “first” book.

The title refers to the period between the assassinations of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and her son Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. The stories are s
Camille McCarthy
I really enjoyed this book. I like Aravind Adiga because he focuses more on the common person in India and not so much on a romanticized version of India focused on intellectuals and rich people. His writing reminds me a lot of R.K. Narayan, in that respect. At first I thought maybe the city he was describing, Kittur, was a fictional place like Narayan's fictional town of Malgudi, but I found out it was a real place. He uses language a lot harsher than Narayan's but I thought they had some simi ...more
Jan 05, 2015 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Adiga presents India in its other-worldliness such that it seems like it could almost be a science fiction book. These short stories bring out a variety of characters living in their world where a single mistake can destroy a life. And for these characters, apparently in the masses, the mistake could be as simple as a misplaced coin, a slip on the side of a bus, a scowl at a boss. I recently read "The Martian" and, strangely, it felt very similar. In "The Martian", the astronaut stranded on Mars ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Pascale rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't read any Indian literature yet, and stumble upon this book, it's as good a starting point as any. However, if you have some familiarity with the field, there isn't much there that's new. While I don't mind that the stories are only loosely connected by their fictitious setting of "Kittur", I wish the characters had been more memorable. What we have here is yet another depiction of the great big mess that is India, with the caste system still lively, corruption as rife as ever, and ...more
Prem Kumar
Mar 18, 2015 Prem Kumar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subaltern biography of an Indian town

Kittur, sitting on the western coast of India 'between Goa and Calicut' is Aravind Adiga's Malgudi whose host of characters bring out the preoccupations of little town India with its plethora of caste, religious and moral conflicts. Purportedly a collection of short stories set in the seven- year period between the assassinations of prime minister Gandhi and her son however the stories translate easily to contemporary times as the issues involved are still ve
Mahantesh Goudar
Apr 07, 2016 Mahantesh Goudar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here’s the translation of the famous Hindi poem-

Nay, said the flower
Cast me, said the flower,
Not on the virgins bed
Nor in the bridal carriage
Nor in the merry village square.

Nay, said the flower
Cast me but on that lonely path
Where heroes walk
For their nation to die.

It was the mid 80’s. To be precise 31st October 1984, ten years before my birth. It was the time when Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her own body guards. Entire nation was in utter turmoil. Seven years later another prime minister, her
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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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