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Selection Day

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,260 ratings  ·  362 reviews
Manju is fourteen. He knows he is good at cricket -- if not as good as his elder brother Radha. He knows that he fears and resents his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented brother and is fascinated by CSI and curious and interesting scientific facts. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn't know . . . E ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 16th 2016 by Picador
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Michael Rieman Yes, that seems a very clear concern. However, the ambiguity of the novel is manifest in the way Manju is both drawn to and rejects the well to do…moreYes, that seems a very clear concern. However, the ambiguity of the novel is manifest in the way Manju is both drawn to and rejects the well to do young man who both tempts and challenges Manju(less)

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Average rating 3.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,260 ratings  ·  362 reviews


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Ron Charles
Americans know more about Quidditch than they do about cricket, but there must be magic in both games. Although the British import struck out against baseball on these shores sometime in the 19th century, readers here have shown themselves willing to tolerate wickets and stumps if the writing is good enough. After all, Joseph O’Neill’s “Netherland” attracted an appreciative audience in his adopted United States and went on to win the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2009. And now Americans should venture o ...more
Stephen Clynes
From the slums of Mumbai, a father strongly encourages his two sons to excel at cricket and become selected for the team.

Aravind puts the reader in the picture about modern day life in India and you get the feel of Mumbai with the contrasts between the slums and the flash wealthy parts. I enjoyed the local colour and the reflections of the father who had moved from a rural Indian village to the vibrant city of Mumbai.

But this story is a drag and very ordinary. It has your
...more
Prem Kumar
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Exploring the great nastiness

In the middle of the novel Tommy Sir, the talent scout scouring the maidans of Bombay "who was given to the truth as some men are to drink" ruefully says this about the game he loves:

"How did this thing, our shield and chivalry, our Roncesvalles and Excalibur, go over to the other side and become part of the great nastiness?"

Tommy Sir is the puritan fan who believes in old-world virtues of principles and righteousness hence does not fit into t
...more
Lorilin
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc
Selection Day is a coming-of-age story about two talented young brothers, Radha and Manju Kumar, as they train to become professional cricket players. Living in the slums of India with their legit crazy and domineering father, they are desperate to get out. Their cricket skills eventually get noticed by scouters--and then by a rich businessman who offers to sponsor them if they agree to train with a renowned coach (in the hopes that at least one of them will be selected to play on a professional te ...more
Sherwood Smith
Jan 03, 2017 added it
Shelves: fiction
For about a hundred-fifty years—a little before 1800 to the middle of the twentieth century—the British Empire militarily got the drop on most of India, and while they systematically looted it while the looting was good, India, as had been its very long habit, absorbed what it liked of English culture and language, and discarded the rest.

One of the things it absorbed was the sport cricket.

This novel’s elevator pitch is: poor Indian father is obsessed with making his two sons into cr
...more
Usman Hickmath
Jul 31, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Novel started off with two brothers from Mumbai trying hard to become the best batsman in the world. But somewhere in the middle it changed direction for no reason and went on to describe the sexual identity crisis of one of them. In the end, it neither had detailing about cricket nor about sexual identity issues. I am still confused what this novel is about.

I had high expectation of this book as it was marketed as a novel about two brothers in Mumbai trying to make big in cricket -w
...more
Gorab Jain
Oct 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016, indian
This was such a nightmare. Literally struggled to reach the finish line.
Had picked this for the love of cricket. But each and every character is so much convoluted!
Read this during a reading slump, and this only contributed more to it...

Why I hated it?
- Abstract narration. The booker kind!
- Twisted characters could have been fun. But somehow these became depressing.
Krista
What we Indians want in literature, at least the kind written in English, is not literature at all, but flattery. We want to see ourselves depicted as soulful, sensitive, profound, valorous, wounded, tolerant and funny beings. All that Jhumpa Lahiri stuff. But the truth is, we are absolutely nothing of that kind. What are we, then? We are animals of the jungle, who will eat our neighbor's children in five minutes, and our own in ten.

I've long been a fan of Indian literature – shaped by a long and
...more
Shreya Vaid
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
There's beauty in cricket, which we Indians understand deeply. Even though our national game is hockey, we live and breathe cricket. And Aravind Adiga's new novel Selection Day is centered around this passionate sport only. A mix of beating class hierarchy, rags to riches dreams, jealousies and parental pressure, Selection Day makes up for a brilliant read.

The story of Selection day is about Mohan Kumar, a father who believes that his sons, Radha and Manju will one day become either
...more
Archit Ojha
Mar 18, 2018 marked it as to-read
I NEED TO READ THIS SOON!

This is like that recipe you are so sure of working that it salivates your mouth even before putting it in the oven.

Before the summer is over, I should get my hands on this work of Arvind Adiga for certain.
Girish
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: dsc-south-asian
Aravind Adiga is an author who knocks on the door of an Indian at 2 am and present them as they open it disoriented, with bad hair, in their (probably torn) nightclothes without any makeup. Not the best way to present - but then there is an element of honesty in it.

"..what we Indians want in literature, at least the kind written in English, is not literature at all but flattery. We want to see ourselves depicted as soulful, sensitive, profound, valorous, wounded, tolerant and funny beings. All
...more
Mike
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Adiga, the 2008 Man Booker Prize winner, centres his latest novel around the cult of cricket in the nation of India. When the game was first introduced to the country, the Indians despised it. Now it has a powerful hold on millions of lives.

It is this power that causes upheavals for the various male characters in the book. At its centre is Manju, the younger brother of a talented teenage batsman called Radha Kumar. Unfortunately for Radha, Manju appears to have even more talent for the game.

Th
...more
Blaine DeSantis
The word I would use to describe this book is Disappointing. I have enjoyed Adiga's books in the past but this one just does not measure up. While the book allegedly is about Selection Day in the sport of cricket in India, it appears to really be a story about sexual identity, with the antagonist being a truly horrible person named Javed, whose sole purpose in life is to tempt the protagonist Manju away from Cricket, his family and draw him into a gay relationship. The first part of the book is ...more
Mandy
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
I very much enjoyed Adiga’s previous novels, The White Tiger and Last Man in Tower. They seemed to open up India to me in a compelling and inclusive way. But this one, unfortunately I found more problematic. The story of two brothers with exceptional cricketing skill urged on by their ambitious father is a compelling enough story in itself, but I found the characters hard to relate to. The father in particular seemed a stereotype and his foibles and frailties simply laughable rather than empathe ...more
Kirtida Gautam
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"What we Indians want in literature, at least the kind written in English is not literature at all, but flattery. We want to see ourselves depicted as soulful, sensitive, profound, valorous, wounded, tolerant, and funny beings. All that Jhumpa Lahiri stuff. But the truth is, we are absolutely nothing of that kind. We are animals of the jungle, who will eat our neighbor's children in five minutes, and our own in ten."
Pg 238.

Why I like Aravind Adiga-- he doesn't write the flattery.
Few of my fav
...more
Ashish
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Can barely scrape the bottom of the barrel and make it a 2.5.

I've read all the books that Adiga has written and I have generally liked all of them, some more than the other. He has a way of diving into the heart of darkness of human nature and writes about the grim realities of an ever-evolving Indian society. However, he seems to have failed miserably in this book.

The book is about the national obsession with cricket and follows the life of two brothers who are both competing to ge
...more
Stephen
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
novel based in bombay and using the background of cricket its about sibling relationships and those with their cricket mad father and relationships with others as hint of homosexuality with one of the other cricketers.
Renita D'Silva
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Poignant, beautiful. A coming of age story which covers competitive cricket, the intense bond - part rivalry, part love - between siblings, dysfunctional families, love, loss and ambition.
Pallavi
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Even though, on a first glance, Aravind Adiga’s “Selection Day” represents the Cricket Mania in India, it is much deeper than just Cricket. I, personally do not like cricket. And was hoping to hate this book where as I found the story too interesting to quit even though there was cricket in it.
Pressurized by the Father, Radha and Manju, dreams to become cricketers. The father who constantly bullies and abuses their sons, has made a contract with God that his son’s will be the best and seco
...more
Pechi
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
A brilliant chronicler of the contemporary Indian society, Aravind Adiga, whose lacerating stories never fail to make an impact, has chosen India's national obsession - cricket as his shovel this time to excavate a fresh batch of unsettling truths that we've chosen so far to blissfully ignore. His previous novel - The Last Man in Tower was a shocking mirror of the Indian middle-class, a tale that might have been easily true, that reflected the horrifying lengths to which greed could drive humans ...more
Andrew Howdle
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My recently bought copy of the book carries a sticker, "A Netflix Original Series". Original the series is: it bears no resemblance to the novel whatsoever! Where the series offers a romanticised story and a romantic view of India, Adiga's novel is caustic, humorous, realistic. There seems to be a lot of confusion about this novel. Is it about cricket? Is it about being gay? In fact, Selection Day isn't about either: it is a novel about passion and how passion manipulates people. The central cha ...more
Leah
The Gentleman's Game...
“India: A country said to have two real religions – cinema and cricket.”

Two brothers are being groomed by their father to become the greatest cricketers in India. Radha, the elder, with his film-star looks and love of the game, is the better of the two, and it's accepted that he will be the star. But as they grow up, Radha's skill diminishes, just a little, but enough for him to be eclipsed by the younger Manju, whose attitude to the game is more ambivalent. Their mother having disappe/>
...more
Selva Subramanian
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
A good book, but it could have been better. In the same mould as the author's The White Tiger, only this lacks the sledgehammer effect of TWT. The story is that of two brothers who hail from a slum in Mumbai, both teenagers, both gifted cricketers, and what the Indian selection system does with them. I always write in many of my reviews that a book could have been trimmed by say 50-100 pages, but only with this novel, I thought, the story could have had more heft with a 50 more pages or a bit mo ...more
Anirvan Ghosh
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
When you're reading an Arvind Adiga book you know that the characters are going to be close to the Indian reality, in which hundreds of millions live. And that is a life of hard work and low wages, in towns with poor infrastructure. Most people lose hope of ever breaking out of that vicious circle.

In his first, brilliant novel 'White Tiger' Adiga created a protagonist who was determined to succeed despite his difficult circumstances, and as it turned out, at any cost. His second nove
...more
Val
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-extra
I'm not sure what tennis coach and father of champion siblings, Richard Williams, thinks about this book, but I loved it. The ambitious father in this book is Mohan Kumar, who trains his sons Radha and Manju to be the best and second-best batsmen in the world (or close to it, the best in the Mumbai school cricket league) using a mixture of determination, superstition and rituals, and presumably quite a lot of ability.
This is Aravind Adiga, so we should know the novel is going to be satiric
...more
Trevor
Sep 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Usually I don't write reviews of books that I do not enjoy, but this is an exception.

This book was awful, with no redeeming features, it was:

1) Poorly structured
2) Had characters who were not properly fleshed out
3) Verbose
4) Homophobic
5) Unrealistic dialoge - even considering the main characters were teenage boys.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review.

Sorin Hadârcă
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: india, asia
Unlike the White Tiger and the Last Man in Tower, this new novel is clumsy. At times it's projected as Cain vs. Abel story, then as that of a boy resisting his homosexuality. Setting a man free in modern Bombay is a captivating undertone, but its ending is lose.
Vamshi Ballikonda
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janakiraman TK
Jan 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
How was my reading experience?
It was like having a bad but expensive coffee. Having purchased an expensive coffee you would feel obliged to have that coffee, sometimes irrespective of how bad it tastes. But once you finish drinking it, it leaves such a bad taste that you feel you should have thrown it after the first sip. That's exactly my experience with the book.

What was the book about?
Barely few pages into the book I felt the author has decided to show India, its socie
...more
Sreeraag Mohan
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is disappointing to see bullshit like One Indian Girl gathering a media storm when real gems of Indian literature, like Aravind Adiga's Selection Day go unnoticed. Adiga can rightfully claim the throne of the king of modern Indian fiction, with his satirical novels on the 21st century Indian society always managing to strike a chord with me. My review might be heavily biased as Adiga's first book, The White Tiger, made me like what this man had to say, Last Man In Tower made me in love with his writing.

Select
...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 debut novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize for fiction in 2008. Its release was followed by a ...more
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“O, I do read Indian novels sometimes. But you know, Ms Rupinder, what we Indians want in literature, at least the kind written in English, is not literature at all, but flattery. We want to see ourselves depicted as soulful, sensitive, profound, valorous, wounded, tolerant and funny beings. All that Jhumpa Lahiri stuff. But the truth is, we are absolutely nothing of that kind. What are we, then, Ms Rupinder? We are animals of the jungle, who will eat our neighbour's children in five minutes, and our own in ten. Keep this in mind before you do any business in this country.” 2 likes
“Revenge is the capitalism of the poor: conserve the original wound, defer immediate gratification, fatten the first insult with new insults, invest and reinvest spite, and ke waiting for the perfect moment to strike back.” 0 likes
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