Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Amnesty” as Want to Read:
Amnesty
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Amnesty

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  47 reviews
A riveting, suspenseful, and exuberant novel from the bestselling, Man Booker Prize–winning author of The White Tiger and Selection Day about a young illegal immigrant who must decide whether to report crucial information about a murder—and thereby risk deportation.

Danny—formerly Dhananjaya Rajaratnam—is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, Australia, denied refugee status
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Scribner
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  83 ratings  ·  47 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Amnesty
Fran
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's all about rules, so says Dhananjaya "Danny" Rajaratnam, an illegal immigrant from Sri Lanka. "Many of us flee chaos to come here. Aussies are an optimistic and methodical people...Understanding the concept of the rule that cannot be broken is vital to adjusting here." "Even before he got to Australia, Danny was practicing becoming Australian...[Danny must] eliminate the tics that Tamils bring to their English."

Securing a student visa for an overpriced "ripoff" of a university in Australia,
...more
Dan
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Amnesty, Aravind Adiga tells the story of Dhananjaya Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan Tamil from Batticaloa, the most beautiful and mysterious city on the Sri Lankan coast, famous for its magical lagoon with its singing fish. Danny returns to Batticaloa after working for a year as a motel clerk in Dubai — wearing a suit to work! — and finds himself suspected and tortured by local police for involvement in the Tamil Tigers. Danny hops a flight to Sydney on a student visa, decides that diploma mill for ...more
Elle Rudy
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this one. Certainly the premise is enticing: an undocumented immigrant from Sri Lanka currently living in Australia is a potential witness in a violent crime. This isn’t just a possibility, but a reality for many from undocumented communities all over the world. Fear of deportation or imprisonment is so great that they are wary to go to the authorities when they themselves are victims of crimes, and therefore are more likely to be victims than ...more
Andrea
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
For four years young Sri Lankan man Danny Rajaratnam has lived an invisible life in Sydney as an illegal immigrant. He's suppressed his Tamil accent to achieve something that sounds - while not exactly Australian - quite neutral, he's paid to have golden highlights in his hair, he takes care to heed the particular instructions of his housecleaning clients to avoid confrontation and he always travels with a validated ticket on public transport.

Easiest thing in the world, becoming invisible to
...more
Calzean
Amnesty takes a very original take on the life of an "illegal". The narrative follows Danny, a young Sri Lankan who deliberately overstayed his visa and now resides in Sydney as invisibly as he can. He works as a cash in hand cleaner. One of his clients is murdered and he thinks he knows who is the murderer. His quandary is whether to talk to the police, a big no no for a non-person, or to live with his conscious.
His observations on Australians and racism, religion and the law is scarily
...more
Jill
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
“Easiest thing in the world, becoming invisible to white people who don’t see you anyway; but the hardest thing is becoming invisible to brown people, who will see you no matter what.”

Sri Lankan Dhananjaya Rajaratnum—aka Danny—arrived in Australia by plane with a visa stamped on his passport to attend a dodgy college. Rather than play by the unstated but understood rules, he allowed his student visa to expire, placing him in no-man’s land. Since leaving the school, he has successfully stayed
...more
Paige
Danny, a young adult in his twenties from Sri Lanka, has been living in Australia illegally for four years as a cleaner. Soon into the novel, one of the residents that he cleaned for is killed. Danny might have an idea of what could have happened, but he internally struggles with the responsibility of this knowledge since the decision to help with the murder case could get him deported.
The novel takes place throughout this one day in Danny's life.

"But whoever did it, and for whatever reason,
...more
Kasa Cotugno
Aravind Adiga is a name that should be better known. His novels offer up to the minute examinations of the current world view from the point of view of what he refers to as southern Asians, and in this case, the plight and moral dilemma of a young Sri Lankan Tamil expat trying to gain a visa in Australia. With all that is happening in the United States these days regarding potential immigrants who have something to contribute and being denied access or hunted down and deported, it is eyeopening ...more
Bandit
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For international reading purposes this was ideal. A book by an Indian author, set in Australia with a plot revolving around a Sri Lankan immigrant. Plus I’m always interested in what sort of authors win Booker Prize and this one did, albeit for previous work. Amnesty is a book that took 5 years to complete and its deceptively slim volume conceals a very serious meditation on the subject of immigration and social responsibilities. It is, in general, a fascinating question…What does a society owe ...more
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not quite sure how to review this book, so if you'll indulge me, I'll just talk about my own experience instead of "what this book is."

Reading the synopsis, at first I expected Amnesty to be this fast-paced, action-packed thing; and upon reading it, I was surprised to see it's actually pretty slow-paced. This book is a meditation. It's a continuous back-and-forth.

Aravind Adiga's writing style (this is my first time with it, so I haven't read his Booker-winning novel) is very textured.. a
...more
Lia (_Lia_Reads_)
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, arc
Thanks to Scribner for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a funky little book that I have kept thinking about since I finished it. The story follows Danny, an illegal immigrant living in Sydney. To make his living, he takes under the table house cleaning jobs in the apartments of wealthy Australians. The book takes place over one day, during which he hears about the murder of one of his former clients and suspects her lover (and another client of his) is involved.
...more
Lilisa
A young illegal Sri Lankan immigrant in Sydney has a dilemma - should he make a call to the police about key information he has about a murder? What will it do to his future? What should he do - right or wrong? This is the story of Danny - who cleans homes for a living. Having no papers, no status, no nothing in the city of Sydney, he lives his life furtively, secretly, and is taken advantage of by his employer. But he longs to belong, he works hard, lives in a grocery storeroom, does a great ...more
Taunya Miller
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book from Scribner, free of charge, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Danny is an illegal immigrant from Sri Lanka. He arrived in Sydney with a student visa. However, after making a foolish decision to drop out of college and to not return home, he is now trying his best to be invisible. He has established himself as a cleaner, as well as a stocker in the small grocery store in which he lives. He has a girlfriend, Sonja, who does not know that he's illegal.

Danny has
...more
Kimberly
Feb 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
The premise of this book was enticing. Danny, a house cleaner and illegal immigrant in Australia from Sri Lanka, has information about a murdered woman and her lover. He must decide whether to come forward with what he knows and risk deportation or stay stay silent and let a murderer go unpunished.

The novel covers the span of only a few hours on the day following the murder of Danny’s client. At under 300 pages, the novel is short, but it’s not a quick read. Largely told through Danny’s stream
...more
Reading Mama
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Danny is an illegal immigrant living in Sydney, Australia. He has been denied refugee status, and for the last three years, he has been working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, and trying to create a new identity for himself. When one of his female clients is murdered, Danny has some crucial information, but here is the conflict: if he comes forward, he risks deportation but if he says nothing, justice goes undone. ***What would you do in Danny's situation?*** This was an ...more
Elaine
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thank you to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of Amnesty.

This is the first book I've read by the author so I was excited when my request was approved.

The premise of the plot could not be more timely in our current political climate:

Danny, a humble house cleaner in Australia, has information about one of his clients, a woman he believes was murdered by her lover.

But, to speak up and bring this man to justice would cause him grave consequences because he is not legal.

What is an illegal but honest
...more
Lauren
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
This is a very peculiar, weird little book. Adiga is an Indian writer whose debut novel The White Tiger won him the Man Booker Prize and comparisons to Mohsin Hamid and other modern Indian authors. This feels like a drastic departure from that grand political and social commentary - take all of the weirdness of The White Tiger and multiply it by a thousand, and you'll have Amnesty.

In Amnesty, Adiga writes about a Tamil man—Dhananjaya Rajaratnam, who goes by Danny—living as an "illegal"
...more
Liz
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Visit my book blog https://cavebookreviews.blogspot.com/

Adiga's protagonist in AMNESTY is Dhananjaya Rajaratnam from Sri Lanka. Dhananjaya goes by the name Danny. For the past three years, he has lived in Sydney, Australia. Danny paid a large sum of money (most of the money came from his father's savings) to enroll in a dodgy college that recruited in Sri Lanka.Danny lasted three weeks at the college; he met up with a Japanese Brazilian guy named Abe and started working with him at odd jobs
...more
Britt
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of contemporary adult fiction
Danny is an undocumented immigrant from Sri Lanka living in Australia. As he's undocumented, he works as a cleaner and gets paid under the table. One day, he is contacted by the police as one of his clients had been murdered. Danny realizes that he likely knows who the murderer is, but has to decide whether or not to share that information with the police. If he does talk to the police, his undocumented status will likely be discovered and he would likely be deported.

This book spans one day in
...more
Lisa Carter
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This day-in-the life story begins with a whimsical view of Australia told from the perspective of Dhananjaya Rajaratnam, an illegal immigrant from Sri Lanka. A housekeeper, Danny refers to himself as an astronaut because of the vacuum he carries on his back, is proud of his new bleach-blond hairdo, detests the stink of broccoli, and phones his girlfriend in a panic to identify what turns out to be a harmless house spider.

Tension mounts quickly, however, when Danny realizes that a woman across
...more
Trisha
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Danny is an undocumented immigrant in Australia who has possible knowledge about a murder. Does he come forward with the information if it means he could be deported?

All of the action in this novel takes place in one day but that’s all it takes to empathize and fall in love with Danny. He prides himself on his honesty but struggles with the question of whether “a person without rights still has responsibilities”.

We hear Danny’s backstory and dreams via his inner dialogue provided by Adiga’s
...more
Karlie Schaefer
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amnesty by Aravind Adiga is different from any other book I've read, as it was like living inside someone else's head for a day. You know, all the thoughts that bounce around your head all day as you travel around a city...your own worries, concerns, memories, plans, etc., but also all the thoughts you have in reaction to things you see and hear as you go about your day in public.

Taking place in Sydney, Australia, the main character, Danny, is having an internal moral debate over whether or not
...more
Susan
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Danny has been living, illegally, in Australia for 4 years when one of his housecleaning clients is murdered. He thinks he has vital information regarding the killer but fears going to the police and being deported. The story follows him the day after the murder, his internal dialogue regarding whether to call the police, his mental deterioration regarding his illegal status, and his interactions with the possible murderer. The story provided great insight into the day to day concerns of someone ...more
Liz
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
As a fan of Aravind Adiga's books I was excited to get a copy to review, especially as it has been a few years since Selection day was released. I was not disappointed.
It is the story of young Dhananjaya Rajaratnam, Danny, based over 24 hours. Originally from Sri Lanka he came to Australia to go to a dodgy college in the hope of gaining residency. He however drops out of college & becomes an illegal, living in a storeroom over a grocery store in Sydney. He applied for refugee status but this
...more
Mary
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
In “Amnesty,” Indian author Aravind Adiga plunges the reader into one tumultuous day in the life of Dhananjaya “Danny” Rajaratnam, an illegal immigrant from Sri Lanka desperately trying to remain invisible in Sydney, Australia. When he discovers that one of his housecleaning clients has been murdered—and realizes that another of his clients is the probable murderer—Danny must decide whether to contact the police and risk any chance of a future in Australia in order to fulfill what he believes to ...more
Lee
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amnesty is a captivating, emotional, and passionate novel about the struggle to make your life better against overwhelming odds. What do you do when you are unwanted in your homeland but also unwanted in another country? This is the plight of Danny, who is an illegal immigrant in Australia who is originally from Sri Lanka. For Danny, doing the right thing is proving to be very complicated even though he knows exactly what the right thing is. I think the author did a fantastic job of representing ...more
Never Without a Book
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
What an unexpected page turner. Danny as an "illegal" immigrant in Sydney, Australian. He is a house cleaner that lives out of a grocery storeroom and for years Danny tries to blend in with the locals, staying hidden in plain sigh. Well, one day Danny learns that one of his clients was murdered and he believes he knows who the killer is. Without spoiling any details, Adiga, puts you on the edge of your seat. I can’t tell you how many times I yelled at my Kindle as Danny goes through all these ...more
Kristin
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just finished this book and I want to just sit with it for awhile. I feel as though Danny had become a friend I lost when the book ended. The insights into the undocumented immigrant experience along and how Australian history, geography and culture contribute to their particular laws and norms was fascinating for me to read. The choice to have the time markers and the knowledge we are given as to the importance of a certain future time propelled the story forward while the flashbacks of a few ...more
Mainlinebooker
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Man Booker Prize winner Adiga is certainly a writer whose novels are something to watch and sink your teeth into. This particular one couldn't be more timely but set in a different locale than the United States. As a young illegal immigrant in Sydney Australia, he discovers a murder committed by one of his housecleaning clients. However, if he reports it to the police, he runs the risk of being deported and ruining his life. The moral deliberations spiral ,the paranoia escalates, and the ...more
Kathleen Gray
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although this nominally takes place over the course of a single day in Danny's life, it's about so much more. A Sri Lankan Tamil emigre to Australia, he's fallen off the grid of sorts and is living under the radar doing menial jobs when he realizes that Prakash murdered his girlfriend Radha. Does he go to the police with what he knows? Here's the problem- and it's one undocumented people face daily around the world- doing so will bring down Danny's very fragile house of cards. He's hidden in the ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
1,363 followers
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 ...more

Readers also enjoyed

  • Saint X
  • The Other People
  • A Good Neighborhood
  • Writers & Lovers
  • The God Game
  • You Are Not Alone
  • Behind Every Lie
  • The Chestnut Man
  • The New Husband
  • Ghosts of Harvard
  • Quantum (Captain Chase #1)
  • You Let Me In
  • Olive, Again
  • Woman on the Edge
  • Coconut Layer Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #25)
  • A Hundred Suns
  • The Starless Sea
  • The Mountains Sing
See similar books…
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »