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Between the Assassinations

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  5,240 ratings  ·  539 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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Average rating 3.35  · 
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Nancy Oakes
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ravi Menon
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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Jennifer (aka EM)
Mar 14, 2010 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
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Anna
Jun 24, 2009 rated it liked it
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,
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Aarti
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mark
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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Philip
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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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 ...more
Pechi
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books-ever
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.
Patrice Hoffman
Caste, caste, and more caste.

Review to follow soon...
❄️ Propertea Of Frostea ❄️ Bitter SnoBerry ❄
Sep 04, 2012 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
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Shane
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Robert
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-reads
Definitely one of the most entertaining and engrossing audiobooks that have livened up my daily commute in the last year. I also loved "The White Tiger" when I read it, but I feel this book provides even more bang-for-the-buck with a relentlessly entertaining series of short stories that work well for someone such as myself looking to digest the material a half-an-hour on the 403 at a time.

Mr. Aravind is a talented storyteller and creator of memorable characters, and the narration by Mr. Nayyar
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Laura
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Faroukh Naseem
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been thinking a lot about this book and I have to say it very much could be the perfect sampler to the Raw experience of Indian Lit.
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#theguywiththebookreview presents Between The Assassinations by Aravind Adiga.
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The first book I read by Adiga was the very much critically acclaimed and Man Booker Prize Winner, The White Tiger.
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Surprisingly this book was actually written by Adiga before that one but published later.
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Between The Assassinations is a collection of short stories based in Kittur,
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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
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Bjorn
Apr 24, 2013 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
Vicky "phenkos"
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a 5-star read! In this book Adiga skilfully manages to convey a sense of the place and its people not by engaging in sociological analysis or selecting average human types but rather by fixing his gaze on the unusual, the out-of-the-ordinary and the unexpected.

The book is a collection of short stories centred around the Indian town of Kittur. Each story is about a different character, which initially creates a sense of disconnection; however as you read on you realise that the town
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Brian Wadman
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The protagonist of this book is Kittur and to a larger degree it is India - in all its madness and incomprehensibility. Your heart breaks to see the loss of innocence, the corruption of the good and the callousness of the hardened. We are all humans, aren't we? Thrown into the bin are the ideals of humanism (for a time) as here we are introduced to reality. Wake up!! Is it just India that is so charmingly troubled?

The stories come off the page appearing before your eyes as if you were witnessing
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Aravind
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Ray
Nov 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I liked this book - a gentle meander through a ictional Indian town. Through a series of short it provided an insight into daily life.

Well worth a read
Joshua Buhs
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
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,
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Thomas
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Gimmicks sometimes work and Aravind Adiga's attractive and witty structuring of his short story collection Between the Assassinations does brighten up and bring cohesion to what is otherwise not an exceptional collection of tales. As the title suggests, Adiga regales us with stories that occur between two political assassinations in (approx.) 1980s India, in the city of Kittur. This fictional metropolis is brought to life between the stories with short, travel guide extracts that, with cutting ...more
Mary Mahoney
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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Amul Saha
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
After having read a series of good non-Fiction books, I felt a desire to read good work of Fiction. Started with the work of a best-selling Indian author. Few chapters into the book a hackneyed Dan Brownesque adventure left me wanting for something else. That is when Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga happened. Knowing that Mr Adiga is a highly acclaimed author, I picked up the book without going through the usual synopsis route, hoping that I do not get disappointed second time too ...more
Simon Scotting
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You know what the biggest difference is, between being rich and being like us? The rich can make mistakes again and again. We make only one mistake and that's it for us." George D'Souza, mosquito exterminator.

Not really short stories, more like episodes in the lives of residents of Kittur (fictional Indian town). I loved Adiga's previous novel "The White Tiger", and I wanted more. This collection of characters and glimpses into lives was fascinating. It was an extended look into the "Darkness"
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Dan
Sep 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Neha
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Rob Cheney
Apr 26, 2013 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 ...more
Ken
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...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 ...more