A twelve-year-old boy named Ziauddin, a gofer at a tea shop near the railway station, is enticed into wrongdoing because a fair-skinned stranger treats him with dignity and warmth. George D'Souza, a mosquito-repellent sprayer, elevates himself to gardener and then chauffeur to the lovely, young Mrs. Gomes, and then loses it all when he attempts to be something more. A little girl's first act of love for her father is to beg on the street for money to support his drug habit. A privileged schoolboy sets off an explosive in a Jesuit-school classroom in protest against casteism. And the loneliest member of the Marxist-Maoist Party of India falls in love with the one young woman, in the poorest part of town, whom he cannot afford to wed.
A blinding, brilliant, and brave mosaic of Indian life as it is lived in a place called Kittur, Between the Assassinations, with all the humor, sympathy, and unflinching candor of The White Tiger, showcases the most beloved aspects of Aravind Adiga's writing to brilliant effect and enlarges our understanding of the world we live in today.
©2009 Aravind Adiga; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster
"As a portrait of India, it's far richer and more nuanced [than The White Tiger], encompassing the perspectives of Muslims, Hindus and Christians; rich and poor; young and old; upper caste and lower. ... Indians may not always like what Adiga has to say, but their future depends on his freedom to keep saying it." (Newsweek)
"With richly detailed descriptions of life in Kittur, from the cart puller to the journalist to the scion of the town's richest man, Adiga achieves in a dozen pages what many novels fail to do in hundreds: convincingly render individual desire, disappointment and survival. ... In many ways, the vignettes in Between the Assassinations flesh out the question at the heart of The White Tiger: Where is the justice in one man ruling another simply though the accident of his birth? (San Francisco Chronicle)
"The hearts of his characters are where Adiga reveals the greatest depth and breadth, spanning the ages from youth to late maturity. ... Adiga creates these, and other distinctive characters, with the ease of a god, and deftly tells their sometimes comical, often tragic stories against the backdrop of an often corrupt, and sometimes lovely South Asian world." (Dallas Morning News)
Like Edwin, I purchased this book due to the sale price. Not something I'd recommend doing because you certainly get what you pay for. Not much. I've just finished the first half of the audiobook and doubt I shall finish it (unless extremely hard-pressed). There -is- a plot, it's just the same underlying one in all of the short stories. On the side of the main review, however, this plot does open up my viewpoint to things I mostly have not considered due to lack of exposure in the past, so mild kudos to that, but it need not be dragged out so long. Unless you have a serious thing for India, pass this one by.
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