"If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster." --Isaac Asimov

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book review: Between the Assassinations, by Aravind Adiga

Between the AssasinationsBetween the Assasinations by Aravind Adiga
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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 detailed portrait of Kittur, and his characters span a range of generations, caste strata, and occupations. His relentless focus on caste differences and the associated power struggles does get a bit wearying after some time, but not enough to distract from the stories. Overall, an excellent read.

I should note that several years ago, I'd planned to write a novel set in the same time period; the assassinations play a more prominent role in my story, though. One of these days, I'll get it done.
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