Vibrant. Aravind Adiga’s fourteen short stories in the collection titled Between the Assassinations are connected by time and place. All are set between the 1984 assassination of Indira Gandhi and the 1991 assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in the fictional town of Kittur, India. Adiga structures the stories from day one through day seven and begins each with a made-up travel guide description of some area or feature of Kittur. While the travel guide’s blandness fails to attract much interest, Adiga’s description of the locale and the people come to life with clarity and vivid writing. Between the Assassinations tackles politics, corruption, religion, caste, poverty and everyday life in India in a way that left me wanting to read more about interesting characters and their struggles as each story came to an end. If you’re taking a staycation this Summer, consider reading Between the Assassinations as an alternative to traveling to India. You’ll almost hear the sounds and sniff the smells, thanks to Adiga’s fine writing.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)