Between the Assassinations

A Novel in Stories

Between the Assassinations

Read by: Harsh Nayyar
From the New York Times-bestselling winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008 -- a powerful and striking new collection

Welcome to Kittur, India. 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 indication, Kittur is an extraordinary crossroads of the brightest minds and the poorest morals, the up-and-coming and the downtrodden, and of an India that modern literature has rarely addressed.

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.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9780743597210 | 
  • June 2009
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga includes discussion questions and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Discussion Questions for Between the Assassinations

1) The symbols of each major religion act “like signposts to identify the three religions of the town to voyagers from the ocean (p.39).”  Do you think these symbols act as a warning to visitors or are they welcoming signs of the diversity of Kittur?  Discuss the relationships these three world religions have with each other within the city and the tensions they cause among its inhabitants.

2) Shankara is from one of the richest families in town, yet he is ashamed of his half-Hoyka background and resents his driver for being a full Brahmin. Jamayya has no issue working for another Brahmin, but refuses to share a room with another servant, because that servant is of a lower caste. In what ways do the all characters in the book struggle with the issues of caste and class in Indian society? How do characters use caste and class to define themselves and their relationships with others?

3) Discuss how the travel guide descriptions of Kittur embellis see more

More Books from this Author

Selection Day
The White Tiger

About the Author

Aravind Adiga
Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga was born in India in 1974 and attended Columbia and Oxford universities. He is the author of Selection Day, the Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger, and the story collection Between the Assassinations. He lives in Mumbai, India.