Monday, June 8, 2009

Aravind Adiga - Take 2

A quick note for those who liked The White Tiger: Aravind Adiga's second book 'Between the Assassinations' was released this Sunday. I have only read the first 25 pages so far, but thought I could share my first impressions.

The setting for Between the Assassinations is familiar - a dusty little south-western town called Kittur, with a ramshackle railway station; a little temple which is the 'first place everyone new goes to, because it is so close to the station'; no discernible sense of modernity; and an undercurrent of a disquietingly changing world.

What is different from The White Tiger is this: While Tiger was defiantly non-sentimental, I have already felt a sense of more traditional morality underlying Assassinations. Maybe that will change through the course of the rest of the book, but the story of illiterate chai-wallah - coolie Ziauddin (am I remembering the name right?) ends very differently than what I would have expected of Adiga. The language is also a little less tight than that of Balram Halwai, and that is something I certainly miss.

Fingers crossed for what I am going to find in the rest of the book. I hope it leans more towards Tiger than not though, to be honest.

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