Based on actual events, The Story of My Assassins tells the story of a journalist who learns that the police have captured five hitmen on their way to kill him. Landing like a bombshell on his comfortable life, just as he's started a steamy affair with a brilliant woman, the news prompts him to launch an urgent investigation into the lives of his aspiring murderers - a ragtag group of street thugs and village waifs - and their mastermind. Who wanted him dead, and why?
But the investigation forces him to reexamine his own life, too - to confront his own notion of himself, his job, and his treatment of the women in his life, as well as his own complex feelings about the country that crafted his would-be killers.
Part thriller and part erotic romance, full of dark humor and knife-edged suspense, The Story of My Assassins is a piercing literary novel that takes us from the lavish, hedonistic palaces of India's elite to its seediest slums. It is a novel of corruption, passion, power, and ambition; of extreme poverty and obscene wealth.
It is an awesome adventure into the heart of today's India.
In [Tarjun J. Tejpal's] latest novel, The Story of My Assassins – a hardboiled account of life on the fringes – he draws on his journalistic background to create a fictional panorama that questions perceptions of victimhood. But this is not a thriller with easy resolutions and clear culprits. Instead, Tejpal creates a naturalistic portrait of a society plagued by abuses of power, poverty and village tensions. (Reviewed by Karen Rigby).
Newseek The Story of My Assassins is a dark, brutal, and yet often funny narration by a journalist of an attempt on his life...The result is a meditation, a commentary, on the convoluted venality of modern India
The Wall Street Journal
Tejpal writes with splendid élan: His novel is a stylish, erudite potboiler that reads like a mix of Alexandre Dumas and India's ancient national epic, the Mahabharata ... exhilarating
New York Journal of Books
Tarun J. Tejpal is brilliant. A master storyteller, he writes with graphic detail so stunning in spots as to make the reader pause for breath.
Starred Review. It is a sweeping indictment of government bureaucracy, a revelation of the layered consequences of revenge, an exposé of the stunning violence visited upon victims of circumstance, and a brazen censure of how technology has quashed imagination - it is also a philosophical treatise on how to live one's life to the fullest.
The Times Literary Supplement
One of the most attractive Indian writers in English of his generation.
Hari Kunzru, author of Gods Without Men, in The Guardian's 'Books of the Year'
Overlooked in the general rush to adore The White Tiger and Slumdog Millionaire. ... with a much richer understanding of the politics of poverty, [The Story of My Assassins] deserves wider attention.
Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Deeply humane, raucously funny, dizzy with social and psychological insight! A masterful account of 21st-century ambition, inequality, and power from one of India's most fearless writers.
Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire
Combining a fierce political imagination with a tender solicitude for the losers of history, it sets a new and formidably high standard in Indian writing in English.
ayantara Sahgal, author of Rich Like Us
For the awesome story it tells and the stunning impact of its prose this is, quite simply, the best Indian novel in English I have ever read.
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