From Aravind Adiga, the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The White Tiger, a “ferociously brilliant” (Slate) novel about two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised by their crazy, obsessive father to be star cricket players that “offers the sound of a serious and nervy writer working at the top of his form” (The New York Times).
Manjunath Kumar is fourteen and living in a slum in Mumbai. He knows he is good at cricket—if not as good as his older brother, Radha. He knows that he fears and resents his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented sibling, and is fascinated by curious scientific facts and the world of CSI. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn’t know. Sometimes it even seems as though everyone has a clear idea of who Manju should be, except Manju himself. When Manju meets Radha’s great rival, a mysterious Muslim boy privileged and confident in all the ways Manju is not, everything in Manju’s world begins to change, and he is faced by decisions that will challenge his sense of self and of the world around him.
Filled with unforgettable characters from across India’s social strata—the old scout everyone calls Tommy Sir; Anand Mehta, the big-dreaming investor; Sofia, a wealthy, beautiful girl and the boys’ biggest fan—Selection Day “brings a family, a city, and an entire country to scabrous and antic life” (Chicago Tribune).
Aravind Adiga’s “voice is so exuberant, his plotting so jaunty, that the sadness of this story feels as though it is accumulating just outside our peripheral vision” (The Washington Post). It is, simply, “extraordinary” (The Atlantic).
“Selection Day, Mr. Adiga’s third novel, supplies further proof that his Booker Prize, won for The White Tiger in 2008, was no fluke. He is not merely a confident storyteller but also a thinker, a skeptic, a wily entertainer, a thorn in the side of orthodoxy and cant… Powerful… Soulful… What this novel offers is the sound of a serious and nervy writer working at near the top of his form. Like a star cricket batter, Mr. Adiga stands and delivers, as if for days.” (Dwight Garner, New York Times)
“The best novel I read this year… In its primal triangle of rival brothers and a maniacal father, hell-bent on success in cricket in India, Adiga grips the passions while painting an extraordinary panorama of contemporary sports, greed, celebrity, and mundanity. As a literary master, Adiga has only advanced in his art since his Booker Prize-winning The White Tiger.” (Mark Greif, The Atlantic)
“Adiga seems boundlessly gifted once again. He makes beautiful sentences; creates wonderfully eccentric, original characters; and moves his plot along at a brisk pace. There’s energy and wit on every page… Adiga superbly captures the intimacy between the two brothers, as they bicker, tease and protect each other… as Adiga explores themes of ambition, failure, homophobia and threats to freedom — whether on a personal or national level — he has produced a nearly flawless novel, and further proof that he is among our finest contemporary novelists.” (Carmela Ciuraru, The San Francisco Chronicle)
“Adiga’s wit and raw sympathy will carry uninitiated readers beyond their ignorance of cricket…Adiga’s paragraphs bounce along like a ball hit hard down a dirt street. One gets the general direction, but the vectors of his story can change at any moment as we chase after these characters…Selection Day evolves into a bittersweet reflection on the limits of what we can select. Choice — that most enticing Western ideal — does not thrive everywhere equally…Adiga’s voice is so exuberant, his plotting so jaunty, that the sadness of this story feels as though it is accumulating just outside our peripheral vision.” (Ron Charles, The Washington Post)
“A compelling tale of cricket and corruption… A finely told, often moving, and intelligent novel… Adiga has grown in his art since his Booker prizewinning debut, The White Tiger.” (The Guardian)
“Adiga is an exceptionally talented novelist, and the subtlety with which he presents the battle between India’s aspirants and its left-behind poor is exceptional.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“Selection Day is, by any judgment, top-rate fiction from a young master… Adiga’s plot is gripping.” (The Times (UK))
“An engrossing and nuanced coming-of-age novel… Adiga has succeeded in composing a powerful individual story that, at the same time, does justice to life’s (and India’s) great indeterminacies.”–The Sunday Times (UK) (Sunday Times (UK))
“Sensually told and unpredictably plotted… Adiga’s prose has a bustling energy that makes it highly readable.” (The Financial Times (UK))
“A captivating and sensitive coming-of-age story that tackles various new themes: the confounding nature of sexuality; the darkness that accompanies excellence and achievement… Adiga’s characters, like his settings, are getting more complex with each book, and this complexity makes his indictment of the contemporary world all the more urgent and convincing.” (Times Literary Supplement (UK))