“Spine chilling … written with flair and clear-eyed acidity.”
— The New Yorker
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.
""[A] complex, dark, exhilarating novel ... Tejpal avoids cliches to render the tragedy, comedy, colour and violence of modern India better than anything else I have read in my three years as correspondent here."" —The Guardian
""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 ..."" —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
“Clever … inventive … In the profoundest way, Tarun Tejpal writes for India.” —V.S. Naipaul, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
""Tejpal’s masterful newest...is an epic tale of modern-day India and its labyrinthine social and political machinations."" —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“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.” —Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
""Takes us into the unexplored depths of Indian life ... brilliantly evoked."" —The Independent
""A gripping exploration of the country's underworld ... leaves us mulling over the gnarled and vibrant tapestry of modern-day India."" —Mother Jones
""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."" —Newsweek
“One of the most attractive Indian writers in English of his generation.” —The Times Literary Supplement
“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.” —Hari Kunzru, author of Gods Without Men, in The Guardian’s ‘Books of the Year’
“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.” —Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire
“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.” —Nayantara Sahgal, author of Rich Like Us
""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."" —New York Journal of Books
""Aims to break from the old ways of thinking about India in the hope of portraying its society in all its vastness, complexities and contradictions."" — New Statesman
""The Story of My Assassins, as ethical as it is entertaining, reminds us how humane, how necessary, realist fiction can be."" —Japan Times
""Mystery, mayhem and fast-paced humor set against India's sprawling slouch towards modernization."" —The Denver Post
""Rich, empathetic ... it's the most satisfyingly dense, Dickensian read for me this year."" —Seattle Weekly
“The novel consistently grasps the reader’s attention... touches on greatness.” —The Financial Times