SE­LEC­TION DAY by Aravind Adiga, Macmil­lan.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - BOOKS - JB

Some boys rise, some boys fall. That’s the mantra of tal­ent-scout Tommy Sir, who scours the cricket fields of Mum­bai each year for school­boy re­cruits for the adult teams. His eye falls on teenage broth­ers liv­ing in the slums with their cricket-ob­sessed bully of a fa­ther who’s des­per­ate for one, or both, to be­came “a Young Lion... the next Sachin”. Radha, the eldest and his fa­ther’s favourite, has the skill, style and looks of a prime con­tender but it’s young Manju the novel fo­cuses on, a boy of huge po­ten­tial but deep doubts, un­sure whether he wants to be a cricket star or a sci­en­tist; who likes girls but is drawn to his brother’s chief ri­val, a gay, mid­dle-class Mus­lim. The story of the boys’ rises and falls is also a story of mod­ern In­dia, which Adiga de­scribes as hav­ing vaulted straight from pot­holed roads to post-cap­i­tal­ist deca­dence.

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