What they said about

‘At last - a new and brilliantly original novel from India.’
— V S Naipaul

‘The Alchemy of Desire puts Tarun in the front rank of Indian novelists. I am inclined to agree with Naipaul: his book is a masterpiece.’
— Khushwant Singh

‘One of the most attractive Indian writers in English of his generation, he writes with a great deal of raw energy, inventively employing images which are at once sad, haunting, horrendously comic and beautiful.’
— Times Literary Supplement

A muscular, deeply incisive and deathly funny comment on twenty-first century India, The Story of My Assassins is a multi-layered novel that skillfully slashes through the subcontinent’s dubious spiritual serenity to lay bare every crippling divide of language, wealth and class. Trawling life and death in the dark underside, it inquires into the inexorable codes of power and wealth that propel societies. A triumph of disparate voices, unbearable realities, and impossible conundrums, this is a book that will forever change the way we look at the world around us.



"An instant classic...far, far better than anything I've ever read by an Indian author." - Altaf Tyrewala, novelist
"Intrepidly conceived and ingeniously executed, The Story of My Assassins casts an intimate, often humorous, but always unflinching, eye at the squalor of modernizing India. 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 & critic
"Few English novels from India are as finely textured and true-to-life as Assassins...Tejpal knows India's elite and underclass alike, and he weaves their stories together seamlessly...The reader is seduced by the novel's narrative voice, a smart, acerbic voice for a tough, edgy story...Tejpal is a marvellously observant writer...The novel is full of laugh-out-loud lines...The truth, revealed at the end, makes for a thoroughly satisfying read...Assassins does not just entertain. It also enlightens...set to be the definitive Great Delhi Novel of our times." - in Outlook, Manjushree Thapa, author and critic

"Without doubt the best Indian book written in English. Driven in turn by stunning prose and a deep empathy with struggling India, this novel makes Aravinda Adiga’s Booker winning novel look dipped in treacle. This magnificent tome will be the India testament for many many years." - Binoo John, author and critic

"Make way Messrs Vikas Swaroop and Aravinda Adiga for the definitive story of the Indian underbelly...a wonderful ability to spin a yarn in lyrical prose...a throughly enjoyable excellent novel." - Indian Express

"A devastating tale about political power and its malignity...a lesson in geography that takes in its sweep huge swathes of the underbelly of India...its not a pretty India story...with his ferocious new book..with his compelling writing Tejpal ensures, hopefully, that Indian exotica will never sell" - Financial Express

"This is a book of multiple roads to brutality, of multiple explanations for the central event. Policemen, crooks, village elders, journalists, venture capitalists, businessmen, lawyers, street children, whores – no one escapes Tejpal’s sharp pen which he sometimes uses like a caricaturist, at other times like a poet...The generation of Vikram Seth, Rushdie, Amitava Ghosh, Rohinton Mistry, Arundhati Roy is still writing and at the top of its form. But the literary equivalent of the cricketing question, “Who after the Fab Four?” continues to be taking on a big theme and finding in it a commentary on India – neither dark nor shining, but merely a world that is what it is – Tejpal has staked a claim to being taken more seriously than most others." - Mail Today

"A story masterly told...The Story of My Assassins is an argument with power...Tejpal is not picnicking in the proverbial Other India...He rewrites the idea of victimhood in an India where the subterranean deceptions of power know no bounds." - India Today
"A superb treatise on contemporary India...Interspersed with dark humour, Assassins is an unnervingly gripping tale on the use and abuse of power in modern-day India...In trying to deconstruct the hierarchy of power it has successfully departed from conventional Indian fiction in English." - Himal

"A complex page-turning plot...a commentary on power, sex, corruption and poverty." - Verve

"This book is a must-read...extraordinary for its portrayal of modern society...shatters any illusions we may harbour of being tolerant and just...weaves an extremely powerful plot and tells it skillfully." - Businessworld

India Unedited
Tejpal rewrites the idea of victimhood in a country where the deceptions of power know no bounds
- S. Prasannarajan
The Ripper of Accepted Notions
In his second novel, Tarun Tejpal brings together the India that lives in the cities and one that survives in villages. Pillage, violence and torture link his two Indias.
- Binoo K. John
A Big-theme Novel on the Violence of our Times
- Suresh Menon