Amnesty - Aravind Adiga | Wrapped in Secrets and Haunted by Dilemmas is a Painful Sense of Vulnerability | Book Review

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 Amnesty by Aravind Adiga

In Sydney, Sri Lankan immigrant Dhananjaya Rajaratnam, known to all as Danny. Danny has overstayed his student visa, rendering him illegal. In my mind, he was insane and took that risk.


When I read the beginning of the story, this book brings me to Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is unfamiliar to me. But this book added to my brain some new pieces of information about the country. Amnesty is the second book I read related to India. They (Hollywood people) called them "Brown People". I choose to read this book because the author is Aravind Adiga. He is the author of the famous book, The White Tiger. Although I haven't read The White Tiger, I still don't want to miss the opportunity to read this book. Special thanks to the Pansing Distributor who sent me this book in exchange for an honest review.


Released : 18 February 2020
Genre : Psychological Fiction
Publisher : Picador
Size : 12.8 x 19.6 cm
Format : Paperback
Language : English



Will you find out who the author of the book you're reading is? Honest, I'll never worry about who owns the writing before. For me, if you love to read, you should read anything. Because what you need is the message. Not because of who wrote it.


But after I read Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, I suddenly thought about it.  We should know the writer for a better understanding of the message in the story. Sometimes, the story is a reflection of them. Okay, let's started with the author of Amnesty.



ARAVIND ADIGA

Aravind Adiga is an Indian. He was born in 1974 in Madras. Now Madras is called Chennai. He grew up in Mangalore in the south of India. Now he is a  citizen of Australia. Wow!


He was educated at Columbia University in New York and Magdalen College, Oxford. His articles have appeared in publications such as the New Yorker, the Sunday Times, the Financial Times, and The Times of India. His first novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize for fiction in 2008. Subsequent novels are Last Man in Tower (2011), Selection Day (2016), and Amnesty (2020).


In August 2017, his novel Selection Day (2016) announced that Netflix will be adapting the novel into an original series that was produced in partnership with Anil Kapoor and Anand Tucker. Anil Kapoor is one of my favorite Bollywood actors. Hhaha... He has appeared in several films. Also in my favorite film, Slumdog Millionaire as Prem Kumar in the game show.


Starring in the Selection Day Series are Mohammad Samad, Yash Dholye, Karanvir Malhotra, Rajesh Tailang, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ratna Pathak Shah, Shiv Panditt, Parul Gulati, and Akshay Oberoi, the series premiered on 28 December 2018.


More about the author: Wikipedia of Aravind Adiga.

ARAVIND ADIGA BOOKLIST

  1. The White Tiger
  2. Last Man In Tower
  3. Selection Day
  4. Between The Assassination
  5. Milk, Girl Woman Other, The...




This book has 255 pages. From front to back, the book tells of the activities of a foreign immigrant man in one day. There are so many things that the writer wants to convey or wants to tell to the reader through this structure or style of writing. It was as if we were writing our own diary in 24 hours and we also write the flashback stories that played in our minds while writing. That is the picture of the writing structure in this book.

So, the immigrant man's name is Danny. Danny works as a cleaner. He will clean his client's house every day depending on demands. One of his client's name Radha Thomas has been murdered on that day and Danny believes he knew who kill her. The intense situation made him have a bad feeling and ultimately adds to the unbearable nature of the moral dilemma.


As an illegal immigrant in Australia, if he reports to the police the proof of the cruel crime, he is at risk of deportation.


Other than the moral dilemma story, this book also tells the readers how the immigrants' point of view on life. How do they through life as illegal, as a different background, as a different culture, language, etc.




Through this book, the readers will understand how the immigrants live and feel living in the shadows. There is the desire to be seen. I'm not sure what kind of word I could describe this. Is it the psychology of someone desperate to be somebody? Like Danny wants to be an Australian? (My brain is stuck right here...I can't explain. huhu).


The author shows the readers that the illegals always cooperate like a family even though they are from different countries. For example, on page 65,

"There was no one sitting in front of the Glebe library today. Though Danny knew their names - Lin, the Chinese-Malaysian, and the two Pakistanis, Ibrahim and Razak - he had no way of finding them. That was the agreement. That way, if one got caught, the others were safe."

Also, in the book, we are exposed to marriage life. The moral value of marriage is like Mark and Radha's situation, behavior, attitude, boundaries, and more. Radha's described as dishonest, materialistic, and does not respect the husband. So, in the book, we learned so much about what kind of attitude we should have as a wife. Specifically, as a human.


Here we also think a lot like Danny. Are we going to be selfish people? Or do we agree to increase our self-integrity and be brave to be courageous because it is true? Are we willing to sacrifice our own interests?


A lot. Very much we learn about self-personality and humanity through this story.









The writing style is diary format. There is time to show for the present story. Then there is the title for the flashback story. It's not in chronological order. It's jumping to another story. Sometimes, Danny's thoughts bring readers to his life back in India. Sometimes, Danny's mind brings the readers to his opinion, his feelings, and his emotions. Also, bring readers to another character.


It's quite confusing to me. It's very hard to finish this book at first. It's like watching a very slow movie in the cinema. The story, the moral value, and the message are very good but I think the problem is on me. It felt hard to dive into the character. Especially, Danny. It's like there is no connection between me and Danny. Haha.


I have a friend in Australia that working over there without a permit. Then, I'm trying to connect his story and Danny's situation for a better understanding. But, it's hard. I lost interest in reading this book for a few months. Almost 7 months! I abandoned this book with a bookmark clamped between pages 38 and 39.


Then, when I read another book I felt guilty about Amnesty by Aravind Adiga. I looked at the orange cover and I felt like the book watching me angry as a white tiger! Hahahahaha. The guilty feeling brings me back to The White Tiger author, Aravind Adiga.


In the process of trying to get the mood of the book, finally, I was excited to read this book after I reached page 73 and I got a highly curious feeling about the homicide case that makes Danny's dilemma.


The dilemma,

"But if I tell the Law about him, I also tell the Law about myself" - Page 88

I felt a lot of sympathy at first for Radha who was the victim of murder but the feeling immediately change to, "Well, Radha... You deserved it". Huhu. I don't like Radha's attitude. Prakash and Radha are toxic people.


I was bored a little bit when it's takes so long for Danny arrives at the Clinic when Prakash asked him to come. Need to read almost 40-50 pages to know what happens next after Danny met Prakash.


There also are jokes in the book that didn't make me laugh. Maybe I don't get the joke. It's might be a touch of sarcasm. Except for the comment about the toilet in Australia. I genuinely laugh at Danny.

"...in Australia, the signs say, MALE TOILET, FEMALE TOILET. Danny was still appalled by this. Toilets are neither male nor female. A toilet doesn't have a cock, does it?" - Page 116.

This is funny and makes sense... hahahhaa. 


In conclusion, I have no consistent mood while reading this book. Sometimes I felt bored, sometimes I enjoyed it, sometimes I got goosebumps, especially at the moment the police called Danny about the murder. I think the reader who loves The White Tiger will have the same feeling about this book. This book is very diaspora literature. Not really for me but I'm glad I learned much from this book about immigrants and I am traveling to Australia from the character's point of view.


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