The In-Between World of Vikram Lall (2020)

The In-Between World of Vikram Lall M.G. Vassanji The In Between World of Vikram Lall Vikram Lall comes of age in s Kenya at the same time that the colony is struggling towards independence Against the unsettling backdrop of Mau Mau violence Vic and his sister Deepa the grandchi
  • Title: The In-Between World of Vikram Lall
  • Author: M.G. Vassanji
  • ISBN: 9781400076567
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Paperback
The In-Between World of Vikram Lall M.G. Vassanji Vikram Lall comes of age in 1950s Kenya, at the same time that the colony is struggling towards independence Against the unsettling backdrop of Mau Mau violence, Vic and his sister Deepa, the grandchildren of an Indian railroad worker, search for their place in a world sharply divided between Kenyans and the British We follow Vic from a changing Africa in the fifties, toVikram Lall comes of age in 1950s Kenya, at the same time that the colony is struggling towards independence Against the unsettling backdrop of Mau Mau violence, Vic and his sister Deepa, the grandchildren of an Indian railroad worker, search for their place in a world sharply divided between Kenyans and the British We follow Vic from a changing Africa in the fifties, to the hope of the sixties, and through the corruption and fear of the seventies and eighties Hauntingly told in the voice of the now exiled Vic, The In Between World of Vikram Lall is an acute and bittersweet novel of identity and family, of lost love and abiding friendship, and of the insidious legacy of the British Empire.
The In-Between World of Vikram Lall M.G. Vassanji

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    Published :2020-05-20T23:31:09+00:00

One thought on “The In-Between World of Vikram Lall

  1. Whitney Atkinson

    This got really political and lost me I like reading classics and literary fiction for the character development, and this one just leaned to the dry side Some aspects were interesting, but the climax of the book and what it was leading up to was a bit of a let down.

  2. Margitte

    My name is Vikram Lall I have the distinction of having been numbered one of Africa s most corrupt men, a cheat of monstrous and reptilian cunning To me has been attributed the emptying of a large part of my troubled country s treasury in recent years I head my country s List of Shame The modern day history and cultures of Kenya is intertwined with the folklore and history of India by the protagonist, Vikram Lall, while hiding in Canada after he was used as a scapegoat by the corrupt officials i [...]

  3. Zanna

    I read this as part of Great African Reads group s focus on Kenya this year This enabled me to realise that this book is in dialogue with Weep Not, Child by Ng g wa Thiong o which sketches a racist portrayal via second hand white supremacy of the Kenyan Indian community in its provincial setting, inviting reply Like Vassanji, Vikram Lall is a Desi Kenyan and this story is about growing up during Kenya s struggle for independence I was looking forward to reading an Asian perspective, but from a p [...]

  4. Shelly Sanders

    The Globe and Mail say this book belongs in a category with Tolstoy s War and Peace As a fan of Russian literature, especially Tolstoy, I had to give this book a read This turned out to be a good decision just as Tolstoy pulls readers back into Russian history, Vassanji takes readers on a journey through time in Africa Alternating between the present and past, the narrator, Vikram Lall tells the remarkable story of his life as an Indian boy growing up as a minority in Nakru I am instantly glued [...]

  5. Ben Babcock

    This is my first book of the year, and it took me quite some time to get into it.Few things annoy me than when an author decides to ignore such a useful stylistic conventions as using quotation marks to offset dialogue I like quotation marks It makes the book easier to parse and gives me a clear idea of who is saying what I discarded Blindness for similar reasons Had I not been favourably disposed to M.G Vassanji after reading The Assassin s Song, I might have done the same thing.I have an ink [...]

  6. Int'l librarian

    Vassanji has written a beautiful and tragic epic of 20th century Kenya Jomo Kenyatta, the first President, was brutal As were the Mau Maus, when they hacked apart women and children in their war to end British colonialism These horrors provide a context, but not the core There are subtle, personal brutalities at work Vikram Lall is an Indian Kenyan, well placed in between conflicts and threats He finds racism in every aspect of life from his mother, to his colleagues, to his best friend Lall is [...]

  7. Suze

    So much terror and love and loyalties and human failings to explore in this book And what a sense of safety to do it in the hands of an exceptional storyteller and word artist such as Vassanji It was a bonus, as well, to learn about the political history of Kenya in the 1950s 80s through the richly imagined characters who embodied all aspects of those 3 way racially charged times As for my 4 stars instead of 5 I simply could not buy into that last page So much to ponder en route to that final pa [...]

  8. Friederike Knabe

    Vikram Lall, the narrator of this engrossing story, looks back over the last fifty years of his life From the safety of his self imposed exile in Canada, he takes the reader through a selection of pertinent years The choices are years that were pivotal in his personal life and intimately linked in the historical development of his home country of Kenya The passage of time allows him to describe the people and events in a dispassionate voice which affects the reader deeply While not openly self c [...]

  9. Daren

    The title of this novel works well Vikram Lall was in between in all aspects of his life In between cultures of Indian heritage in Kenya neither black nor white in between relationships the buffer between his forward thinking sister, who falls in love with a black man, and his mother, stuck in her traditional thinking as a middle man in between the American financiers laundering the money they are providing to corrupt politicians to prevent Kenya following Tanzania into communism and also betwee [...]

  10. Kristel

    I picked this one up as part of my continuing efforts to read all the winners of the Giller prize I ve read 12, I think, of 16 MG Vassanji is a two time winner of the prize and his other winner, The Book of Secrets, is still on my to be read pile It s also on my mental to be bought list, but one day From The New Yorker, a description In this novel set among Kenya s Indian diaspora, two ill fated loves Vikram Lall s for a young English girl, his sister s for a young African man symbolize their fa [...]

  11. Eric Wright

    Although this Booker prize winning story seems to start slow with the adventures of some young playmates in the dusty streets of a Kenyan town, the story becomes compelling From the beginning Vassanji drops subtle hints of tragedies to come that affect the playmates as they grow the English boy and girl representing the British colonial administration, the Kikuyu boy representing the tribal people, and Vikram and his sister Deepa representing the Indians brought in to build the railway who becom [...]

  12. Ali

    SynopsisSweeping in scope, both historically and geographically, Vassanji weaves a rich tapestry of vivid characters, real and imagined, in a Kenya poised between colonialism and independence Vikram Lall, like his adopted country, inhabits an in between world between the pull of his ancestral home in India and the Kenya he loves passionately between his tragic past in Africa and an unclear future in Canada between escape from political terror and a seemingly inevitable return home a return that [...]

  13. Tim

    A wonderful book if one has lived in Kenya and knows the geography and the people by personal experience I was fortunate to have lived there so it was very authentic and vivid If I hadn t lived there, this would drop to a three, because the world Vassanji paints is so hard to enter.The story is set in Kenya as World War II ends, the British Empire dissolves, nationhood is bestowed on former colonies, and many dreams and hopes are steadily betrayed In the middle of those broad sweeps, the story f [...]

  14. Janice

    This is a great book for its characters, less the narrator s than the profound understanding he shows for the people who are a part of and affect his life There is no depiction of good or evil, just people caught inside the strenghts and weakness of who they are and the circumstances in which they live There is a poignant space throughout the book, a despair almost a space we typically bridge with anger and judgement where the human limitations of people with great power political leaders, paren [...]

  15. Seema

    This book focuses on an Indian family that decides to stay in Kenya after independence from the British, which is absolutely fascinating to me because my mom s family and so many others fled It started out strong and I loved learning about Nakuru and the complicated cultural and political dynamics between the Indians, the British, the Masai, and the Kikuyus However, I found the story telling a bit choppy and didn t think the Canada piece really worked In any case, I m looking forward to reading [...]

  16. Alice

    I really wish there were parts of stars iin this rating system I would give this one a 3.7 I enjoyed this book primarily because I liked learning about Kenyan independence from the perspective of its Asian citizens interesting stuff on family, race, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, that sort of stuff I liked the characters This book didn t blow me out of the water, but it is a quick read and one I would recommend would be a good one for a book club.

  17. Karrie

    This book has everything in it family, friendship, love, post colonialism, racism, sexism, corruption, passion, tragedy, betrayal.everything A truly talented writer, Vassanji tells us the story of Vik Lall, a loveable yet often spineless character who is deemed to be one of the most corrupt men in Africa We meet Vik as a child, and watch his life unfold in Kenya in a tumultuous time Just read it I finished it some months ago, and am tempted to read it again already.

  18. Marieke

    I liked the first part best, the part when the narrator is a child But as the story progressed I felt less engaged I m not quite sure what didn t work for me, though If I figure it out, I ll come back.

  19. Pratibha

    Story based in Nakuru, small towns around Nakuru and Nairobi soon after independence It tells stories of what Indians went thru and the fear that they had live with For me, it was a fascinating read since I grew up in Nakuru.

  20. Courtney

    Hands down, one of the best and most compelling works of fiction I ve read in a long time Rich characters and an interesting historical context.

  21. Kkraemer

    Vikram Lall is in between he s in between the early part of the 20th century and the later part, between the Cold War and the new wave of accountability that attended the end of simply pouring money from the West to fight communism He s between being Punjabi Hindu and Kenyan whatever, and he s between his childhood and lifelong love and his adulthood and family He s not a businessman, exactly, and not a government worker, exactly Not a revolutionary, exactly, not immoral, not moral, not cold or [...]

  22. Taslim Jaffer

    Vikram Lall is an Indian boy growing up in Kenya during colonial times his grandfather left his homeland of India to work on the Kenyan railways, laying down its rails and the foundation for his family s life in this new, breath takingly beautiful country He and his sister, Deepa, befriend a Kikuyu boy Njoroge and two British children, brother and sister Bill and Annie Bruce The five of them form a complicated bond during a time when the British were in power, and were using the Asians to aid in [...]

  23. Julie

    The story started off very strong, but by the middle I began to get bored with it It didn t have the same flare that it began with The ending made it all worth sticking with it until the end So all in all, a good read.I enjoyed the look at the lives off the characters and how they lived and tried to survive in Kenya The author gave some glimpses of the country and what life was like for those who lived there during the time period The author also did a good job at exploring some of the political [...]

  24. Sally

    The terror that permeated our world like a mysterious ether 9 August 2015This review is from In Between World of Vikram Lall Paperback An extremely readable work though I found it dragged a little towards the end, as illegal dealings and fictional meetings with the President occupy the storyline Narrated by the eponymous hero , who tells us at the outset of his being numbered one of Africa s most corrupt men, a cheat of monstrous and reptilian cunning Two strands run alongside primarily his earl [...]

  25. Adam

    This was recommended reading for the ACM Tanzania program It s clear why The drama of this book is intertwined with the drama of Tanzania s independence and growth as a young nation Vikram s early years are colored by the dark, fearful nights of the Mau Mau revolutionaries, by the blind oppression of the British his later years are defined by the corruption of Kenya s post colonial government His unique personality flows from the cultural interactions between the immigrant Indian community and t [...]

  26. ACS Librarian

    Vassanji has written a beautiful and tragic epic of 20th century Kenya Jomo Kenyatta, the first President, was brutal As were the Mau Maus, when they hacked apart women and children in their war to end British colonialism These horrors provide a context, but not the core There are subtle, personal brutalities at work Vikram Lall is an Indian Kenyan, well placed in between conflicts and threats He finds racism in every aspect of life 13 from his mother, to his colleagues, to his best friend Lall [...]

  27. Arlie

    Vikram Lall has been labelled one of the most corrupt men in Africa In Vassanji s novel, he seizes the chance to tell his story What emerges is a complex and personal look at life in Kenya from the 70 s to the 90 s Vikram is a self professed non political person, so his story grows all the interesting as he recounts political events from a fairly neutral point of view He has his own perceptions and feelings, but they are never crowded by higher political ideals or agendas The reader comes away [...]

  28. Nancy

    Vikram leads an in between life He is an Asian Indian , neither European nor African, growing up in Kenya in the 1950s His mother holds onto her ties to India, while his father is in thrall to Elizabeth, the newly crowned queen of the British Empire The Mau Maus threaten their small community from the surrounding jungle, while the neighborhood s African house servants are harassed by the police for suspicion of collaboration Vic s best friends are Njoroge, the grandson of one of the servants, an [...]

  29. Liz

    I couldn t get through the Second chapter The writer s very passive stance on everything makes it very boring to read He also completely ignored the use of quotation marks which makes following the story very difficult The worst part though is the subtle undertones of racism I just couldn t carry on without getting angry.

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