Review of The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur

Title: The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984

Author: Vikram Kapur

Format: Paperback Edition

Book Length : 211 pages


To Deepa, Prem gave no hint of the churning inside him. In front of her he affected a cheery demeanour, indulging her in her plans for their honeymoon, which she kept revising. It was a welcome escape from the mayhem surrounding him. There were occasions where the pretence got to him and a voice rose inside, urging him to tell her everything. He silenced it. Deepa was a Hindu and would never understand. Until then, he had never thought of her as different.
Prem Kohli, the handsome, ambitious son of a Sikh refugee, has the world at his feet. A glittering career lies ahead, and he has just got engaged to his college girlfriend, Deepa, overcoming her parents’ reservations about Hindus and Sikhs intermarrying. But, while Deepa remains occupied with their marriage plans, the Indian Army enters the Golden Temple. Prem cannot contain his rising anger at the desecration of the shrine and at the people around him who shrug it off as ‘teaching a lesson’ to the Sikhs. He begins growing out his hair and beard, and visiting the gurudwara regularly, where he learns about the militancy in Punjab. Matters come to a head a few months later, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated and anti-Sikh riots break out all over Delhi, as Prem is caught up in a vortex of violence and hate that threatens to engulf all of their lives. In The Assassinations, Vikram Kapur writes with sensitivity about a topic that still holds painful memories, skilfully telling the story of how ordinary lives are distorted by the forces of history. At the same time, he masterfully evokes the New Delhi of the 1980s, with its wide, leafy roads masking the precariousness of its Punjabi middle class. This memorable book captures the turbulence of those times, while chronicling the ways in which continuing to live means coming to terms with many kinds of deaths.”

‘The Assassinations, even though it is a fictional account, deftly recreates one of the most tragic episodes in the history of the nation.’


The Assassinations: A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur is a fiction based on Political History and incidents of 1984 in India.

Author has weaved the storyline beautifully around the incidents that took place in 1984, the assasination of Indira Gandhi, the attacks on Sikh community, every incident is being related by the story of a common family, and love story of Prem and Sikha.

The plot covers every aspect that a novel should hold within it, love, pain, emotions, happiness, moment of grief, sadness.

The story tries to explore inter-religion marriages, how families get around to make it succeed.

The book focuses on to raise the voice of minority, along with the respect and dignity of everyone.

Narration and writing style is something, in which Vikram Kapur is a mastermind, his storyline abilities are really strong which makes this book a pacy read.

Characters are developed to utilize them in situation according to the storyline and each characters is very well explored.

Even narration of a particular place or scene is so beautifully described by the author that as a reader we fall in love with that place.

Overall, a worthy book to read and understand and realise history along with an emotional yet wonderful story.



Thanks to writersmelon for the review copy.

Link to buy the book:

The assasination: a novel of 1984

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