Balram Halwai is the White Tiger - the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi. The city is a revelation. As he drives his ...
Balram Halwai is the White Tiger - the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi. The city is a revelation. As he drives his master to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he will never be able to gain access to that world. As Balram broods over his situation, he realizes that there is only one way he can become part of this glamorous new India - by murdering his master."The White Tiger" presents a raw and unromanticised India, both thrilling and shocking - from the desperate, almost lawless villages along the Ganges, to the booming Wild South of Bangalore and its technology and outsourcing centres. The first-person confession of a murderer, "The White Tiger" is as compelling for its subject matter as for the voice of its narrator - amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.
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I listened to this fine novel as a book-on-CD while driving. The narrator's accurate Indian accent made the story come alive, perhaps, more than with the book version.
Like Mistry's "A Fine Balance" (a better book), the story is first of all an indictment of India's political system, where elections are bought and politicians and officials live off of graft. What makes this novel rise above average is the sardonic undertone of humor. Mistry sets his work in the 1970s, and Adiga's 2008 setting shows that little has changed for the better for India's underclasses.
Apr 29, 2010
White Tiger Whines
This book sucked. I'm a voracious reader. In a typical week I will read 2 to 3 novels, so I've read thousands of books over the past fifty or so years. This may not be the worst book I ever read, but it is in the top three. Absolutely dismal, with no redeeming qualities. Well, I guess i do have to admit it was well written, but well written drivel is still drivel. Depressing to the extreme. A terrible read.
Aug 27, 2009
Winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize, "The White Tiger," by Aravind Adiga, is a pretty intense piece of work. The narrator, an Indian from a caste of sweet-makers, tells the story of his scrabble to the higher rungs of society than that to which he was born. It is darkly comedic in tone, and the narrator tells his tale so pleasantly that the reader is taken in effortlessly and almost immediately to his case. All the while, the reader feels her stomach drop out because the description of life in "the Darkness" of India is so bleak and so irreparably stacked against those born in that Darkness, that a way out can hardly be imagined. The way out, so nimbly depicted by the narrator as the reason for his success, is egregious and SHOULD be unconscionable. But it is to Adiga's credit that by the time the novel comes to that point, the narrator has won the reader over, if not to the point of championing his act, at least to understanding his reasons. This is an excruciating, hilarious, brutal, wonderful read. No, those terms are not mutually exclusive. Read "The White Tiger" and see what I mean.
Aug 9, 2009
I liked the book.I was astonished the way ,he(Balaram) killed his master&became one of the most influencial character of my life.THANK YOU FOR YOUR GREAT EFFORT TO BRING THIS STORY TO MY BEAUTIFUL SKULL..................................MR.ADIGA
Mar 22, 2009
A strong 3.5 stars!
Hmmm....this one was a little bit different, not my normal type of read. An interesting look at Indian culture through the eyes of an ambitious man of a "lower caste". I'm not quite sure what the author was trying to depict in this story but there are certainly many issues to explore: is he trying to say that India is not the modernized country its leaders want others to believe? does the main character eventually become the type of man he despises via ambition? or is his climb in society more of an issue of survival? I was also struck by the lack of accountability by the wealthier classes in regards to...well, just about everything. The author does a phenomenal job of painting the cities and economic strife of India.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-01-14 A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer. Balram Halwai is from the "Darkness," born where India's downtrodden and unlucky are destined to rot. Balram manages to escape his village and move to Delhi after being hired as a driver for a rich landlord. Telling his story in retrospect, the novel is a piecemeal correspondence from Balram to the premier of China, who is expected to visit India and whom Balram believes could learn a lesson or two about India's entrepreneurial underbelly. Adiga's existential and crude prose animates the battle between India's wealthy and poor as Balram suffers degrading treatment at the hands of his employers (or, more appropriately, masters). His personal fortunes and luck improve dramatically after he kills his boss and decamps for Bangalore. Balram is a clever and resourceful narrator with a witty and sarcastic edge that endears him to readers, even as he rails about corruption, allows himself to be defiled by his bosses, spews coarse invective and eventually profits from moral ambiguity and outright criminality. It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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