Customer Reviews for

The White Tiger

Average Rating 4
( 183 )
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(62)

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(63)

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(28)

2 Star

(21)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

The White Tiger

Aravind Basu's brilliant debut is a tale of suspense and questionable morality which takes you on an unexpected journey into the heart of India through Balram Halwal aka 'The White Tiger'.Born in the fictional village of Laxmangarh, near the famous village of Bodh Gaya,...
Aravind Basu's brilliant debut is a tale of suspense and questionable morality which takes you on an unexpected journey into the heart of India through Balram Halwal aka 'The White Tiger'.Born in the fictional village of Laxmangarh, near the famous village of Bodh Gaya, where Buddha attained enlightenment, Halwal is the son of a rickshaw puller. After seeing his father die a painful death, neglected by the hospital authorities, he is forced to drop out of school and ends up working in a tea shop wiping tables. All he dreams of is escape. He manages to find his way out of the dreaded tea shop when a rich village landlord hires him as a chauffeur for his son who has returned from the United States. Things change rapidly for Halwal when he has to move to the Indian capital New Delhi with his new master. Here he comes face to face with the two Indias: As Adiga aptly puts it: 'The dreams of the rich, and the dreams of the poor - they never overlap, do they? See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of? Losing weight and looking like the poor.' Living in a big city with bright lights on the one hand and teeming poverty on the other, Halwal starts questioning many things he has taken for granted while growing up in his small village. Things get murky when his master attempts to frame him for an accidental murder committed by his wife. Halwal is forced to question his undying loyalty. His awakening eventually turns him into a successful entrepreneur. But does the road to success justify spilling blood? Read this riveting page-turned, written in epistolary form, to find out.

posted by Anonymous on May 11, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Disturbing look into one characters life in India

This was a book that was selected by my book club, not one that I would have chosen to read on my own. The author's intent was to bring to light some of the atrocities that seems to still exist today about life in India. The storytelling is a bit slow for my taste, so I...
This was a book that was selected by my book club, not one that I would have chosen to read on my own. The author's intent was to bring to light some of the atrocities that seems to still exist today about life in India. The storytelling is a bit slow for my taste, so I found myself easily distracted as I tried to read this book on my train commute. The main character is not very likable, and the overall story does not leave you feeling satisfied. This is not a book I enjoyed reading, and I would not recommend it to others.

posted by TrainTravelReader on April 13, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2008

    The White Tiger

    Aravind Basu's brilliant debut is a tale of suspense and questionable morality which takes you on an unexpected journey into the heart of India through Balram Halwal aka 'The White Tiger'.Born in the fictional village of Laxmangarh, near the famous village of Bodh Gaya, where Buddha attained enlightenment, Halwal is the son of a rickshaw puller. After seeing his father die a painful death, neglected by the hospital authorities, he is forced to drop out of school and ends up working in a tea shop wiping tables. All he dreams of is escape. He manages to find his way out of the dreaded tea shop when a rich village landlord hires him as a chauffeur for his son who has returned from the United States. Things change rapidly for Halwal when he has to move to the Indian capital New Delhi with his new master. Here he comes face to face with the two Indias: As Adiga aptly puts it: 'The dreams of the rich, and the dreams of the poor - they never overlap, do they? See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of? Losing weight and looking like the poor.' Living in a big city with bright lights on the one hand and teeming poverty on the other, Halwal starts questioning many things he has taken for granted while growing up in his small village. Things get murky when his master attempts to frame him for an accidental murder committed by his wife. Halwal is forced to question his undying loyalty. His awakening eventually turns him into a successful entrepreneur. But does the road to success justify spilling blood? Read this riveting page-turned, written in epistolary form, to find out.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2008

    A Trumpet Blast of a Literary Voice

    Ripped from the dark heart of modern-day India, comes debut novelist Aravind Adiga, a hip Gunga Din for the millennium, blowing a hot, Ornette Coleman riff of a novel, from the top of a dirty golden dome, that is at once visceral, witty, irreverent, bloody, and untimately satisfying. By the first few pages of his book, 'The White Tiger,' the reader quickly forgets about finding a lyrical, fragrant India, similar to the novels of M.M. Kaye, and Vikram Seth. This is a down and dirty India, much like it's mother of a river, the Ganges. The story as put down by it's narrator, the complex, Balram Halwai, who has risen from desperate poverty, to become a chauffer for two rich Poleranians, rails against India's class system and corruption, with a searing and damning sarcasm. Halwai's haunting trumpet blast of a literary voice lingers with the reader long after the final page, but will India be ready for his next book? I know I will. This is one hell-of-a read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    A Insightful Novel about Modern Day India

    A well written novel about aspects of India that are not universally known. A clear light upon the almost schizoid caste saystem and the very new intermingled with the ancient and traditional life styles within India. A good read and a stimulating insight into an unfamiliar life force, different from the Western lifestyle.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2009

    The White Tiger will go down as one of the best books I've read in 2009!

    Balram Halwai started life poor and dirty, belonging to a low servant caste and living in a small poverty-stricken village in India. Today he is a successful entrpreneur living in the big city and running his own company. White Tiger is the story of his journey out of the darkness and into the light. <BR/>By turns hilarious and horrifying, this book held me absolutely transfixed all the way to the end. Balram is such a complex and interesting character! He is loving and cruel, devoted to his family yet unwilling to be beaten down by them, and most of all I loved the contrast between his innocence and biting sarcasm. I listened to the audio version and the narrator is absolutely fabulous. His voice puts you right on the streets of India, in the rural schools, fancy nightclubs, and the homes of the landlords. <BR/>The White Tiger will go down as one of the best books I've read in 2009! I am anxiously awaiting Aravind Adiga's next novel and I will be searching out other audio books read by Joh Lee.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Gritty India

    A portrait of India and Indians that one doesn't see so much of today. There is not much fable, middle class alienation, end-of-Raj pathos, history or magic in this story of the kind we have come to expect from Rushdie, Chandra, Lahiri, Roy et al - as much as I love their work. There is however the magic of a writer who strips away an all too hackneyed image of India to reveal the brutalities, incongruities, hypocrisies and yes, humor, of the modern day caste and political system. Like last year's Animal's People, The White Tiger is a refreshing blast of realism and provocative story telling delivered in a cocky, pacey style. This is an exceptional novel and a worthy Booker Man winner.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Would you be a White Tiger?

    What a great read! A voice to the servant class and how one man made it out. When I visited India, I was quite uncomfortable with all the servants around me and had a very difficult time accepting it. The poverty in India is heartbreaking and I imagine that working as a servant is better than living on the street but everyone deserves to be treated as a human being. Even though The White Tiger is a work of fiction, it offers the readers an insight into how millions of people live in India and poses the questions, what would you do and how far would you go to change your place in society?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    An eye opener

    I read this book a couple of years ago, but it still haunts me. The author brings his characters to life and gives us a glimpse a culture very different from our own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    A

    What a delight! A terrific writer, great characters and a spell- binding story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Spike

    Uhh ok?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    Flame

    He gets up and stretches then pads to flame the tiger result 2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Pearl

    She chuffs a low moan.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Excellent

    Brilliantly written book based on a letter from an Indian to the Premier of China who will soon be visiting his country. Wry humor and insight into the world of this young man who rises from low class "Darkness" into an entrepreneur.

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

    This is an excellent book! Fast paced with great main character

    This is an excellent book! Fast paced with great main characters. My book club read it and everyone liked it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Highly recommend

    This book was recommended to me by 2 people and was a great recommendation. It is written in a fun, quirky style and engages the reader from the start. It paints a vivid picture of modern India from the viewpoint of someone in the lower caste who wants to move up in society but finds that it is impossible to do by following the rules of society.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    A Hilarious and Revealing Story about Capitalist Greed!

    A crushing attack of capitalism in the form of satire. A must read. I loved the humor as well as the details about life in India. The author took me right to the heart of the place and explained why much of it is the way it is.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    How old?

    How old should u be to read this?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Love This Book!

    This was a 'staff' recommendation which I ran across while browsing (and while on a very bad date). I scooped it up immediately, although it isn't the typical type of book I read. However, I don't think there is a book like this anywhere, so it doesn't fit a type. There is so much humor and, within, tragedy that should bring out indignation over the human rights violations hidden within. However, don't get me wrong: This book is FUNNY! I haven't been as pleased with Adiga's follow up, but I hope he writes more like this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    A very good read.

    I enjoyed this book. It provides an insite into life in India as it really is.
    I enjoyed the humor that Adiga put into the events and his thoughts.
    This is a good book for Book Clubs and Topical Conversation.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic!

    Another book that you will never toss and actually take more than one ready to grasp. White Tiger is excellent and quite an eye opener about life in general. I wish I had the brains to write something like this book, but since I don't, I am more than willing to purchase their books and be enlightened and brought into their world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    I loved the two central characters of this book. The writing was excellent. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the trilogy.

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