The White Tiger

The White Tiger

by Aravind Adiga
3.8 188

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Overview

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

A stunning literary debut critics have likened to Richard Wright’s Native Son, The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society. “This is the authentic voice of the Third World, like you've never heard it before” (John Burdett, Bangkok 8).

The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.

Recalling The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, The White Tiger is narrative genius with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation—and a startling, provocative debut.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416562603
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 10/14/2008
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 59,095
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Aravind Adiga was born in India in 1974 and attended Columbia and Oxford universities. He is the author of Selection Day, the Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger, and the story collection Between the Assassinations. He lives in Mumbai, India.

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White Tiger 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 188 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
TrainTravelReader More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
rossberliner More than 1 year ago
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.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
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.
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.
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.
Gothenberg More than 1 year ago
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.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The White Tiger is the first novel by Indian author, Aravind Adiga. The narrative takes the form of a series of eight rambling emails sent over the period of a week from Balram Halwai aka Munna aka The White Tiger to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the eve of his visit to India, and describes how Balram advanced from half-baked school boy son of a rickshaw puller to lowly teashop employee in Laxmangarh to chauffeur of rich Landlords in Delhi to fugitive wanted for the murder of his former employer to Bangalore entrepreneur. All this, under the guise of advising the Premier on producing much-needed entrepreneurs for China. Along the way, Balram comments on the divide in India between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, and details the bribery and corruption that are de rigeur in India. Adiga’s India is slums and sewage, shopping malls and traffic jams, call centres and cockroaches. As the main character, Balram is neither endearing nor wholly odious; in fact none of the characters will hold the reader’s interest for long. Some of Adiga’s descriptive prose is excellent, but this is not really enough to make this a “blazingly savage and brilliant” novel as described on the front cover. Winner of the Man Booker Prize for 2008, this is a pleasant enough read, at times blackly funny, but a far cry in quality from the works by those other Indian authors that won the Man Booker Prize in 1997 and 2006.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You may not like the main character... He is, after all, a murderer. But from his life in the village to his eventual million dollar business, he will keep you engaged in what is one of the most honest yet delightfully and hilariously page turning depictions I have ever read of the life of a common Indian man. A definite keeper. I recommend it to anyone interested in travelling to India, literally or figuratively.
Oolalatte More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cynicism abounds in this novel--humor, no. The White Tiger is not easy to read. It evokes violence, corruption and power among the classes which is all too common in today's poverty stricken India.
Kat217 More than 1 year ago
Everything about this book signals the extreme differences between cultures and politics. I now understand the significance of the "darkness" and "lightness" in Indian culture. It is a devastating culture - one is seldom mobile or encouraged to move from his caste/family. Those who do try are often rewarded with the reality of the culture - politics/wealth/power is vain and dirty. The police and government officials are the problems. Creativity and intelligence may be the only tools effective in this country. I do enjoy a story where the "little man" triumphs!
tingler More than 1 year ago
This is on one level a send up of the social and political vagaries of modern India. It is a worthwhile read on that level alone. It is also an unflinching account of the power of the human will to survive and even prosper under the most oppressive circumstances. This is Indian-flavored noir at its best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book gets better and better. Its also a funnt book if u look at it in a different way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wont ill be back in like a month bye
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good what about u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FINE!!! - he cries- I WAS JUST ASKING HOW UR TIME WUTH DEATH WAS!!! - he takes out his knife and stabs himself. He dies-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must be good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tries too hard to be funny. Falls flat on its face. Read only 50 pages before i had to abandon it or risk my mind turning to mush. Awful. Avoid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very colorful and captivating portrait of life in India. I love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a delight! A terrific writer, great characters and a spell- binding story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uhh ok?