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The White Tiger: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; Unabridged CD edition (May 6 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400106656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400106653
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,212,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. First-time author Adiga has created a memorable tale of one taxi driver's hellish experience in modern India. Told with close attention to detail, whether it be the vivid portrait of India he paints or the transformation of Balram Halwai into a bloodthirsty murderer, Adiga writes like a seasoned professional. John Lee delivers an absolutely stunning performance, reading with a realistic and unforced East Indian dialect. He brings the story to life, reading with passion and respect for Adiga's prose. Lee currently sits at the top of the professional narrator's ladder; an actor so gifted both in his delivery and expansive palette of vocal abilities that he makes it sound easy. A Free Press hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 14). (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut.... It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 21 2008
Format: Hardcover
"The White Tiger" is this year's latest recipient of the Man Booker Prize for the best novel of the year. While the judges don't always get it right when selecting for this award, I think they made a fair choice this time. The story oozes with a sense of what it must be like for a young person growing up in a modern Indian village with no familial support or economic means to make it in life. The main character is an intelligent and literate young man named Balram, who was born an outcast but has miraculously risen to become a richman's driver in the capital city of Dehli. Upon hearing a radio broadcast of his Prime Minister telling his Chinese counterpart that India is a very civilized and virtuous society, he decides to do the unthinkable and write the Chinese premier and tell the real side of the story. What the reader gets here is the rough and rude reality of what it means for many Indian children growing up in an irrational environment that uses and abuses them for criminal and sexual purposes. While the government has banned the caste system, where people are perpetually assigned to hold menial jobs, it still flourishes in all parts of Indian life. "White Tiger", the name given the young boy while at school, becomes his moniker as he makes his way into the nefarious world of corrupt officials and crime bosses. Because he is literate, he has become groomed to be a driver and lackey for a rich family in Delhi. While some might see this as a step-up in terms of ascending the social ladder of Indian society, it is anything but. Balram becomes quickly acquainted with, and be expected to handle, the nastiest of situations that involve murder, cheating, bribery, and stealing.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Douglas P. Murphy on Dec 6 2008
Format: Paperback
In contrast to the main character of The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga received an extensive education from some of the best institutions available-Columbia undergrad and then Oxford. In his book, however, Balram Halwai, the White Tiger or sweet maker, grows up with a very minimal education, scratching by barely with the ability to read in a system designed, it seems to keep one ignorant rather than to educate. In fact the whole system of castes in India, in modern day India, through the eyes of Balram, tends to rigidly, forcefully and cruelly keep one either in the category of servant and poverty or of the privileged and well-off. To a minimal extent Balram bucks the system and rises above his father and becomes a driver for a wealthy family. Even the wealthy, however, must maintain their businesses and position through a corrupt system of bribes to politicians who stay in power through a democracy that disenfranchises certainly the poor and perhaps others as well.
The book is written well with energy and a steady string of either interesting or amusing anectdotes as Balram progresses from "the darkness" or poor, rural India to Delhi which appears as a city in a state of rapid but chaotic modernization where buildings are rising steadily for either malls or job centers for outsourced work from countries like the US. Again the inequities abound for Balram,the driver, and those like him, and the superior castes appear anything but. The book is fast-paced and entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 22 2011
Format: Hardcover
Balram Halwai is the narrator of this darkly comical view of life in contemporary India. The main theme of the novel is the stark contrast between the `Darkness' inhabited by the working class and the rural poor and the `Light' occupied by the wealthy, as India rises to be a modern global economy. There are other contrasts included: the religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims, as well as the tension for individuals between family loyalty and independence.

Balram's story comes to us via seven letters to the Chinese prime minister who, Balram has decided, should be told the truth about India before a forthcoming state visit. And Balram's form of truth, and his own part in India's transition, makes for interesting reading.

Balram lived in the village of Laxmangarh, deep in rural India. He's the son of a rickshaw puller, and is unable - because of his family's poverty - to finish school. Despite being clever, and being promised a scholarship, Balram is forced to work. One of his jobs involves wiping tables in a Dhanbad teashop. When Balram learns of the high salary paid to car drivers, he learns to drive and gets a lucky break when a rich man from his village (known as `The Stork') hires him as a chauffeur for his son, Ashok, who lives in New Delhi. Living in New Delhi is a revelation for Balram, who quickly becomes aware of immense wealth and opportunity around him, and of the great chasm between the wealthy and the poor. These experiences make Balram worldlier and more ambitious, and he wants to be part of this glamorous new India.

So, how does Balram make his own transition from the Darkness into the Light? By murdering his employer, and assuming a new identity.
`White men will be finished within my lifetime', he tells, us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heather Pearson TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 8 2010
Format: Paperback
Animals aren't intended to live in zoos, so why is that some people seem to be content to live in their self imposed or society imposed cages.

This is one of the questions that Aravind Adiga poses in his debut novel White Tiger. I listened to the audio book over the past two weeks, and found that I never wanted to press the 'stop' button. If it had been a paper book, I would have carried it around with me non-stop, peeking pages whenever I had a free moment. Even now, I am planning to purchase at least one copy.

Balram Halwai was born in a small rural village into a family of the caste of 'sweet makers'. His father was a rickshaw puller and his brother worked in a teashop. Balram started out following his brother, though while his brother strictly did his job, he chose to listen to the talk of the patrons and learn more about the world. He longed for more than cleaning up the slops of others. Balram decided to become a driver and work his way up in the world.

Balram is telling the story of his life and his rise in status as an entrepreneur in a series of late night letters to the Premier of China, who is schedualed to visit India in the near future. In his letters he admits to being a wanted murderer and proceeds to explain to the Premier why his earlier actions were warranted.

Mr. Halwai likens his early life to that of a caged animal at the zoo. His position is that even if you open the door to the cage, the animals will remain inside the bars, that is what they know of life and they expect no more. It was interesting to see how Balram forced open the doors of his cage and ran out, free.

I'm not sure why, but I was hooked on this book from the first pages.
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