The White Tiger: A Novel Paperback – Oct 14 2008
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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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"Compelling, angry, and darkly humorous, The White Tiger is an unexpected journey into a new India. Aravind Adiga is a talent to watch." -- Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist
"An exhilarating, side-splitting account of India today, as well as an eloquent howl at her many injustices. Adiga enters the literary scene resplendent in battle dress and ready to conquer. Let us bow to him." -- Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook
"The perfect antidote to lyrical India." - Publishers Weekly
"This fast-moving novel, set in India, is being sold as a corrective to the glib, dreamy exoticism Western readers often get...If these are the hands that built India, their grandkids really are going to kick America's ass...BUY IT." - New York Magazine
"Darkly comic...Balram's appealingly sardonic voice and acute observations of the social order are both winning and unsettling." - The New Yorker
"Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger is one of the most powerful books I've read in decades. No hyperbole. This debut novel from an Indian journalist living in Mumbai hit me like a kick to the head -- the same effect Richard Wright's Native Son and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man had. - USA Today
"Extraordinary and brilliant... At first, this novel seems like a straightforward pulled-up-by-your-bootstraps tale, albeit given a dazzling twist by the narrator's sharp and satirical eye for the realities of life for India's poor... But as the narrative draws the reader further in, and darkens, it becomes clear that Adiga is playing a bigger game... Adiga is a real writer - that is to say, someone who forges an original voice and vision. There is the voice of Halwai - witty, pithy, ultimately psychopathic... Remarkable... I will not spoil the effect of this remarkable novel by giving away ... what form his act of blood-stained entrepreneurship takes. Suffice to say that I was reminded of a book that is totally different in tone and style, Richard Wright's Native Son, a tale of the murderous career of a black kid from the Chicago ghetto that awakened 1940s America to the reality of the racial divide. Whether The White Tiger will do the equivalent for today's India - we shall see." - Adam Lively, The Sunday Times (London)
"Fierce and funny...A satire as sharp as it gets." - Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times
"There is a new Muse stalking global narrative: brown, angry, hilarious, half-educated, rustic-urban, iconoclastic, paan-spitting, word-smithing--and in the case of Aravind Adiga she hails from a town called Laxmangarh. This is the authentic voice of the Third World, like you've never heard it before. Adiga is a global Gorky, a modern Kipling who grew up, and grew up mad. The future of the novel lies here." - John Burdett, author of Bangkok 8
"Adiga's training as a journalist lends the immediacy of breaking news to his writing, but it is his richly detailed storytelling that will captivate his audience...The White Tiger echoes masterpieces of resistance and oppression (both The Jungle and Native Son come to mind) [and] contains passages of startling beauty...A book that carefully balances fable and pure observation." - Lee Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This was a challenging book for me, as it cast in stark juxtaposition the profile of a nominally successful entrepreneur with the laundry list of evil that brought him to success. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chortick
Book was well written although I was disappointed in the ending. Will read more by this author, Aravind Adiga.Published 18 months ago by Linda Mizzivl
Autho Adiga has the Indian caste system by the tail in this enlightening & very well executed delivery. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Kindle Customer
I was surprised at how intriguing this book was. It was a requirement for school but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me think about things I never thought to think about before. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Meagz
One of the best books I have ever read. Exciting, challenging, a real adventure and different. Booker prize winner. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mrs. Colleen M. Paul