Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Book Review: The White Tiger

Genre:  Literature & Fiction
Author: Aravind Adiga
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

This, Aravind Adiga'a debut novel won the 2008 Man Booker Prize. That, a rather heady achievement for a first time novelist. Upon reading it, however, one sees that this award was clearly deserved. This was a wonderful read that was reminiscent in style of Moshin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Of this book the New Yorker wrote: "In this darkly comic début novel set in India, Balram, a chauffeur, murders his employer, justifying his crime as the act of a "social entrepreneur." In a series of letters to the Premier of China, in anticipation of the leader’s upcoming visit to Balram’s homeland, the chauffeur recounts his transformation from an honest, hardworking boy growing up in "the Darkness"—those areas of rural India where education and electricity are equally scarce, and where villagers banter about local elections "like eunuchs discussing the Kama Sutra"—to a determined killer. He places the blame for his rage squarely on the avarice of the Indian élite, among whom bribes are commonplace, and who perpetuate a system in which many are sacrificed to the whims of a few. Adiga’s message isn’t subtle or novel, but Balram’s appealingly sardonic voice and acute observations of the social order are both winning and unsettling."
This book is well worth your time. Pick up a copy today and wait for a snowy winter weekend and curl up with it.

(Originally posted to Multiply December 5, 2008)

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