Introducing a major literary talent, The White Tiger offers a story of coruscating wit, blistering suspense, and questionable morality, told by the most volatile, captivating, and utterly inimitable narrator that this millennium has yet seen.
Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of a preposterous chandelier, Balram tells us the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life -- having nothing but his own wits to help him along.
Born in the dark heart of India, Balram gets a break when he is hired as a driver for his village's wealthiest man, two house Pomeranians (Puddles and Cuddles), and the rich man's (very unlucky) son. From behind the wheel of their Honda City car, Balram's new world is a revelation. While his peers flip through the pages of Murder Weekly ("Love -- Rape -- Revenge!"), barter for girls, drink liquor (Thunderbolt), and perpetuate the Great Rooster Coop of Indian society, Balram watches his employers bribe foreign ministers for tax breaks, barter for girls, drink liquor (single-malt whiskey), and play their own role in the Rooster Coop. Balram learns how to siphon gas, deal with corrupt mechanics, and refill and resell Johnnie Walker Black Label bottles (all but one). He also finds a way out of the Coop that no one else inside it can perceive.
Balram's eyes penetrate India as few outsiders can: the cockroaches and the call centers; the prostitutes and the worshippers; the ancient and Internet cultures; the water buffalo and, trapped in so many kinds of cages that escape is (almost) impossible, the white tiger. And with a charisma as undeniable as it is unexpected, Balram teaches us that religion doesn't create virtue, and money doesn't solve every problem -- but decency can still be found in a corrupt world, and you can get what you want out of life if you eavesdrop on the right conversations.
Sold in sixteen countries around the world, The White Tiger recalls The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, and 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.
Adiga's novel is hilarious and impolite, a fabulous counterpoint to some of the beautiful, lyrical Indian novels that have surfaced in the past decade. Adiga does not sugarcoat Balram's view of India, and the result is a true, unique view of a country we may have thought we understood. (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).
School Library Journal
Balram's evolution from likable village boy to cold-blooded killer is fascinating and believable. Even more surprising is how well the narrative works in the way it's written as a letter to the Chinese premier, who's set to visit Bangalore, India.
His commentary on all things Indian comes at the expense of narrative suspense and character development. ....Adiga's pacing is off too, as Balram too quickly reinvents himself in Bangalore, where every cop can be bought. An undisciplined debut, but one with plenty of vitality.
Starred Review. It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by VaMpIreLuVeR REALLY Worth IT Wow. This book is simply amazing. It gave me a new view of India, and the conflict between the rich and the poor. :)
I highly recommend it!
Rated of 5
by jennie White Tiger I enjoyed the book,it was thought provoking and at times unsettling,at others warm and humorous. How realistic an account it is of Indian society today I don't know. Certainly the most readable Booker prize winner I've read to date.
Rated of 5
by Ramakanth IT'S NOT WORTH A BOOKER PRIZE It is very disappointing from a booker prize winner, the book has no information but only detail. The author just tried to increase the page count by describing a lizard, the paan 'spits'. There are many such descriptions in the book, which are... Read More
Rated of 5
by Mary OUTSTANDING By far the BEST BOOK I have read in 2008. Extremely creative, at times funny, and a good luck at what it takes to be a "successful entrepreneur".
Without his violent act, Balram Halwai would have had trouble
accessing upward social mobility because of the strict caste system in India.
Many Westerners believe, because India is officially a democracy and the Indian
constitution of 1949 banned it, that the caste system is a thing of the past,
but in many aspects of Indian society, it is alive and well.
There are four castes or varnas:
Brahmins, teachers, scholars, and priests
Kshatriyas, kings and warriors
Shudras, agriculturists, service providers,
and select artisan groups.
Below these main castes, and traditionally
excluded from larger society, is the group formerly called the Untouchables,
now called Dalits (about 160 million/15% of the Indian population). Within each Varna are subgroups call Jati. Balram's last
name, Halwai, means sweet maker. He is a member of the sweet maker Jati,
within the Shudras caste.
Profane, piercingly honest, and scathingly funny, Animal's People is the stunning tale of an unforgettable character: Animal, a young man whose back was twisted beyond repair in an industrial accident. It is a dark world, shot through with flashes of joy and lunacy.
Amazon cuts off 5200 affiliates in Minnesota(Jun 19 2013) With Minnesota's online sales tax law due to take effect July 1, Amazon has played a familiar card by cutting ties with 5,200 members of its Associates...