Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The White Tiger: A Novel (Man Booker Prize)…

The White Tiger: A Novel (Man Booker Prize) (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Aravind Adiga

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,959338518 (3.78)613
Title:The White Tiger: A Novel (Man Booker Prize)
Authors:Aravind Adiga
Info:Free Press (2008), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Indian stories. murder. entrpreneur

Work details

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (2008)

  1. 112
    Q & A by Vikas Swarup (VaterOlsen, 2810michael)
  2. 73
    Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (jtho)
    jtho: Another great story set in India that shows us both the seedy sides and the beauty.
  3. 51
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: I happened to be reading this YA title simultaneously, and was surprised/pleased to find that the two books went together quite well. Similarly charismatic narrator and several of the same themes.
  4. 30
    The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (Cecilturtle)
  5. 20
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both novels look at the dire side of life in India, and both are very well written.
  6. 20
    Reef by Romesh Gunesekera (SqueakyChu, chrisharpe)
    SqueakyChu: Another book, this one much quieter, about a man's desire to move up in society.
  7. 31
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: First-person narratives of growing disenchantment
  8. 10
    A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Amusing Rogue protagonists
  9. 10
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (chrisharpe)
  10. 21
    Native Son by Richard Wright (Miss-Owl)
  11. 00
    The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These evocative novels discuss the social inequities and corruption endemic to modern India. Their complex characters and strong sense of place provide thought-provoking ways to understand the current state of the subcontinent, even as they tell about individual lives.… (more)
  12. 11
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Delusional/Enlightened Outcast protagonists
  13. 00
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Amusing Rogue protagonists
  14. 00
    The African Safari Papers by Robert Sedlack (mcenroeucsb)
  15. 00
    The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar (mcenroeucsb)
  16. 11
    A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif (Anonymous user)
  17. 00
    Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Modern India in a nutshell. Adiga is an accomplished writer.
  18. 11
    Chef: A Novel by Jaspreet Singh (Clara53)
  19. 00
    The Taker And Other Stories by Rubem Fonseca (gonzobrarian)
  20. 44
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (infiniteletters)

(see all 25 recommendations)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 613 mentions

English (313)  Dutch (6)  German (3)  French (3)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (337)
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
Aaaah! Great book! Energetic. He escaped by playing their rules but on their turf. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
This is an absorbing fast paced tale set in India. ( )
  BridgitDavis | Apr 22, 2016 |
Quite surprisingly mundane for a book that covers so many facets of life within the caste system in modern India and with a brutal murder as its central point.
I certainly learnt quite a lot about India in the present day, and the book was well paced throughout.
But overall too many clichés and undeveloped/unexplained and ultimately pointless themes and tropes are introduced to very limited effect. And what appears to be the author’s central purpose and the framework upon which the story is presented (comparing India with China in their race to be like and overtake ‘the West’) is also not fully explored and the narrative aspect of this is left without resolution.
I would have enjoyed this book so much more if it had been more efficiently edited or if the author had just finished it.
( )
  stevierbrown | Mar 22, 2016 |
A total waste of time. Questionable morality is not amusing. ( )
  GeneHunter | Mar 13, 2016 |
Around the halfway point of this book, if you'd asked me what I was going to rate it, I don't think I would have been able to tell you. I found it intriguing in the same way that A Confederacy of Dunces is—you sort of hate the protagonist, but you have to admit he's got an interesting story. Balram's is even more so, because it takes place in India and addresses major philosophical, political, and social issues head-on.

I started out listening to the audiobook, but I didn't love the fact that the narrator was a white British man doing an Indian accent. If I hadn't been able to tell just by listening, that still would have bothered me the way a white man playing an Indian character in a movie bothers me—but I could tell by listening, too. So I picked up the print copy after the first two discs, and I don't know if it's causation or just correlation, but soon after that point I began to find the protagonist much more relatable. The organization of the book is such that current Balram is telling us how he arrived where he is, and current Balram, in the beginning, is arrogant and irritating. For a long time it was difficult for me to reconcile his younger self with the one telling the story, and I was ready to just find him completely unlikable to the end.

But the thing is, the world Balram Halwai lives in is not an okay world. It's a toxic and corrupt world, organized very specifically to keep people in their designated places, even though the ones doing the organizing have no right to be doing it. And as you get to know the world he lives in, you see how he is shaped by that world. You start to wonder if you would have been much different in his place, and that takes just a little bit of the edge off your dislike for him.

In fact, once I reached that point, I couldn't put the book down. I read most of it in about an hour, and when I had to leave for work this morning, I decided to put the audio back in so I wouldn't have to stop. I was ready to ignore my irritation with the narrator's voice—but then, it never came. Was he reading differently, now that certain things in the book had changed? Was I just hearing him differently now that I'd connected more with the character? I don't know. I still would prefer an Indian narrator, but my feeling about that no longer interfered with the story.

It's typical, isn't it? You judge a character from the beginning, thinking that regardless of what's going to happen, the guy's an ass and you don't have to like him. And that's true, you don't have to like him. But then you learn more about him and inevitably, this changes your perception—which is something you should have known in the first place, but pretended you didn't, because it's a lot more satisfying to dislike an obnoxious person than it is to realize you can empathize with them.

This is the first of my POC in 2015 reading theme, and I read it almost by accident; I just needed a new audiobook for the car, and this was one we had at the library. It grew on me almost exponentially while I was reading it, and I think it's continued as I've been writing this review. The more I think about it, the more important it feels to me, and the more I want to think about it. I'm sure now that I'll want to pick up something else by this author, and I'll probably read this one again at some point sooner than you'd think.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
It's a thrilling ride through a rising global power; a place where, we learn, the brutality of the modern city is compounded by that of age-old tradition. "In the old days there were one thousand castes and destinies in India," says Balram. "These days there are two castes: Men with Big Bellies, and Men with Small Bellies."
added by mikeg2 | editThe Independent, David Mattin (May 11, 2008)

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aravind Adigaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rey, Santiago delTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Ramin Bahrani
First words
Mr. Premier, Sir. Neither you nor I speak English, but there are some things that can be said only in English.
“The jails of Delhi are full of drivers who are there behind bars because they are taking the blame for their good, solid middle-class masters. We have left the villages but the masters still own us, bodies, souls, and arse. Yes, that’s right: we all live in one of the world’s greatest democracies. What a fucking joke.”
A rich man's body is like a premium cotton pillow, white and soft and blank. Ours are different. My father's spine was a knotted rope, the kind that women use in villages to pull water from wells; the clavicle curved around his neck in high relief, like a dog's collar; cuts and nicks and scars, like little whip marks in his flesh, ran down his chest and waist, reaching down below his hip bones into his buttocks. The story of a poor man's life is written on his body, in sharp pen.
The book of your revolution sits in the pit of your belly, young Indian. Crap it out, and read
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Balram Halwai is the White Tiger - the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi. The city is a revelation. As he drives his master to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he will never be able to gain access to that world. As Balram broods over his situation, he realizes that there is only one way he can become part of this glamorous new India - by murdering his master."The White Tiger" presents a raw and unromanticised India, both thrilling and shocking - from the desperate, almost lawless villages along the Ganges, to the booming Wild South of Bangalore and its technology and outsourcing centres. The first-person confession of a murderer, "The White Tiger" is as compelling for its subject matter as for the voice of its narrator - amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
25 avail.
303 wanted
6 pay13 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.78)
0.5 5
1 39
1.5 8
2 100
2.5 45
3 481
3.5 206
4 931
4.5 144
5 412


4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,353,347 books! | Top bar: Always visible