Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Tigre blanco (Rocabolsillo Ficcion) (Spanish…

Tigre blanco (Rocabolsillo Ficcion) (Spanish Edition) (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Aravind Adiga

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,529310583 (3.78)579
Title:Tigre blanco (Rocabolsillo Ficcion) (Spanish Edition)
Authors:Aravind Adiga
Info:Roca (2009), Edición: Tra, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:India, humor ironico, realismo social

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. 21
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: First-person narratives of growing disenchantment
  8. 21
    Native Son by Richard Wright (Miss-Owl)
  9. 10
    A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Amusing Rogue protagonists
  10. 10
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (chrisharpe)
  11. 43
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (infiniteletters)
  12. 11
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Delusional/Enlightened Outcast protagonists
  13. 00
    The African Safari Papers by Robert Sedlack (mcenroeucsb)
  14. 00
    The Taker And Other Stories by Rubem Fonseca (gonzobrarian)
  15. 00
    The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar (mcenroeucsb)
  16. 00
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Amusing Rogue protagonists
  17. 00
    The killer inside me by Jim Thompson (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Balanced, measured accounts by murderers!
  18. 00
    Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Modern India in a nutshell. Adiga is an accomplished writer.
  19. 11
    Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (2810michael)
  20. 11
    A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif (Anonymous user)

(see all 24 recommendations)


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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 579 mentions

English (287)  Dutch (7)  Spanish (3)  French (3)  German (3)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (311)
Showing 1-5 of 287 (next | show all)
This audiobook was excellently done. Until I checked the narrator's name I was convinced he was from India but, in fact, John Lee is English. The format worked very well as an audiobook as it is supposed to be a continuing letter from the main character to the Premier of China done over seven consecutive nights. I was not so enamoured with the content of the book as it paints the main character as immoral and selfish.

Balram Halwai is a member of one of the lower castes and, as such, his fate was to be a servant or labourer. He was a smart child but had to leave school to work to earn money for a sister's dowry. After working as a servant in a tea shop he decides to learn to drive. He succeeds in becoming a driver for Ashok, the son of a landlord in Balram's home village. Ashok had gone to school in the USA and married an American woman, Pinky (who Balram calls Pinky Madam). Pinky is increasingly unhappy in India and wants to return to the United States. Ashok's family needs someone to live in New Delhi to bribe officials there so Ashok, Pinky and Balram move to New Delhi. While Balram is paid well and treated quite well (by Indian standards) he hates being in servitude and he comes up with a plan to steal the money Ashok carries around in the car. This plan includes murdering Ashok which he does without compunction and then flees to Bangalore.

I can understand the author's motivations in writing this book. He wanted to show the problems with India's caste system and the rampant corruption. That is certainly apparent. I just wish Balram could have been more likeable. ( )
  gypsysmom | Dec 31, 2014 |
The White Tiger felt like a modern, Indian version of Crime and Punishment. It follows the psychological development of a poor village driver who rises to power in India's modern jungle of technology start-ups, corrupt politicians, and masters and slaves.

Notable quotes:
"It's true that all these gods seem to do awfully little work—much like our politicians—and yet keep winning reelection to their golden thrones in heaven, year after year"

"Now that the date for the elections had been set, and declared on radio, election fever had started spreading again … [Election fever] is the worst [disease]; it makes people talk and talk about things that they have no say in."

"Haven't I succeeded in the struggle that every poor man here should be making—the struggle not to take the lashes your father took, not to end up in a mound of indistinguishable bodies that will rot in the black mud of Mother Ganga? True, there was the matter of murder—which is a wrong thing to do, no question about it. It has darkened my soul. All the skin-whitening creams sold in the market of India won't clean my hands again. But isn't it likely that everyone who counts in this world … has killed someone or other or other on their way to the top? Kill enough people and they will put up bronze statues to you near Parliament House in Delhi—but that is glory, and not what I am after. All I wanted was the chance to be a man—and for that, one murder was enough." ( )
  gvenezia | Dec 26, 2014 |
The rise of a poor rural Indian through modern urban India -- a cutthroat, almost American tale of winner takes all. Very good book club choice. One pet peeve: author compares his work to Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man in postscript at end -- I disagree, racism in America a unique evil. Last thought: liked Thirty Umrigar's The Space Between Us more -- also read as part of book club, also set in India, also from a servant's point of view (a woman's P.O.V.), deeper characters, more complexity. But then, who won the big Booker Prize? (Aravind Adiga). Sorry feeling very feminist today. ( )
  cabockwrites | Jul 17, 2014 |
Outstanding novel. Set in contemporary India, Balram Halwai (aka the White Tiger) narrates the story of how he climbed out of the poverty of the Darkness, became a driver for a rich man in town, followed him to Delhi, murdered him to steal his money, and ended up as an entrepreneur in Bangalore. (Don't worry, most of this, including the fact of the murder, is stated in the opening pages -- I didn't give anything away.)

The narration is simultaneously hilarious and savage, sympathetic and repellent, reliable and unreliable. The language is consistently inventive but not intrusive. The depiction of the economic life of India -- ranging from feudal to modern and from servants to masters -- is fascinating. This book will make you look twice, and then look twice again, and then look twice again, before crossing the street in India ever again. ( )
1 vote nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Original post at Book Rhapsody.


From rickshaws to SUVs

As a kid, I thought of India as this country filled with majestic temples and marching elephants and women in sari dancing to that distinct Indian music. As a teenager, I thought of India as this country dense with heat and dust and traffic and the sour smell of perspiration coming off Indian bodies. Now, as a 20-something rank and file slave alternating between giving in to the demands of the corporate world and shutting out the same world to entertain fantasies of ruling it, I think of India as this country filled still with majestic temples dense with heat and dust and political turbulence spoken by that unmistakable Indian accent.

That same accent I heard in this novel, spoken by the once low-class driver, now middle-scale entrepreneur Balram. He pronounces pizza as pija, mall as maal. He describes the undersides of progressing India with harsh, irreverent eyes. He writes a series of letters to some Chinese official. He confesses to him a crime that he is proud to have committed.

The crime is no secret. He immediately lets us know that he is a murderer. Who and why he killed a man are two things that the reader would ask while going through the letters. The immediate answers are easily found. But how about the deeper ones?

When you’re in Delhi, repeat the story I’ve told you to some good, solid middle-class man of the city. Tell him you heard this wild extravagant, impossible story from some driver about being framed for a murder his master committed on the road. And watch as your good, solid middle-class friend’s face blanches. Watch how he swallows hard–how he turns away to the window–watch how he changes the topic at once.

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, body, soul, and arse.

Yes, that’s right: we all live in the world’s greatest democracy.

What a fucking joke.

The White Tiger is at once a humorous tale of a man’s philosophies and confession, and a dark view of the Indian class wars and political system. Reading the novel makes me feel nauseous. I can almost taste that squalid bitterness rising at the back of my throat. Had I any outstanding travel plans to India, I might have canceled them after finishing the book.

The anti-hero tells us the India that he knows and the India that is concealed to us by travel agencies. However, I have a bit of a problem. Balram seems too Westernized in the way Filipino characters in the scant Filipino novels I have read are. It feels weirdly juxtaposed that he, a man born in a rural town where reliable transport, potable water, and good education are still issues to be addressed, would inject his sentences with that word: fucking. Although it’s something that he picked from the wife of his spineless but good-natured employer, it sounds like squeaking chalk when spoken by an Indian or Filipino or any Asian character.

The details in the novel seem so real probably because it is overdone at times. The depiction of India’s undeveloped lands sounds a little romanticized. It couldn’t be that bad, surely? Or it could be that I’m being naïve, acting like a solid middle-class worker sitting comfortably and typing with not a drop of sweat.

Actually, this novel could have taken place in our country. I recalled my call center days when I read this. Balham, after the murder, builds an empire of cabs, banking on call centers who need to fetch their agents and let them take or make calls at 3 AM. He describes the scenes with piercing accuracy that I could not help shuddering at the remembrance of dragging my frail, sleep-deprived body to go to work, not mentioning the dangers lurking at the unpeopled overpasses and dark streets.

We are in competition with India in the call center industry. In fact, we also work with India. I remember reporting to Indian bosses, transferring calls to Indian agents and supervisors, and learning to understand the way they speak (I almost failed an interview just because I got to understand “What are your future plans?” on the third repetition). The call center culture is also strikingly familiar (the pizza parties while on the phone, the rushed cigarette-smoking while on short breaks). So in a way, the novel is close to me.

And because of the familiarity it created, I am convinced that the real India is the one accounted to us by our anti-hero. Yes, it is chillingly ruthless. It is bordering on exaggerated ridicule, but on hindsight, there’s a lot of truth in it.

The poverty, injustice, and corruption that are too often mentioned are the ones that I’ve seen too often on local TV documentaries. We read about the poor made poorer thanks to a dispossession that forces them to the streets. We witness street children intentionally hit by speeding cars. We see how local officials try to put an attempt in solving such cases and slowly forget about them once money is stuffed in their pockets.

I cannot say much about India because I’ve never been there and I could only care so much for her. I have my own country to worry about. But yes, we are happy for India on her rise to globalization. But I guess she has to watch out for the sleeping tigers long kept in the dark. They may pounce her at the back if she forgets to turn the light for them. ( )
  angusmiranda | Jun 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 287 (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 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.78)
0.5 5
1 33
1.5 8
2 95
2.5 39
3 452
3.5 201
4 873
4.5 139
5 383


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

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 95,063,128 books! | Top bar: Always visible