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

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

by Aravind Adiga

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8,645393712 (3.78)718
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)
Title:The White Tiger: A Novel (Man Booker Prize)
Authors:Aravind Adiga
Info:Free Press (2008), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (2008)

  1. 112
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  2. 61
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» See also 718 mentions

English (364)  Dutch (7)  French (5)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (392)
Showing 1-5 of 364 (next | show all)
Rushdie-light. ( )
  twharring | Aug 29, 2021 |
I liked this book a lot.

This story is told by the main character in a series of letters (emails??) written over the course of 7 nights to the Premiere of China who is coming to India for a visit.

I liked the story, characters, and humor of this book very much. It's about a very poor guy who is a servant in India and what he does to become successful.

It won the Man Booker Prize in 2008. ( )
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
White Tiger is written as a series of letters from an Indian entrepreneur to a Chinese politician, explaining how the real India works. The author's own story, rising from a poor country bumpkin to a chauffeur to a Bangalore entrepreuner is the milieu. Presents a depressing view of a morally bankrupt, graft-ridden democracy in India. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
The telling of the tale takes place in a series of letters written by Balram to the Premier of China prior to his visit to India. Balram feels that he must tell the Premier about his life and how India really is instead of the sanitized version he will be fed. There are 2 distinct India's in the book, the darkness which is the rigid caste system with life in the villages and the light which is the life of the rich.

For Balram to go from one to the other he feels he must commit some immoral acts (mirroring the business world) and feels completely justified in these actions. To me, the big 'thinking' point of the book is that given his obstacles is he in some way justified in what he does?

I will leave the answer of the question upto you but I will say that the story is a bit far fetched. This isn't actually that huge a deal, the story behind the story is the point. I found it to be an interesting enough read and it was a fast read for me.

Personally I probably wouldn't have given it a Man Booker prize but then again, I would never have given the prize to Ian McEwan for Amsterdam (a book I hated). This is probably down to the fact that I am more of a pure fiction reader rather that literature reader. On Amazon and in other places it has been mentioned that this book signaled a move away from Man Booker winners that were somewhat hard to read. If this is the case then that should be applauded as this book certainly fits the easy to read tag. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 19, 2021 |
After having seen Slumdog Millionaire, this book was a refreshingly cynical take on the reality of breaking out of abject poverty in modern-day India. Or at least another perspective on the reality. (And I'm not really sure how cynicism can be refreshing.) Told in the first person, the story is an intriguing and lively character study, as well as a biting satire and critique of the corruption endemic to the Indian business, political, and power structure. It's quite funny, with moments of great sadness and outrage, and it didn't go where I thought it would, which was a nice surprise. ( )
  alexlubertozzi | May 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 364 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aravind Adigaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rey, Santiago delTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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.

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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.
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