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Balram Halwai, the eponymous white tiger, is a diminutive, overweight ex-teashop worker who now earns his living as a chauffeur. But this is only one side of his protean personality; he deals in confidence scams, over-ambitious business promotions (built on the shakiest of foundations) and enjoys approaching life with a philosophical turn of mind. But is Balram also a murderer? We learn the answer as we devour these 500 odd pages. Born into an impoverished family, Balram is removed from school by his parents in order to earn money in a thankless job: shop employee. He is forced into banal, mind-numbing work. But Balram dreams of escaping -- and a chance arises when a well-heeled village landlord takes him on as a chauffeur for his son (although the duties involve transporting the latter's wife and two Pomeranian dogs). From the rich new perspective offered to him in this more interesting job, Balram discovers New Delhi, and a vision of the city changes his life forever. His learning curve is very steep, and he quickly comes to believe that the way to the top is by the most expedient means. And if that involves committing the odd crime of violence, he persuades himself that this is what successful people must do.
The story of the amoral protagonist at the centre of this fascinating narrative is, of course, what keeps the reader comprehensively gripped, but perhaps the real achievement of the book is in its picture of two Indias: the bleak, soul-destroying poverty of village life and the glittering prizes to be found in the big city. The book cleverly avoids fulfilling any of the expectations a potential reader might have -- except that of instructing and entertaining. The White Tiger will have many readers anxious to see what Adiga will do next. --Barry Forshaw
I expected a lot from this book given that is has won the Booker Prize. But it took me along time to warm to it and half way through I considered giving up. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Rosemary K
I had heard good reviews but I can not honestly say that I was blown away by The White Tiger.Published 1 month ago by Mrs Yvonne Heaney
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. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Courtney Fish
I read this book before going on s trip to India and it was so true to life. There were many occasions when reading it that I laughed out loud, and when in India every time I saw a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs G Y Richards
Excellent book! Written in a very clever, unusual manner. It was recommended to me by a good friend of mine - and I thoroughly enjoyed it.Published 2 months ago by SUE WALKER