- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 15 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 5 Dec. 2008
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQATX2
The White Tiger Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is told at a blazing pace. Balram is ambitious and astute. He does well to become a driver for a local landlord's family - but he wants more..... The dilemma for him is whether he can shake off his chains by honest means or whether some blood will have to flow. (I was reminded of A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam in which a widow's only way of keeping her children safe is to commit a crime.)
This is not a comfortable read - it is an angry and subversive book about the new India where any notion of the "trickle-down" theory of wealth creation is well and truly quashed. I am not surprised it won the Booker Prize. As a work of literature it is not as good a piece of work as, say, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (also about poverty in India) but it is funny, satirical and a blistering exposé of globalisation.
It's not the usual arm-breakingly thick treatise most Indian authors seem to think necessary, just an ordinary novel. It's not riddled with obscure English words that would double the reading time if you looked them all up, it's just well-written. It doesn't need to write the history and geography of India, it just uses them as the backdrop. In short, it's very readable.
The central character is a likeable chap, whatever his sins, and the story is a good one, of his rise from the gutter and crimes committed upon him and by him. It's written in epistolary form, and therefore, almost by necessity, in the first person, and he's a very honest first person. He is not above pettiness, but almost rejoices in describing his own faults. I don't even remember half of the books I read, but I remember this one very well. It's a rare pleasure, like a white tiger.
Having said that, this is not a terrible book, although I also didn't find it at all humourous. It is well paced and easy to read and if the author wanted to convey the utter hopelessness of everyone alive in India today, he did this well. Again though, and this is my criticism of all the other books like this, it is hard to believe that nearly everyone in India, rich or poor, is so lacking in empathy and compassion, is driven purely by greed and social status, living a kind of kill-or-be-killed solitary frontier existence. 'Family Matters' by Rohinton Mistry gives a far less obviously sensational portrait of a modern Indian family who happen to find themselves in a country rife with corruption and dead ends, rather than making this sensationalism the point of the book.
Nothing new, nothing outstanding - if I hadn't read this story dozens of times already I might have been more impressed. And was it really better than Rushdie's 'Enchantress' or Ghosh's 'Poppies'? Not for me.
The book is written well with energy and a steady string of either interesting or amusing anectdotes as Balram progresses from "the darkness" or poor, rural India to Delhi which appears as a city in a state of rapid but chaotic modernization where buildings are rising steadily for either malls or job centers for outsourced work from countries like the US. Again the inequities abound for Balram,the driver, and those like him, and the superior castes appear anything but. The book is fast-paced and entertaining.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent novel that belies any idea that India has become a part of the modern democratic world as a result of its success in developing software, epitomized by its... Read morePublished 11 days ago by John Fitzpatrick
Interesting re India. Funny in parts. A real page Turner and eye opener given the views of the West that India is a liberal idyll.Published 19 days ago by Mr. Trevor J. Twohig
A habitually slow reader, I read this book in few days. This is a true masterpiece of literature that stems into social commentary. Read morePublished 4 months ago by I. MAKULOLUWE
A shocking book - one that everyone involved in race relations/community cohesion should read. It helps the understanding of cultural differences in the expression of class... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bridget Jackson
Excellent page turner. You can almost smell and hear India throughout. A real treat for the senses.Published 5 months ago by CHRISTINE