- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 22 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Abridged
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 17 Dec. 2015
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0196SHW7K
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The White Tiger Audiobook – Abridged
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I expect that any discerning person having read this would make a call to their local Indian Embassy and ask them what the devil is going on there!
Having come off a documentary shoot in S.Asia this book not only hardened my resolve to get my film completed for the people there but also left me with my current wish not to venture into India- the place of blindly nostalgic foreign yoga colonies and youthful backpackers seeking enlightenment à la George Harrison....
The country depicted is the real India - an irreparable place, failed by Ghandi and corrupt democracy and with a religion too complex to protect basic human rights.
After this read it's easy to understand the horror behind the servile nature and hard honesty of any poor-to-middle class Indian may have. It is also easy to understand the apathy and arrogance of wealthy Indians because they have inherited their position through caste or some act that our protagonist Balram had to undertake.
A seething, ironic and energetic novel that mobilises every fibre of our anger at the developing world for its greed. For once no need to blame former colonial powers.
The repetitive wording can be forgiven since this IS the life of the poor in most countries: no choices, repetition of daily mundanities and if lucky, some sleep.
The White Tiger helps us understand why these poor souls either make it or die in India or fall from the scaffolds of building sites in Dubai and Qatar. They only know exploitation.
The "white tiger" of the title refers to the story's narrator and anti-hero, Balram Halwai, a self described "social entrepreneur," whose amorality makes Gordon Gekko seem like Gandhi in comparison. The story unfolds in the form of a letter that Halwai is writing to the visiting Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao (at the time this book was published in 2008) in which he regales the story of his "entrepreneurial education," in order to best illustrate the truth behind the myth of "the new India."
Suffice to say, his journey of upward social mobility from the "Darkness" (i.e., the rural village with its landlord/peasant structure) into the "Light" (i.e., the glitzy urban city with its master/servant structure) is paved with subjugation, humiliation and, ultimately, revenge. This is a tale of the brutal underbelly of India's emerging economy, with its gleaming glass apartment towers, shopping malls, and call centres.
In a world in which there is an ever growing gap between rich and poor, in which elections can be rigged and those in power can be bought, this insightfully observed novel is an alarming wake up call.
The book is written as an e-mail from the white tiger of the book to the President of China. So, the white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. A poor man from the largest democracy on earth writing to a powerful man who leads the largest non-democratic country on earth.
When the president of China’s is to visit Bangalore, Balram decides to write a letter to him describing his own transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family. In the letter Balram describes the contradictions and complications of Indian society. The author takes a satirical look at a player in the new Indian economy, Balram, who rises to a successful software entrepreneurship from a rural existence in a low-class Hindu caste.
The White Tiger tells the story of one man who makes his way from the Indian countryside to the Indian cities in the author’s most original voice. I found this book quite different to everything else I have read and I really enjoyed it. If you like to read off the beaten track, give The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga a try.
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It interested me on so many levels.Read more