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The White Tiger: WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2008 Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
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Blazingly savage and brilliant Source: Sunday Telegraph
A masterpiece Source: The Times
Dazzling... With The White Tiger, Adiga sets out to show us a part of [India] that we hear about infrequently: its underbelly... [Balram's voice is] brimming with idiosyncrasy, sarcastic, cunning. Source: Independent on Sunday
Adiga's portrait of the Indian capital is very funny but unmistakably angry... Keeps you guessing to the final page and beyond. Source: Financial Times
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
WINNER OF THE GALAXY BRITISH BOOK AWARDS 'AUTHOR OF THE YEAR
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There is humour, which works well to relieve the often uncomfortable detail. A careful and fine balance makes the account realistic and compelling. A great read and if, like me, it's a book you'd not normally look at, I urge you to give it a go.
To my taste this was a wonderful book. Funny and disturbing at the same time as well as witty, a real page turner. India is a wonderful and mysterious place with disturbing social attitudes that promote injustice to those at the social bottom end. This novel will pull your sympathies in opposite directions. Im pleased i broke the habit of going for another piece of crap Amazon would sell me for a £1
"Speak to me of blood on the streets", I told Delhi.
"I will", she said.
Balram learns many things in Delhi, one of them being resentment about the future presented to him - an endless financial commitment to his manipulative grandmother, a marriage he doesn't want and life as a servant. There is much in this novel about modern India, about the corruption of government and police, of poverty and of the fight of one man to escape the life mapped out for him and emerge from the Darkness and into the Light. Wonderful read, with a narrator whose voice speaks for many and who will stay with you for a long time.
On the eve of the Chinese President's visit to India, Balram Halwai, the White Tiger of the title, writes him a series of letters ostensibly to explain how democracy and entrepreneurship are the factors that differentiate the two countries. However as Balram's story unfolds, it become a confessional, as we learn of the unconventional way in which he broke out of the 'Rooster Coop' that keeps the lower caste Indian in a state of poverty and servility to the rich.
Balram's job as driver and servant to a rich businessman gives Adiga the opportunity to show the contrasts in Indian society, as does Balram's move from the poverty of rural India to the rich parts of Delhi in the wake of his master. Adiga's writing is so assured and flowing that the book is a pleasure to read and Balram, despite his faults, is a character it's hard not to empathise with and like. But somehow the descriptions of the society seem a bit shallow - not enough shades of grey. Adiga is wryly scathing about the corruption endemic in politics and the police, but so many of the characters seem purely driven by greed that often there's very little room for the reader to sympathise with them.
Overall, I found this a well-written, enjoyable read with obvious signs of the talent and promise that for me Adiga fulfilled in Last Man in Tower. Recommended.
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