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4.1 out of 5 stars
431
4.1 out of 5 stars
The White Tiger
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Price:£5.69


on 6 June 2017
I would describe Aravind Adiga's debut novel as razor sharp satirical social commentary exposing the political corruption, economic inequality and grave injustices of life in modern India. This is a rags to riches parable with an evil twist. The humour is as black as the sewage water that runs through the slums of Bangalore.

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.
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on 21 April 2017
One of the best and most important novels of the last fifty years. Its key images have the power and significance of Orwell's boot trampling for ever on a human face, yet he manages to combine the horror with original and thought-provoking comedy. A must for going beyond Passage to India or Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but even more important for its view of the capitalist world and its inevitable consequences.
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on 27 August 2017
This is an unusual and fascinating story written in the first person by an Indian untouchable whose only hope to escape his humiliation and sense of worthlessness to be alarmingly simple but ruthless. Four stars rather than five because it is a piece of bleak amoral realism.that left this reader uneasy and a little depressed .
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on 9 August 2017
An enjoyable and light read, with a great plot and interesting characters. I love the insight this book gives to another culture and its fascinating customs. A peak behind the curtains in India
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on 8 July 2017
I loved al, the detail in this book. After reading it I feel like I have physically seen the locations, the events, the characters - -and deep into the twisted psyche of the narrator. Not an easy read but highly recommended.
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on 4 October 2017
Best described as in satisfactory and readable condition.
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on 8 November 2016
A worthy winner of its laurels. This novel exposes the faults and suffering in the heart of contemporary India. Well paced and witty it hints at the future of globalisation for all of us unless we manage to change our collective responses to each other.
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on 28 April 2014
This gives an interesting account of life in India, where the author grew up. Does he really have to commit murder in order to have a good life?
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on 15 January 2015
An great insight into the culture and an interesting novel.
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on 18 November 2014
Good story. Not edge of the seat, but entertaining.
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