The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Our book group suffered a confusion and we were offered two books to choose from instead of one book for the month being nominated. My friend Maggie had read The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga and suggested that we go with this book instead of the other on aravindoffer. I am glad her suggestion was accepted. The White Tiger is not like any book I have read before. The writer, Aravind Adiga, is an Australian-Indian author who was born in Chennai in India on 23 October, 1974. He was educated at Columbia Universty, which is a private, Ivy League, research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. The White Tiger, was his debut novel and it won the 2008 Man Booker Prize.

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 white tiger bookgreat 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.

Valerie Penny

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