The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

About the book

The White Tiger is the debut novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga. It was first published in 2008 and won the 40th Man Booker Prize in the same year. The novel provides a darkly humorous perspective of India’s class struggle in a globalized world as told through a retrospective narration from Balram Halwai, a village boy. In detailing Balram’s journey first to Delhi, where he works as a chauffeur to a rich landlord, and then to Bangalore, the place to which he flees after killing his master and stealing his money, the novel examines issues of religion, caste, loyalty, corruption and poverty in India. Ultimately, Balram transcends his sweet-maker caste and becomes a successful entrepreneur, establishing his own taxi service. In a nation proudly shedding a history of poverty and underdevelopment, he represents, as he himself says, “tomorrow.”

Review by Sandy Lane book group:

A revealing and at times shocking or unsettling first novel whose subject matter did not have universal appeal amongst our readers, several of whom did not complete the book. Interesting and unusual first person narrative. Revealing insight into the caste system and its influence on contemporary Indian society as well as into a rapidly developing society and the many contrasts therein.

Star rating: **

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4 thoughts on “The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga”

  1. Review by The Benches reading group:
    Quite a well crafted novel, with a level of description which was not excessive or over-developed giving the reader scope for thought. On a second read, deeper insights into moral issues were revealed. strongly depicted India’s underclass and embodied moral contradictions in todays life in India.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by The Benches reading group:
    Quite a well crafted novel, with a level of description which was not excessive or over-developed giving the reader scope for thought. On a second read, deeper insights into moral issues were revealed. strongly depicted India’s underclass and embodied moral contradictions in todays life in India.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by U3A Emsworth Valley reading group:
    Most people considered this a very good novel, cleverly written to expose with wit and insight the unbelievable corruption of Indian society. The divisions in society are deeply shocking and the lengths to which Balram is prepared to go to move from the ‘darkness’ to the so-called ‘light’ are quite astonishing; he is prepared to misuse and sacrifice his family. A real page turner.
    Star rating: ***

  4. Review by Entre vous
    Several members did not “enjoy” the book because of some of the unpleasant content.
    A majority thought it was well written and revealing of a culture so diverse and distrurbing for a “westerner” to read.
    Star rating: ***

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