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The White Tiger
Cover of The White Tiger
The White Tiger
A Novel
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No saris. No scents. No spices. No music. No lyricism. No illusions.This is India now.Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Over the course of seven nights,...
No saris. No scents. No spices. No music. No lyricism. No illusions.This is India now.Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Over the course of seven nights,...
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Description-

  • No saris. No scents. No spices. No music. No lyricism. No illusions.

    This is India now.

    Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of a preposterous chandelier, Balram tells us the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life - having nothing but his own wits to help him along. Born in a village in the dark heart of India, Balram gets a break when he is hired as a driver for a wealthy man, two Pomeranians (Puddles and Cuddles), and the rich man's (very unlucky) son.

    Through Balram's eyes, we see India as we've never seen it before: the cockroaches and the call centers, the prostitutes and the worshippers, the water buffalo and, trapped in so many kinds of cages that escape is (almost) impossible, the white tiger. And with a charisma as undeniable as it is unexpected, he teaches us that religion doesn't create morality and money doesn't solve every problem - but decency can still be found in a corrupt world, and you can get what you want out of life if you eavesdrop on the right conversations.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Aravind Adiga is a former correspondent for Time magazine and has also been published in the Financial Times.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Debut author Aravind Adiga offers this revealing and truthful look at class struggle in modern-day India as seen through the eyes of chauffeur Balram Halwai. Halwai escapes a brutal existence in rural India only to end up murdering his rich employer in Delhi. The novel is told, in part, as a correspondence between Halwai and the premier of China, for whom the driver believes he holds valuable insights. Narrator John Lee reads with an accurate East Indian accent that will astound listeners searching for his normally stern British tone. Lee captures Halwai and his imperfect world perfectly, relating Adiga's views with a raw honesty. Lee puts his own twist on the work but never disowns Adiga's story--rather, he welcomes it with open arms. Lee is the quintessential narrator. L.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 14, 2008
    A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer. Balram Halwai is from the “Darkness,” born where India's downtrodden and unlucky are destined to rot. Balram manages to escape his village and move to Delhi after being hired as a driver for a rich landlord. Telling his story in retrospect, the novel is a piecemeal correspondence from Balram to the premier of China, who is expected to visit India and whom Balram believes could learn a lesson or two about India's entrepreneurial underbelly. Adiga's existential and crude prose animates the battle between India's wealthy and poor as Balram suffers degrading treatment at the hands of his employers (or, more appropriately, masters). His personal fortunes and luck improve dramatically after he kills his boss and decamps for Bangalore. Balram is a clever and resourceful narrator with a witty and sarcastic edge that endears him to readers, even as he rails about corruption, allows himself to be defiled by his bosses, spews coarse invective and eventually profits from moral ambiguity and outright criminality. It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 30, 2008
    First-time author Adiga has created a memorable tale of one taxi driver's hellish experience in modern India. Told with close attention to detail, whether it be the vivid portrait of India he paints or the transformation of Balram Halwai into a bloodthirsty murderer, Adiga writes like a seasoned professional. John Lee delivers an absolutely stunning performance, reading with a realistic and unforced East Indian dialect. He brings the story to life, reading with passion and respect for Adiga's prose. Lee currently sits at the top of the professional narrator's ladder; an actor so gifted both in his delivery and expansive palette of vocal abilities that he makes it sound easy. A Free Press hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 14).

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    Tantor Media, Inc.
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