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Book Review: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

August 14, 2013 | By

Overall it’s a nice, compelling and eye-opener read albeit I am not sure if it really deserved a Man Booker.

White Tiger: Winner of 2008 Man Booker Prize

White Tiger: Winner of 2008 Man Booker PrizeBuy from Amazon 

 

‘MEET BALRAM HALWAI, THE ‘WHITE TIGER’:

SERVANT, PHILOSOPHER, ENTREPRENEUR, MURDERER…’

That’s how the back cover (the Indian version) introduces you to this captivating work of words, The White Tiger – Winner of the The Man Booker prize 2008; and believe me there couldn’t have been a better introduction to the novel.

About The White Tiger

Let’s start with the story that sprouts at Laxmangarh, a small village situated on the bank of Ganga, the holy river of India (though the protagonist doesn’t think so); where Balram alias Munna, the protagonist in the story, was borne as a underprivileged child who could not even finish his elementary education.

The novel is based on the disparities of two worlds: darkness, inhabited by poor and underprivileged who cannot even meet their bare minimums; and the lighted world, inhabited by zamindars, politicians, businessmen etc who shamelessly exploit the ones from darkness, making them even more poor and increasing their grandeur.

It is the story of Balram Halwai who hails from darkness but possesses the will, wisdom and most importantly cunningness to break into the light, the world of riches. During his journey from darkness to light, he plays several roles, dons several hats, tries different tricks and commits many crimes – one of which includes the cold-blooded, well-planned murder of his master and escaping with money that values in lakhs.

Taking off from Laxmangarh, the story progresses with his journey to Dhanbad, delhi and finally ends at Banglore.

Despite the fact that it belongs to the class of literary fiction, the language is quite simple making it an easy read. I don’t think you will be needing a dictionary to understand it as in the case of conventional novels.

The narration is communicative, written in the form of an open letter with periodic salutations and greetings complimented with a typical sarcastic tone in an attempt to shatter the image of so-called progressing India, which is true but overly done at times (may be because of my sense of possessiveness of India).

No doubt, the story is captivating, which progresses with pace holding suspense and revealing the folds in layers, leaving you agape at certain instances.

The White Tiger Quotes

The following extract can give you an idea of its compelling and captivating narration that shifts its gears unexpectedly.

“Well actually, I spat. Again and again. And then, whistling and humming, I went back down the hill.

Eight months later, I slit Mr. Ashok’s throat”.

Overall it’s a nice, compelling and eye-opener read albeit I am not sure if it really deserved a Man Booker.

Image Courtesy: Amazon

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Pankaj Sharma is an avid reader, an active blogger and a passionate writer who wishes to read all the classics written by the literary geniuses of 19th and 20th century.
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