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The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  

The White Tiger

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Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008

Aravind Adiga's winning debut novel The White Tiger is described as a ‘compelling, angry and darkly humorous' novel about a man's journey from Indian village life to entrepreneurial success. It was described by one reviewer as an ‘unadorned portrait' of India seen ‘from the bottom of the heap'.

Michael Portillo, head judge, commented:
"The judges found the decision difficult because the shortlist contained such strong candidates. In the end, The White Tiger prevailed because the judges felt that it shocked and entertained in equal measure.

"The novel undertakes the extraordinarily difficult task of gaining and holding the reader's sympathy for a thoroughgoing villain. The book gains from dealing with pressing social issues and significant global developments with astonishing humour."

Portillo went on to explain that the novel had won overall because of 'its originality'. He said that The White Tiger presented 'a different aspect of India' and was a novel with 'enormous literary merit'.

If you like Aravind Adiga you might also like to read books by Jeet Thayil, Martin Suter and Junot Diaz.

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Synopsis

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Meet Balram Halwi, the ‘White Tiger’: servant, philosopher, entrepreneur, murderer – who, over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of an absurd chandelier, tells his story.

Born in a remote Indian village, the son of a rickshaw-puller, Balram is taken out of school by his family and put to work in a teashop. As he smashes coals and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape, of breaking away from the banks of Mother Ganga into whose murky depths have seeped the remains of a hundred generations.

When a rich village landlord hires him as a chauffeur for his son and daughter-in-law, Balram’s re-education begins. Behind the wheel of a Honda, Balram comes to New Delhi. There he finds himself among cockroaches and traffic-jams, slums and shopping malls, 21st-century technology and medieval superstition. Trapped between his instinct to be a loyal son and servant, and his desire to better himself, and under the scrutiny of 36,000,005 gods, he discovers a new morality at the heart of the new India. Gradually Balram comes to see how the Tiger might escape his cage…

Balram’s journey from darkness to the light of success is a brilliantly irreverent, blackly comic, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable tour de force.

Reviews

'Extraordinary and brilliant… Adiga is a real writer - that is to say, someone who forges an original voice and vision. There is the voice of Halwai - witty, pithy, ultimately psychopathic…remarkable.’ Sunday Times

‘[A] riveting, razor-sharp debut… Adiga has been gutsy in tackling a complex and urgent subject. His is a novel that has come not a moment too soon.’ Independent

About the Author

Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras in 1974 and was raised in Australia. He studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities. A former correspondent in India for Time magazine, his articles have also appeared in publications like the Financial Times, the Independent, and the Sunday Times. He lives in Mumbai. The White Tiger is his first novel.

Author photo © Mark Pringle

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Book Info

Publication date

1st March 2008

Author

Aravind Adiga

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Author's Website

www.aravindadiga.com/

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Publisher

Atlantic Books

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
Debuts of the Month
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ISBN

9781843547204

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