The White Tiger by Aravinda Adiga, I push this book upon literally everyone that I meet. I’ve gifted it to friends on their birthdays, recommended it to colleagues, given it as a secret Santa, even loaned it to my dad. I bloody love this book! It was first loaned to me by my favourite teacher at college and has been in my top five reads ever since.
Having forced The White Tiger on quite a few people lately, I thought it would be good to give it another go so it was fresh in my mind. I wanted to be ready to discuss the finer detail when those I have recommended it to have finished it.
It isn’t a strenuous read, the font is large and it’s well paced, spread across 321 pages; keen readers should finish it in a week. If my word is not enough to sway you to read this book, then know that it won the Mans Booker Prize the same year it was published (2008) as well as making it’s way into the New York Times bestsellers list, so I’m not on my own here when I say that it’s good.
The main protagonist, Balram Halwai, tells the story of his life story through a series of charming, witty and somewhat blasé letters to Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, who is soon to be visiting India. Wishing to give Jiabao a true insight to life in India, Balram’s letters to the Premier pay tribute to Balram himself escaping the ‘darkness’ of his village Laxmangarh, and moving to the city to become the driver of a rich family; but this is not merely a story of the triumph of a poor man.
It is a tale of deceit, and the exploration of political corruption and socioeconomic status. The White Tiger is a based on two disparities: the world from the view of the destitute masses in the rural, improvished villages of India and the lavish lives of the westernised crooks who exploit them for their own privileges.
I can’t possibly tell you any more without ruining the plot for you, but hopefully it will make its way into your ‘What I’m Reading Wednesday’ and you can find out for yourself. I must insist that it does….
Meet Balram Halwai: Servant, Philosopher, Entrepreneur, Murderer.