December 07, 2008

The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (the winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize) was my second last book for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge which ends on the 20th December.

I was so glad after finishing this book that I decided to read it as my India selection for the challenge - a great book!

The White Tiger tells the story of Indian man, Balram Halwai - well, it is actually Balram who is the narrator of his own story - a conversational technique that makes the book so engaging. Balram becomes known as The White Tiger when, as a school boy, his village school is visited by a local school inspector. The inspector is poorly disappointed in the majority of the students at the school but Balram impresses and the inspector tells him he is like a white tiger - rare and special. Balram takes this message to heart and in an extremely difficult and hostile environment he moves from village resident to driver for a wealthy business man in Delhi.

This book engages the reader in Balram's story and his life - I was acutely aware at times that we were clearly being presented with only one side of the story but I think as opposed to taking away from the story this style only made it stronger.

The White Tiger is a brilliantly narrated and engaging story - looking forward to more from this author.


nutmeg said...

It's good to read that this is a good book as I am currently reading Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole - which lost out on the Booker to Adiga - which I am enjoying but it's early days as its a 700 page book and I'm only 70 pages into it!

Karen said...

Hi Nutmeg - definitely a quick one to get through, it's a lot like the main character is having a conversation with you really. Looking forward to hearing what you think of Steve Toltz's book - I haven't been inspired to read that one as yet.

tanabata said...

I'm glad to hear you liked this one. I picked up a copy recently but didn't really know much about it, other than it won the Booker. Hopefully I'll get to it sometime next year.