John's Reviews > The White Tiger

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
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's review
Mar 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: india, high-drama
Read from March 25 to 28, 2011

A little bit like Slumdog Millionaire, but a lot more fatalistic, The White Tiger sets out to illustrate how corruption has so infiltrated the Indian way of life that law-abiding citizens don't have a chance of getting ahead anymore. It also shows how a lifetime of cultural brain-washing has caused the poor of India to willingly accept their near-subhuman status in life with no though as to how it might be changed. Author Adiga comes across as utterly frustrated with his culture, and this book seems to be his attempt to set the record straight to those who learned what they know about India from books and movies like Gandhi, Little Buddha, City of Joy, and Eat, Pray, Love. Though not for the squeamish (and I don't just mean in terms of violence: this is a book methodically--though subtly--designed to make you uncomfortable), it is boldly conceived and brilliantly executed. In fact, the author's use of e-mail correspondence to tell a story is the most effective example I've ever seen of narration through reading someone's mail. Even Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker start to put me to sleep whenever they try to use that little tactic... Anyway, as long as you're not expecting anything uplifting, The White Tiger is sure to impress.
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