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The White Tiger
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message 1: by John (new) - added it

John Seymour 11. Please share your review and your rating of The White Tiger.


Diane  | 2050 comments Rating: 4 Stars
Read: July 2012

It's been a while since I have read, so it isn't fresh in my mind. I do remember that I did enjoy it quite a bit, as I do appreciate dark humor and satire. It is basically the story of a low caste Indian man and his ruthless quest to move up the social ladder. If I recall, he isn't a very likable character and he really doesn't paint a favorable view of his country. The book will make the reader frequently uncomfortable, but I think that is part of the whole objective. I enjoyed it, but I don't think it is for everyone.


Book Wormy | 2029 comments Mod
3 stars





Told by self confessed murderer Balram this is a story about the dark side of India and its politics, we are taken into a world of bribery and corruption with little hope of change.

A bleak novel in which justice seems to have taken a holiday and the the only way to improve your lot is by joining the ranks of the violent or the corrupt and ultimately the monied.

An eye opener about one of the worlds largest emerging economies without further verification though it is hard to know how much is the "real India" and how much is embellished for the benefit of the reader.

It also raises the question of how much could a outsider learn about this side of India if these kind of novels were never published?


Kristel (kristelh) | 4183 comments Mod
Read 2010. 4 stars, The White Tiger tells a story of India's poor. The narrator is an entrepreneur, a self made man. He is writing a journal to the premier of China. The two countries that he feels are rising economic forces are India and China. The white man is on his way out. It also is the story of man who evolves from a good person to a man that can turn his back on his family and even to murdering his boss and feel justified in his choices.


Anita Pomerantz | 166 comments 4 stars

This book totally teetered on the edge of 5 stars for me. Adiga transports the reader to India with an outstanding first person narration. Balram is a servant with few prospects for happiness or self determination. The story highlights his attempt to change his life in the face of corruption and near enslavement. The portrayal of India and the wealthy class is not pretty.

For me, there were three components that really made this book great. First, Balram is not a uni-dimensional character. I found myself in his corner even while he does some pretty reprehensible things. It's hard to write characters like this, and Adiga does an outstanding job.

The author is also great with using words to create analogy and also a certain wittiness. He calls the uneducated "half baked" and identifies the situation that servants are in as being in as the "RoosterCoop", and his explanation of that concept is very good. He compares and contrasts the state of the India populace as either being in the Light or in the Darkness. These are just a few examples, but let's just say the prose is both thought provoking and illuminating.

Finally, in the context of today's world, the underlying themes are thought provoking. How bad does a situation need to be before it drives people to commit immoral acts to rectify it? In this book, on the face of it, Balram doesn't seem that desperate, but the author portrays his situation as ultimately untenable. To me, there are many parallels to this problem in other countries, and I read the book as more of a cautionary tale, but I think there are other interpretations that would be very interesting to discuss.


message 6: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
Anita wrote: "4 stars

This book totally teetered on the edge of 5 stars for me. Adiga transports the reader to India with an outstanding first person narration. Balram is a servant with few prospects for happin..."


So interesting. I gave it 3 stars back when I read it and I didn't really enjoy it. Reading your review makes me think I just missed pieces and should try it again some day. I read it for book club when it first came out. Great review Anita!


message 7: by Anita (last edited Jun 29, 2017 12:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anita Pomerantz | 166 comments Jen wrote: "Anita wrote: "4 stars

This book totally teetered on the edge of 5 stars for me. Adiga transports the reader to India with an outstanding first person narration. Balram is a servant with few prospe..."


Thanks, Jen. It reminded me a lot of Lolita in certain regards. I love Lolita because of the way the author takes an absolutely clearly horrible person and enables the reader to almost empathize with him (while simultaneously being disgusted). This book was much more subtle, but I loved the way it explored the morality of the protagonist in a way that (view spoiler), on some level it was understandable. I think it's so hard to do that . . .but I like books that explore the bounds of human behavior.


message 8: by Pip (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pip | 1434 comments This time I read the book quickly with the idea of answering the questions in mind. When I first read it I was enchanted by the idea of a low caste Indian writing a letter to the Premier of China. Quite a subversive idea when one understands the caste system. The use of language was colourful and entertaining. The whole book was satirical in tone and fun to read. I gave it five stars the first time and have done so again.


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