Monday, November 17, 2008

The White Tiger

A few days ago, I stopped near the footpath bookseller who seemed to have an interesting collection of books.I decided to buy the book - "The White Tiger " by Arvind Adiga because I read that it had won the Booker Prize this year.I think it is very well written. A short story, but a very angry and a brutal voice telling the story.

The story is about a "social entrepreneur", Balram Halwai, who now has a booming business in Electronics City, Bangalore. The story is written in the form of letters by this person to the Chinese PM. It is not stated whether the protagonist actually posts the letters he had written to the PM.

Every night at about 1.a.m he writes a new letter to the PM. He starts off regarding how he came from one of the darkest, poorest villages of India and got to the position where he is in. As the story unfolds the reader will learn that he is not our conventional "good" person but a very dark, brutal opportunistic person and a classic example of survival of the fittest who can do anything to get to the top.As the story progresses Balram starts off working in a tea stall in his village and then he escapes his village in a truck and learns driving in a driving school and he becomes a driver for a NRI couple in Delhi. There isn't much to the story but it is interesting like hell.

The way the inequalities in the Indian society has been described, the power and sarcasm in Balram's voice, the feeling of hopelessness and the small town, a semi-literate guy's view of the world is amazing! Adiga's describes India's cities like Delhi, Bangalore as "half baked cities full of half baked men". He cleverly observes what works in India and what does not. The way Adiga writes about the
a car driver's psyche and the way he puts down a car driver's stream of thought and conscience is remarkable.

I am not much of an avid book reader. But this book is good enough to make a really engrossing read. Finally it turned out to be an intelligent investment for me ;-).

Read this book if you get a day or two to spare.


Kriti said...

I thought the book was nice, but maybe not deserving of the Booker. Not sure what its competition was though :)

Have you read "A Fine Balance"? That is another interesting book I would recommend if you have the time :)

sudeep said...

No ... I haven't heard of it...Will check it out....

As far as the booker, The other one in competition was the sea of poppies by Amitva Ghosh...But I think deals with Opium Wars etc....

I tried to read a sample of that book..That book seems to have a story. But this book was really well written (IMO).

laksnj said...

Damn it! I wanted to be the first one to write about this book..:)