Diaries Magazine

The White Tiger: Book Review

Posted on the 06 August 2013 by Rukhaiyaar @rukhaiyaar
“The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga is narrated by Balram Halwai, the protagonist of the book. He is a successful entrepreneur. He is a self-made man who rose on the back of India’s economic prowess. In a poverty ridden India, he represents future.

Balram narrates the book as a letter to the visiting Chinese premier, which develops over seven days and nights in the city of Bangalore. The story is rather much complicated than it looks at the initial pages. The White Tiger: Book ReviewBalram hails from Bihar, before moving to Bangalore, he was driving for the son of an old-fashioned landlord. One day, he steals a bag containing a huge sum of money from where he worked and left for Bangalore to start his taxi business with the money he stole. As the story unfolds, it turns out that Balram is not only an entrepreneur but also a criminal with ability for self-justification. But his portrayal as a criminal is a reflection of his background which consisted of a landscape of corruption, poverty and inequality. As in Balram’s words, he described the life of his family was in “the Darkness”; A life of feudal hardship, where there were brutal landlords hold power, children are put into servitude rather than going to school and elections are a mere buying and selling business. This Book is far, far away from glamour, where the protagonists aspire to get into Bollywood or becomes the youngest web entrepreneur. No, this book is intense and puts light on the darker, dominating side of India; which results in people like Balram to turn into a ruthless criminal cum entrepreneur. This book is utterly unrealistic to the lives of the rich urban Indians. In plain impassive style, he scrubbed the shine of a self-congratulatory India and showcases a country where the compression by the society has reached a breaking point. Even after doing a murder, Balram justifies his act as an act of class conflict. The White Tiger identifies with the middle-class India. Although, this book talks repeatedly about revolution and removing “the Darkness” which somewhat made it a little monotonous.

The White Tiger: Book Review

The Characters are quite believable; the insensitive upper class landlord and his wife, who are typically cruel to their employees and the ambitious Balram, often smitten by the charm of money and luxury. The parts were he was sent to buy alcohol for his employer; he is dazzled to see all those English liquor or by the smell of perfumes in the air, while he visit a shopping mall. I find the cruelty by the rich people and the depiction of the nation in this book, a personal vision of the Author, about India rather than just a fiction tale. This book does reveal the darker side of India, but at the same time totally ignores the modern India, which is definitely on the right side of progress. Aravind Adiga won the 40th Man Booker Prize for his debut novel The White Tigerin 2008. 

Recommended. -Amrit R

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