White Tiger, The
Discover the raw underbelly of India, as revealed by Balram Halwai, an entrepreneur from Bangalore, once a servant in an poor village. Writing to the Premier of China on the eve of his official visit to India, Balram shares his story, believing there is plenty Premier Jiaboa can learn from him. Moving from the Darkness, (the rural hinterland) to the Light (the modern cities), Balram exposes the shackles of the caste system and the endemic violence, poverty and corruption of the world's largest democracy. Written with sardonic humour, this is an engrossing portrait of modern India and its harsh truths of injustice and power. Winner of the Man Booker prize 2008. [Larger font]
Comments from Groups
Most enjoyed the novel and the ironic way in which it was written. The moral ambiguity and ethical dilemmas provoked interesting discussion as did the cultural assumptions. A very interesting novel. Christchurch 068
A great book with many layers, a ruthless portrait of India's poor and how the "hero" manages to claw his way upwards to become one of those exploiting them. Upper Hutt 002
The book was highly thought of by all of the group and the discussion by members was lively and thought provoking. The best book we have had for some time. Christchurch 009
Most people enjoyed it. The discussion centred around poor vs rich. Very interesting. Dunedin 063
Our members had widely differing views of the book - some thought it was wonderful and others disliked it. It resulted in a lively discussion.
We felt it was a book about power, poverty and humiliation. Some liked the book but some were disappointed - About 50/50. We felt it was clear and revealing - an easy read - we all liked the analogy with the Rooster cages.The descriptions were good. The 'White Tiger' desire to rise above the slum life was well described. Auckland 015
A humorous yet sad saga of what it's like in the poorer parts of India.
Great book - liked by all.
Challenging and thought-provoking. An informative read.
Everyone enjoyed this book. One member said it was one of the best books she had read through the Book Club. It was so well-written, that it brought to life the grim way of life in India with its background of corruption and poverty, and the analogy of it being like a 'Rooster's Coop'.
Well liked by most of the group. A real insight into life in India.
Good and full discussion from this book - leading to other books set in India, and movies. Good insights into the culture, and discussion re impact of Covid 19 on these people.
Only some people finished it. It was an easy read and enjoyed by those who read it, however the subject matter was difficult. Discussion ensued about how difficult it would be, in the narrator's position, to try and change his circumstances in life.
Really enjoyable read.
Our members had widely differing views of the book - some thought it was wonderful, and others disliked it. It resulted in a lively discussion.
A lively, interesting and brilliantly written book which provoked wide-ranging discussion on Indian culture, politics, welfare (or lack of) and making one's way in a society still ruled largely by religion and caste. Great!
We had a very lively discussion about 'The White Tiger'. The picture Adiga paints of modern India is appalling, the narrator almost completely amoral, yet the novel is interesting, lively, and to some degree, optimistic.
Fantastic! This stimulated so much discussion. We reflected on the class system in India, and the injustices that come from it. We disagreed as to whether Balram was justified in murdering Ashok! We talked about the Rooster Coop analogy and the quote "I was looking for the key for years, but the door was always open", which we felt was a key aspect of the story. We related it to our own lives in Queenstown and the problems associated with rapid growth, and the lack of infrastructure to keep up with it.
A few of our group found the story too brutal and discomforting, others enjoyed it, finding some humour in places. It gave a wonderful insight to the belly of India, with all its confronting poverty, violence, dirt and other aspects that Westerners find frightening when they first visit.