Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Review: The White Tiger

So, I decided to change the blog look. I like this much better! Anywho, on to the book...

The White Tiger
By Aravind Adiga
276 pages

I picked this book up at the library because I saw it on the "Recent Releases" (which in my teeny tiny library just means that they recently acquired it) and I had remembered hearing something about it and seeing that it won an award (The Man Booker Prize). PLUS! It qualifies for the WBC, which will be a theme present until March 31st.

The format of this book was not what I expected. I went into it thinking that it was just going to be a straightforward, chapter by chapter story told in third person. Nope! It's a first person narrative, told in letters over the course of 7 days (well nights really). The narrator is Balram Halwai and he is writing to the Premier of the State Council of the Republic of China, Wen Jaibao, to tell him of his upbringing in India and his rise to become a great entrepreneur and murderer.

Balram grew up in a small village as the son of a rickshaw driver. He was smart and attended school for a while (where he was given the name White Tiger) until he family became too poor and needed him to work. He learns how to drive and becomes the driver for a very high up family, for which he becomes a faithful servant. Throughout his story, Balram discusses the caste system in place, what makes him different from his masters, and what keeps him a servant. Eventually, his ideas lead him to kill his master and become his own man.

I wasn't sure that I liked this book at first, but after the first couple sections, I got used to the writing style and really got sucked in. The main character is likable and kind of endearing in a way, despite being a murderer and I ended up really enjoying his story.

7.5 out of 10 stars.


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