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The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga




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The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Published by Atlantic Books in 2008

Balram Halwai is The White Tiger – the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi where - watching his employers bribe foreign ministers for tax breaks, barter for girls and drink liquor - he learns of a new morality at the heart of the new India. There he takes the violent action that secures his place among the rich. The novel takes the form of seven letters addressed by Balram to the Chinese premier who is expected to visit India and whom Balram believes could learn a lesson or two about India's entrepreneurial underbelly. It is an unflattering portrait of India as a society racked by corruption and servitude. The White Tiger is as compelling for its subject matter as for the voice of its narrator - amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.

‘It's a thrilling ride through a global power... Brimming with idiosyncrasy, sarcastic, cunning, and often hilarious’ The Independent

‘Blazingly savage and brilliant... Not a single detail in this novel rings false or feels confected.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘….the judges felt that it shocked and entertained in equal measure. The novel undertakes the extraordinarily difficult task of gaining and holding the reader's sympathy for a thoroughgoing villain. The book gains from dealing with pressing social issues and significant global developments with astonishing humour.’ Booker Prize judges

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras and raised in Australia. The White Tiger, Adiga’s debut novel, was the winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize.