Saturday, August 9, 2008

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

A book like The White Tiger comes around only once a generation in the jungle. Last time it was The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. This time it is The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga. My aunt recommended the book to me, and I picked it up from The Noble with a birthday gift-card. I didn't find this out until later, but The White Tiger is suddenly getting more press because it made the Man Booker Prize Longlist.

I loved the book because it is about slavery, manipulation (especially of the familial sort,) and individuality. If you read the reviews on Amazon you won't find the mention of slavery. The novel takes place in a (realistically portrayed) corrupt India. In this world, the rich have enough money to live as human beings, and the poor barely exist.

The best thing I found on the internet about this book was an interview with the Author. In the interview we find this quote:

Actually, my background as a business journalist made me realize that most of what's written about in business magazines is bullshit, and I don't take business or corporate literature seriously at all.

That sums up the feel of the novel. I love it because I feel the same way. Maybe not about business magazines, but certainly about Academia. Additionally I like the book because of the (lack of) morality of the protagonist, Balram. "Survival Before Morality" is his unofficial motto.

My favorite quote of the novel:

These are the three main diseases of this country, sir: typhoid, cholera, and election fever. This last one is the worst; it makes people talk and talk about things they have no say in. (p.82)

Finally, other bloggers who have read The White Tiger:
The Kingfisher Scrapbook
Redhead Ramble
The Complete Booker
The Mooske and the Gripes
Always Listen To Your Pig Puppet
Books for Breakfast

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