WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2008 Balram Halwai is the White Tiger - the smartest boy in his village.
His family is too poor for him 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.
The city is a revelation. As he drives his master to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he will never be able to gain access to that world.
As Balram broods over his situation, he realizes that there is only one way he can become part of this glamorous new India - by murdering his master.
The White Tiger presents a raw and unromanticised India, both thrilling and shocking - from the desperate, almost lawless villages along the Ganges, to the booming Wild South of Bangalore and its technology and outsourcing centres.
The first-person confession of a murderer, The White Tiger is as compelling for its subject matter as for the voice of its narrator - amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 336 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Books
- Publication Date: 01/03/2012
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781848878082
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Review by VivienneR
The Chinese Premier is planning a visit to India to investigate how entrepreneurship works there. In a series of letters, Balram Halwai, a poor man from "The Darkness" describes the system. Perpetual servitude is the rule in India, where millions of impoverished people of "The Darkness" are trapped. The analogy of the white tiger at the zoo demonstrates that imprisonment. Balram takes matters into his own hands eventually creating his own "startup". Is socialism on the way? Has entrepreneurship succeeded? Or has Balram just joined the bosses. This excellent novel, winner of the Booker prize in 2008, is by turns ribald, funny and yet ultimately disheartening. The reader cheers for the amenable Balram but there is no way out.