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The White Tigerby Aravind Adiga
A remarkable first novel, ingeniously written in the form of a letter to the Chinese premier soon to visit India, Adiga's dark yet witty debut brings to Western readers the tense drama of a developing country and a character caught up in corruption and class struggle.
Synopses & Reviews
No saris. No scents. No spices. No music. No lyricism. No illusions.
This is India now.
Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of a preposterous chandelier, Balram tells us the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life—having nothing but his own wits to help him along. Born in a village in the dark heart of India, Balram gets a break when he is hired as a driver for a wealthy man, two Pomeranians (Puddles and Cuddles), and the rich man's (very unlucky) son.
Through Balram's eyes, we see India as we've never seen it before: the cockroaches and the call centers, the prostitutes and the worshippers, the water buffalo and, trapped in so many kinds of cages that escape is (almost) impossible, the white tiger. And with a charisma as undeniable as it is unexpected, he teaches us that religion doesn't create morality and money doesn't solve every problem—but decency can still be found in a corrupt world, and you can get what you want out of life if you eavesdrop on the right conversations.
"First-time author Adiga has created a memorable tale of one taxi driver's hellish experience in modern India. Told with close attention to detail, whether it be the vivid portrait of India he paints or the transformation of Balram Halwai into a bloodthirsty murderer, Adiga writes like a seasoned professional. John Lee delivers an absolutely stunning performance, reading with a realistic and unforced East Indian dialect. He brings the story to life, reading with passion and respect for Adiga's prose. Lee currently sits at the top of the professional narrator's ladder; an actor so gifted both in his delivery and expansive palette of vocal abilities that he makes it sound easy. A Free Press hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 14). (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Set in a raw and unromanticized India, The White Tiger—the first-person confession of a murderer—is as compelling for its subject matter as it is for the voice of its narrator: amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.
About the Author
Aravind Adiga was born in India in 1974 and attended Columbia and Oxford universities. A former correspondent for "Time" magazine, he has also been published in the "Financial Times". He lives in Mumbai, India.
JOHN LEE is a well-known herbalist, who practices in North Carolina and lectures widely.
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