The White Tiger

by Aravind Adiga | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781843547204 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Sternschnuppe28 of Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on 10/24/2008
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Sternschnuppe28 from Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on Friday, October 24, 2008
an amazon-review:

Is this novel bitter, acid, sardonic, mocking, disillusioned, scornful, disrespectful, satirical, witty, or ironic? It displays, by turns, all of those qualities. The narrator's style perfectly captures the way that my Indian friends describe how government and personal privilege work in that country. While reading, I felt like I was sitting across from one of them having a cup of tea in a friendly Indian restaurant, and that reaction made me smile.

From this element, a false note creeps into this book. The people I know who express such views are highly educated Indians who have spent a lot of time outside of India. To make the book work, however, we have to believe that the writer is intelligent but has little education and experience outside of being a servant and driver.

Why did this debut novel win the prestigious Man Booker prize? I can only attribute the basis for that award to the obvious allusions to Crime and Punishment as Aravind Adiga explores how an impoverished Indian develops the consciousness to perform a great crime in a memoir-style novel filled with unrestrained humor. I've certainly read more humorous books by Indian authors in recent years.

As the book opens, we read a letter addressed "For the Desk of: His Excellency Wen Jiabao, The Premier's Office, Beijing, Capital of the Freedom-loving Nation of China From the Desk of: 'The White Tiger,' A Thinking Man, And an Entrepreneur, Living in the world's center of Technology and Outsourcing, Electronics City Phase I (just off Hosur Main Road, Bangalore, India." It begins, "Neither you nor I speak English, but there are some things that can be said only in English." The epistle is sent off in responses to the news that the premier is scheduled to arrive in Bangalore the following week. The White Tiger has been told on the radio that the premier wants to learn the truth about Bangalore, and the White Tiger is willing to fill him in.

As you will quickly spot in the first few pages, China and India come in for their fair share of satire in this work as well . . . providing contextual humor to keep the book from becoming too serious in its focus on India and its corrupt democracy that pretends to offer more.

The nightly letters continue for a week as The White Tiger (aka Balram Halwai) explains how he became an entrepreneur and how he conducts his business. If the humor starts to weigh on you, stick with it. The final part expresses a view that the new entrepreneurial class can choose to behave better than the old ownership class did. It's that hope that makes this book rise above the kind of satire that we all enjoy in newspaper columns about government corruption.

The book's great strength is that Mr. Adiga is able to pull together so many different aspects of Indian society into one novel. It's an imaginative concept backed up by solid writing underpinned by deep insight into this complex and interesting nation that presents so many apparent contradictions to those who aren't Indian.

Journal Entry 2 by Sternschnuppe28 at Mainz, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, February 26, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (2/26/2009 UTC) at Mainz, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

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finally on its way to iliotropio

Journal Entry 3 by iliotropio from Bruxelles / Brussel, Bruxelles / Brussel Belgium on Sunday, March 08, 2009
The White Tiger is now ... roaring in Brussels.
Many thanks Sternschnuppe28 for sending it, it looks delicious!

Journal Entry 4 by iliotropio from Bruxelles / Brussel, Bruxelles / Brussel Belgium on Thursday, May 07, 2009
I adored this book, enjoyed reading it immensely. I think it was totally worth the prize it got.
Just loved the voice of the narrator, the humour, the brutal truths about modern India and the human nature. Highly recommended!
katrinat had already bought her own copy, so I´ve sent the White Tiger to Cross-Patch, who´s been waiting eagerly to read it.

Journal Entry 5 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, May 09, 2009
Wayhay!

Thank you iliotropio and Sternschnuppe28 - I am looking forward to a good read.

Journal Entry 6 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, May 09, 2009
For my benefit, because I can't always work out how to get back to the original forum post with the participant listing I am going to add it here, also including Laui, our long list entrant.

Sternschnuppe28
-> iliotropio
-> Cross-Patch
-> Laui
-> Xeyra
-> Sternschnuppe28

Journal Entry 7 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Brutal, imaginative, brilliant! The conversational tone is welcoming and all encompassing and the whole novel just flew by. Very nearly a 10.

I'll be posting it tomorrow, to continue its journey around the spiral - and now A Fraction of the Whole has arrived!

Journal Entry 8 by Laui from Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Tuesday, June 09, 2009
The White Tiger is here, I've been really looking forward to it because of the positive comments. It has to wait a little bit, because I'm currently reading another book. But I'll make sure I get to it quickly, I have to, due to another truckload of bookrings about to arrive in my mailbox. I'll keep you all posted!

Journal Entry 9 by Laui from Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Saturday, June 20, 2009
Finished it. I liked it, it was well written and an easy read. It was funny and below the surface it was kind of heartbreaking. I agree that this is the best book from the Booker books I've read so far. As a whole it is more finished and refined than all the others.

Still, this is not nearly 'one of the best' and I had hoped that it would be. I've read better books this year (only a few, but still), I guess the real gems are hard to find.

I'll PM Xeyra to see if she's ready for this one, since she is the last one to read it before it is to be returned to Sternschuppe. I'll let you all know when I've mailed it.

Journal Entry 10 by Laui at Bosch en Duin, Netherlands, Utrecht -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (6/23/2009 UTC) at Bosch en Duin, Netherlands, Utrecht -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Xeyra is still very busy unfortunately and my sister expressed an interest in reading The White Tiger. Sternschuppe is ok with her reading it first and then sending it back to Germany. Will hand it over today.

Update july 23: my sister took it with her on holiday to Croatia, but she's back now and I think she's already mailed it out to Sternschuppe earlier this week ;-)

Journal Entry 11 by Sternschnuppe28 from Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The book arrived back home.

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