C’mon – you want to succeed in life, don’t you? Do you feel that it’s
society holding you back – its rules and mores and such? do you ever
just want to forge your own path? Take a listen to what Balram Halwai
has to say about his rise to fame (or is it infamy?) in modern day India
– you’ll never forget the conversation and learn a thing or two about
life and death.
Spring/Summer '09 Reading Group List
“Balram Halwai, living in contemporary India, is a man with aspirations and dreams he fears will never be realized considering his current position as a chauffeur and servant of the wealthy in a society with an absurdly large gap between rich and poor. As he takes it upon himself to rise above the muck in a series of unethical and criminal actions, The White Tiger will challenge your concepts of right and wrong and make you feel guilty for laughing along the way.”
— Jon Stich, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Oakland, CA
Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“Balram Halwai narrates his tale through letters written to the Premier of China over a seven-day period and tells the story of how he climbed out of poverty and into the life of a successful entrepreneur. In telling his story, The White Tiger opens a window onto the chaos and inequality of Indian society.”
— Cynthia, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, OR
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.
About the Author
Aravind Adiga is a former correspondent for "Time" magazine and has also been published in the "Financial Times."
British narrator John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian. He has won numerous Audie Awards and "AudioFile" Earphones Awards, and he was named a Golden Voice by "AudioFile" in 2009.
"A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut.... It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review