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A stunning literary debut critics have likened to Richard Wright’s Native Son, The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society. “This is the authentic voice of the Third World, like you've never heard it before” (John Burdett, Bangkok 8).

The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.

Recalling The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, The White Tiger is narrative genius with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation—and a startling, provocative debut.

Book Reviews

The White Tiger
Average rating
4 / 5
A quirky read
February 9th, 2016
An interesting commentary on the compexities of Indian life. A rythmical style of writing. Playful despite the darkness of the storyline.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
A dark, yet fun read
November 1st, 2014
An entertaining, easy read of hard topics set within India’s many vivid layers. The charming narrator serves up harrowing tales with casual grace. His clever style makes this book a page-turner. Also, he makes you question not only him but the morality of it all.
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1 review
The White Tiger
September 29th, 2014
Interesting. I kept returning to his narrative. A good read.
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1 review
The white tiger.
July 19th, 2014
... uh uh, was quite interesting start, but then, the repeat came in... I made it to page 76... and just lost interest of this repeating it self story essay. Sorry. Not my type....
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
A very interesting story that highlights the struggle of the down-troddens in a rapidly developing society, and how some can succeed through determination and ruthlessness.
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1 review
April 29th, 2013
A strange ambivalence: a very different perspective on India than the romanticized one I read in Shantaram. Still a good read, if you don't mind feeling dirty at the end of it. More and more I find myself choosing to read books that are so very grey: full of questionable characters... Who do morally questionable things. But who is to say whats right or wrong? Is it wrong to live a servant's life, even if that's what you born to, even if that's what you want and crave? Is it wrong to aspire to more? Is it right to force people who don't aspire to more to aspire to more? Is my version of success the same as yours? I think we may all live in cages of our own making: we fly from cage to cage because we are afraid of the emptiness in between... Like my mother's pet canary, who was born in my parents house, who has never known freedom, we get scared and fly into our cages, shiver and look into toy mirrors and wait to be fed. Pensive and rather morose, that's how I feel after reading this book: book it speaks to how I felt after I visited India. So many of my colleagues were so proud of Indian democracy.... But it's as if they didn't seen the hordes of poor people sitting under the concrete bridges. I almost felt ashamed to not be as proud of my own Canadian democracy. I digress, a good read: be nice to have a frank discussion, if you have read this book too.
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1 review

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