The White Tiger: A Novel by Aravind Adiga
An excellent book and a worthy Booker winner – not to say that this isn’t unevenly written, because it is, but the sheer power of teh narrative here, exposing a side of Indian life that is seen by every visitor but rarely understood or explored, is impressive.
Adiga manages the first three quarters of the narrative with bravura, if things fall apart towards the end, I feel it’s because he wanted more time to live with his anti-hero protagonist and that, perhaps, this novel, written a decade later in Adiga’s life, would have started in a very different place, covering less of a lifetime and dwelling deeper on salient points of experience.
There is an astonishing bravura word game played in the novel, which I won’t give any spoilers about, or hints to, but the ridiculousness of the the term ‘entrepreneur’ when applied to any old business person is punctured with such a sure hand here that the book is worth reading for that alone.
And in light of Mumbai’s recent horrific attacks, this book goes a long way to explaining why such terrorism happens, and why the ‘West’ is so reviled in some sections of society.
Charles Lambert30th November 2008
Well, you’ve convinced me, Kay. I’ll be reading this just as soon as I’ve finished Omega Minor, i.e. some time in the next few months…
Kay Sexton2nd December 2008
I think you’ll enjoy the writing, Charles – it’s the kind of novel that would appeal to you for its examination of prejudice, if nothing else.