"If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster." --Isaac Asimov

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Book review: The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga

The White TigerThe White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I haven't enjoyed an Indian novel this much since I read The Namesake (admittedly, a very different kind of novel). I'd just read Adiga's short story collection, and so the themes and settings for this novel were pretty fresh. Adiga does a brilliant job with the voice of Balram, and it's the driving force behind the black comedy that makes this book irresistible. Adiga doesn't hold back as he delivers a brutally honest look at contemporary India: the two countries that coexist in one space and the unending struggle between them. From the petty corruption that permeates every aspect of society to the innate fatalism that holds India back, in Balram's eyes, every detail rings true.

Most of all, Balram's views and opinions on a variety of subjects are what make this novel truly exceptional. An example:

"Cell phones cause cancer in the brain and shrink your masculinity; the Japanese invented them to diminish the white man's brains and balls at the same time."

Read this book, and your view of India will never be the same again--even if you were born there.

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