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The White Tiger

Aravind Adiga

2 Chapters
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Completed on 21 March 2023
ISBN : 9788172238476
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Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008 Meet Balram Halwai, the 'white tiger': servant, philosopher, entrepreneur, murderer… Born in a village in the dark heart of India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coal and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape. His big chance comes when a rich landlord hires him as a chauffeur for his son, daughter-in-law, and their two Pomeranian dogs. From behind the wheels of a Honda, Balram sees Delhi and begins to see how the Tiger might escape his cage. For surely any successful man must spill a little blood on his way to the top? The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias. Balram's journey from the darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral, brilliantly irreverent, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable.  


"The White Tiger" is a critically acclaimed novel written by Aravind Adiga. The book tells the story of Balram Halwai, a young man from a poverty-stricken village in India who rises above his circumstances to become a successful entrepreneur in Bangalore. As a writing assistant, I had the privilege of reading this book and here is my review. The book is an eye-opening and powerful exploration of class and social structure in India. Adiga's writing style is gripping and engaging, giving the reader a vivid understanding of the realities of life for the poor in India. The portrayal of Balram Halwai, the protagonist, is particularly noteworthy. Adiga has done an incredible job of bringing Balram to life, creating a character that is both complex and relatable. One of the most impressive aspects of the book is its depiction of the Indian elite class. Adiga explores the corruption and moral decay that extends throughout the entire class, through the experiences of Balram as he navigates his way through this world in search of success. The author provides a powerful critique of the gap between the rich and poor in India, highlighting the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy and powerful. Adiga's use of humor is another highlight of the book. Despite the serious themes, the witty and satirical tone adds an enjoyable layer to the narrative. The humor is used to balance the depressing realities of Balram's life. Overall, "The White Tiger" is a thought-provoking, deeply political, and touching novel. Aravind Adiga's writing is remarkable, and his portrayal of the complexities of the Indian class system provides readers with a poignant message about class structure not just in India but around the world. It is a book that should be read by anyone interested in the consequences of socioeconomic hierarchies and their repercussions on individual lives. The book is a worthy winner of the Man Booker Prize and should be on the reading list of people who love engaging and thought-provoking literature

Aravind Adiga's "The White Tiger" is a gripping and unapologetic novel that offers a powerful glimpse into the underbelly of modern-day India. Set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing society, the book follows the journey of Balram Halwai, a chauffeur from a rural village who rises from his impoverished background to become a successful entrepreneur in the bustling city of Delhi. The novel presents a scathing critique of the prevailing socio-economic disparities, corruption, and exploitation rampant in India's hierarchical structure. The narrative unfolds as an intimate letter written by Balram to the Chinese Premier, recounting his life story as a rags-to-riches tale of ambition and survival. The author skillfully weaves Balram's voice, a mix of bitterness, wit, and dark humor, to depict his disillusionment with the prevailing social order and his determination to break free from his predetermined fate. Balram's journey from a submissive, oppressed individual to a cunning and resourceful entrepreneur is both fascinating and unsettling. Adiga adeptly delves into the psyche of his protagonist, exploring the complex interplay of power dynamics and moral choices that shape his transformation. Balram's narration offers a nuanced perspective on the struggle for survival in a system that perpetuates social injustice. Through Balram's eyes, Adiga exposes the stark dichotomy between the opulent world of the urban elite and the harsh realities faced by those at the bottom of the social ladder. He navigates the reader through the contrasting landscapes of rural poverty and urban wealth, effectively capturing the stark disparities that exist in contemporary India. The character of Balram is masterfully drawn, with his sharp intellect and unapologetic cunning making him both a compelling protagonist and an anti-hero. He embodies the tension between the desire for upward mobility and the ethical compromises one must make to succeed in a society governed by corruption and exploitation. "The White Tiger" also serves as a thought-provoking exploration of the human condition and the choices individuals make when faced with difficult circumstances. It delves into themes of morality, ambition, and the price of success, leaving readers pondering the complex nature of right and wrong in a morally ambiguous world. Adiga's prose is sharp and evocative, immersing the reader in the sights, sounds, and smells of bustling urban life and the harsh realities of rural deprivation. His writing is both vivid and unflinching, making it difficult to look away from the stark truths he exposes. In conclusion, "The White Tiger" is a thought-provoking and deeply engrossing novel that shines a light on the dark underbelly of contemporary India. With its complex characters, searing social commentary, and unrelenting narrative, Aravind Adiga's book is a raw and riveting exploration of the socio-economic struggles faced by millions, challenging readers to confront uncomfortable truths about the human condition. "The White Tiger" is a must-read for those seeking a profound and eye-opening literary experience.


It is a novel that takes a hard look at the realities of modern India. Through the eyes of Balram Halwai, a poor driver from rural India who rises to become a successful entrepreneur in the city, Adiga provides a scathing critique of the corrupt power structures that govern Indian society. The White Tiger is the splendid debut and the Booker Prize winning novel by Aravind Adiga which gives the world a glimpse of the life of a servant in modern day India trying to escape the darkness and become free. The book covers the harsh truths of a modern global economy and its crushing effects on the working class. With themes ranging from poverty, religious tensions, families all the way to political and police corruption in this booming country. The protagonist, Balram Halwai is a thinking man, an Entrepreneur, telling his story of escaping the darkness and coming to the light. I really love the analogy of been in the darkness (referring to being a part of the working class and living in the slums) and seeking the light (rich and well off). Balram become a driver for a wealthy business man in the coal industry where he learns about the ways of the world and the classes. Balram tries to be a good Indian, looking after his family, been a good servant, not drinking, praying to his gods. But slowly corruption seeps in and you can see Balram been effected by this new world around him as he slowly sinks into this world; while trying to escape pressures of been a servant. This book is somewhat a blend of mystery, psychological thriller and dark humor. It was indeed a fresh experience for me after a long duration of dormancy from the world of books. There’s a concept called “The Rooster Coop” which the writer very efficiently details out in his usual, demented manner, but the horror of it is felt when you, deep down, side with his theory in its abstract form. It talks about how the oppressed have been so groomed and brought up beneath the sky of oppression that their minds have been robbed of rebellious thoughts; their existence bound to a fate which they can’t fathom an alternative to. So they don’t draw up a plan to flee, even if presented with the chance. Like roosters, in a coop. The power of The White Tiger lies in its authentic and persuasive voice and the complex relationships the protagonist and those that surround him. There’s resentment and respect, desperation and pity, in the relationships between Balram and his family, between Balram and the other servants, and most ambivalent of all, between Balram and his master. Adiga exposes social and economic injustices with humour and a brisk pace and only falters in the last step because of too much left to say with words that seem stripped of their confidence after the emotional climax. Still, the journey of The White Tiger is one worth experiencing.

Aravind Adiga's "The White Tiger" is a Man Booker Prize-winning novel that exposes the harsh realities of modern India through the eyes of its protagonist, Balram Halwai. The story critiques social inequality, corruption, and the pursuit of success in a gripping and satirical narrative. A compelling and thought-provoking read.