Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Aravind Adiga - The White Tiger

Wow. What an absolutely brilliant book! It's so unique, so different to anything that I've read lately, and utterly engaging. I was a little reluctant to pick this up because I have found some previous Booker books to be too tedious for me to actually enjoy. However, with The White Tiger, I was sucked in from the minute I started reading. Who would have thought that you could craft a story set in India from writing letters to the Chinese Premier? Balram Halwai is the hero/anti-hero (depends on how you look at it) and star of the novel, as we follow his life story out of his rural hometown of Laxmangarh into the bright lights of Bangalore. Through Balram's journey, Adiga offers a critique on life in modern India and an insight into the harsh realities for those born into the lower social classes. Not willing to accept his pre-determined fate by his caste, Balram breaks out of the rooster coop but there are consequences to pay. Regardless of his actions, Adiga has created a likeable character with a compelling story. I really enjoyed The White Tiger and even though I haven't read the other nominees, I think it's a deserving Booker Prize winner.