The Man Booker Prize 2008 Winner.
Born in a village in heartland India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school by his family and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coals and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape – of breaking away from the banks of Mother Ganga, into whose depths have seeped the remains of a hundred generations.
The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias. Balram’s journey from darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral, brilliantly irreverent, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A brutal view of India 's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer. Balram Halwai is from the Darkness, born where India 's downtrodden and unlucky are destined to rot. Balram manages to escape his village and move to Delhi after being hired as a driver for a rich landlord. Telling his story in retrospect, the novel is a piecemeal correspondence from Balram to the premier of China, who is expected to visit India and whom Balram believes could learn a lesson or two about India 's entrepreneurial underbelly. Adiga's existential and crude prose animates the battle between India 's wealthy and poor as Balram suffers degrading treatment at the hands of his employers (or, more appropriately, masters). His personal fortunes and luck improve dramatically after he kills his boss and decamps for Bangalore. Balram is a clever and resourceful narrator with a witty and sarcastic edge that endears him to readers, even as he rails about corruption, allows himself to be defiled by his bosses, spews coarse invective and eventually profits from moral ambiguity and outright criminality. It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India.
From The New Yorker
In this darkly comic début novel set in India, Balram, a chauffeur, murders his employer, justifying his crime as the act of a "social entrepreneur." In a series of letters to the Premier of China, in anticipation of the leader’s upcoming visit to Balram’s homeland, the chauffeur recounts his transformation from an honest, hardworking boy growing up in "the Darkness"-those areas of rural India where education and electricity are equally scarce, and where villagers banter about local elections "like eunuchs discussing the Kama Sutra"-to a determined killer. He places the blame for his rage squarely on the avarice of the Indian élite, among whom bribes are commonplace, and who perpetuate a system in which many are sacrificed to the whims of a few. Adiga’s message isn’t subtle or novel, but Balram’s appealingly sardonic voice and acute observations of the social order are both winning and unsettling.
Manju is fourteen. He knows he is good at cricket — if not as good as his elder brother Radha. He knows that he fears and resents his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented brother and is fascinated by CSI and curious and interesting scientific facts. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn't know. . Everyone around him, it seems, has a clear idea of who Manju should be, except Manju himself.
But when Manju begins to get to know Radha's great rival, a boy as privileged and confident as Manju is not, everything in Manju's world begins to change and he is faced by decisions that will challenge both his sense of self and of the world around him.
As sensitively observed as — Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008 — was brilliantly furious, reveals another facet of Aravind Adiga's remarkable talent.
A tale of one man refusing to leave his home in the face of property development. Tower A is a relic from a co-operative housing society established in the 1950s. When a property developer offers to buy out the residents for eye-watering sums, the principled yet arrogant teacher is the only one to refuse the offer, determined not to surrender his sentimental attachment to his home and his right to live in it, in the name of greed. His neighbours gradually relinquish any similar qualms they might have and, in a typically blunt satirical premise take matters into their own hands, determined to seize their slice of the new Mumbai as it transforms from stinky slum to silvery skyscrapers at dizzying, almost gravity-defying speed.
On India's south-western coast, between Goa and Calicut, lies Kittur – a small, nondescript every town. Aravind Adiga acts as our guide to the town, mapping overlapping lives of Kittur's residents. Here, an illiterate Muslim boy working at the train station finds himself tempted by an Islamic terrorist; a bookseller is arrested for selling a copy of "The Satanic Verses"; a rich, spoiled, half-caste student decides to explode a bomb in school; a sexologist has to find a cure for a young boy who may have AIDS. What emerges is the moral biography of an Indian town and a group portrait of ordinary Indians in a time of extraordinary transformation, over the seven-year period between the assassinations of Prime Minister Gandhi and her son Rajiv. Keenly observed and finely detailed, "Between the Assassinations" is a triumph of voice and imagination.