Thursday, January 7, 2010

The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga

Favorite quote from The White Tiger:

The Rooster Coop was doing its work. Servants have to keep other servants from becoming innovators, experimenters, or entrepreneurs.

Yes, that’s the sad truth, Mr. Premier.

The coop is guarded from the inside.

* * *

Rarely do novels fully capture my interest from the first page, but narrator Balram’s wit and irreverence had me from the start. Never before has a murderer been so charming, so much so that by the time Balram finally gets around to describing whom he killed and how,I forgave him rather quickly. Aravind Adiga’s gritty style and earthy narration remind me of what I love best about authors like Chuck Palahniuk and Maxine Hong Kingston. I was also impressed because it’s easy when reading a book about a culture that varies from your own to slide into romanticism or cultural tokenism. But Adiga's narration demonstrates his vested interest in skewering people’s perceptions about India (and, likely, provides in jokes for native readers who have to deal with common misperceptions). My only regret is because I could not put it down, The White Tiger ended all too quickly.

Rating: 9/10*

Genre: Literary fiction

Pages: 276

* Truthfully I’m tempted to give this one a 10/10, but it’s only January 7. There’s a long year ahead of me and I suspect my initial ratings are going to be somewhat low. I might revisit them later.

1 comment:

  1. The coop is definitely guarded from the inside. I'm definitely interested in this book now, and I had never heard of it before.