Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The White Tiger Growls Meekly!

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Title: The White Tiger
Author: Aravind Adiga
Page
s: 321
Price: R
s. 350Rating: 2.5/5

It took me quite some time to finish "The White Tiger", Man Booker prize winner of 2008. I made several attempts to read the book. I couldn't go beyond the first two chapters for a few weeks, but, eventually I finished it.
An epistolary in nature, the book grips you in places in the first half and disappoints in the second leaving you in emptiness making you wonder what did you just read?

It's acerbic, sardonic, witty, and hits you hard on the face with some acidic facts of India; read inequality, corruption, caste system etc. These issues need to be analyzed in depth through a story and this book tries to do that. But fails to make any impact, at least I wasn't moved a bit. For patriotic people, The White Tiger should come with a disclaimer as it bursts with India bashing. And though it bashes rightly where it should be, but that's all it does. 
 
The mordant criticism goes overboard and you don't feel there is any story left. It starts off so well and then evaporates somewhere in between. The protagonist's character falls flat. Balram is a villager from Bihar who claims to be not proficient in English but speaks like an American (He says, seven hundred thousand rupees). He seems like a mouthpiece of those NRIs who complain of every little thing in India. He wants to make it big in the city which he does, from being a chauffeur to a successful entrepreneur, but kills his boss in the process. I desperately tried to hate or pity Balram Halwai but I couldn't connect with him at any level. I felt indifferent towards him. Also the format of the novel, a letter to the Chinese premier seemed pointless, perhaps my creative mind doesn't match up with that of Adiga's.

Dark humor and sarcasm is in abundance and it did tickle my witty cells but sadly it is not enough to lift a book.With so much of high expectations from The White Tiger that won a prestigious literary award, my disappointment forces me to award it 2.5 stars.


This review is a part of MySmartPrice review program.
And a special mention to Preeti for being
so patient with me. Thank you!

8 comments:

  1. Haven't read the book but I have seen it getting higher rating ...though of giving it a try...but after seeing your rating I think I should think again.. :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did too, that's why my expectations were too high.

      Delete
  2. Lol I second Maniparna :D
    Seen some good reviews. But now I'm not so sure if I will ever pick this book or not :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might give it a try though ;)

      Delete
  3. Oh! Just average?!
    Glad I got to read this version too. Often only the positives are highlighted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it didn't quite work for me.

      Delete
  4. Had read it a while back...and had put in a review.. check it out..
    http://themoonstone.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/the-white-tiger-by-aravind-adiga/
    I liked your take on it though even though it differs with my perception of the book :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's perception...it differs from person to person. I'm about to read your review and before I do, let me tell you I liked that you read mine and with an open mind and not jump on me for putting my perception here.

      Cheers!

      Delete

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