The White Tiger is a picaresque fiction, which means the novel depicts the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society as per google and Wikipedia. This was my first read in this genre, and honestly, it was a good experience.
The narrator, Balram Halwai is the protagonist who narrates his life in a letter, addressed to Chinese premier Wen Jiabao written in several consecutive nights. He explains how he grew from being a son of a poor rickshaw-puller to a successful businessman.
The resident of a small village Laxmangarh near the city of Gaya, Balram works as a daily wager. He later moves to Dhanbad with his elder brother and works as a labor at a tea stall and serves the coal-mine workers coming there. On realizing that his earning is not enough, he quits his job to learn car driving.
After a number of rejections, Balram manages to be a driver for Laxmangarh’s landlord son Ashok, who has returned from America recently with his wife. He lived in a small dark room that was abandoned by other drivers while Balram’s boss and his wife lived in a luxury apartment. The comparison was to portray the difference between the upper and lower class in the Indian society. A depiction of how corruption prevails has also been brought into the story with a politician being bribed.
The success story of Balram from being a daily wager to a successful entrepreneur is self-justified but on contrary, he is a criminal who crushed the skull of his boss, stole a bag full of cash and moved to Bangalore to start his own business.
Adiga’s novel is one of its kind where the author presents his own vision of the world. The story has been kept very descriptive with detail aspects of the Indian society.
Aravind Adiga won Man Booker Prize for his great work.
I rate this book 3.5 out of 5.