The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
A Novel

74%

30 Critic Reviews

An undisciplined debut, but one with plenty of vitality.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A stunning literary debut critics have likened to Richard Wright’s Native Son, The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society. “This is the authentic voice of the Third World, like you've never heard it before” (John Burdett, Bangkok 8).

The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.

Recalling The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, The White Tiger is narrative genius with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation—and a startling, provocative debut.
 

About Aravind Adiga

See more books from this Author
Aravind Adiga was born in India in 1974 and raised partly in Australia. He attended Columbia and Oxford Universities. A former correspondent for Time magazine, he has also been published in the Financial Times. He lives in Mumbai, India. British narrator John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian, and from the very real life of Napoleon to the entirely imagined lives of sorcerers and swashbucklers. He has won numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile in 2009. Lee is also an accomplished stage actor and wrote and coproduced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit.
 
Published April 22, 2008 by Free Press. 292 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The White Tiger
All: 30 | Positive: 24 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Above average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Feb 15 2008

An undisciplined debut, but one with plenty of vitality.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Akash Kapur on Nov 07 2008

The novel feels simplistic: an effective polemic, perhaps, but an incomplete portrait of a nation and a people grappling with the ambiguities of modernity.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by STEPHANIE CROSS on Mar 21 2009

Unexceptional, if colourful, satire evolves speedily into a brooding, paranoid tale as Balram catches the scent of rich men's blood. Fantastic.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alfred Hickling on Mar 20 2009

The remarkable balance of satire and compassion makes The White Tiger a rare beast indeed.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Kevin Rushby on Apr 18 2008

My hunch is that this is fundamentally an outsider's view and a superficial one.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Jan 14 2008

A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Philip Spires on Jun 06 2009

The White Tiger is a delightful and engaging book.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Vivek Sharma on Dec 23 2008

While White Tiger manages to reveal the dark matter in the cosmos of Indian reality, its exposition, extent, and complexity requires the understanding, humanity, attachment, and maturity absent in this novel.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Richard Marcus on May 02 2008

There's no room for mercy in the jungle that is Balram's India, and the more tigers he has on his side the better.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Leonard on Jul 11 2012

A consuming narrative told by a “half-baked” man, Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger is a classic waiting to happen.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

The Telegraph

Above average
Reviewed by Peter Robins on Aug 09 2008

It is full of barbed wit, if not - and not trying to be, so far as I can tell - actually funny.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Suite 101

Excellent
Reviewed by Alexandra Szydlowska on Jan 08 2010

'The White Tiger' by Aravind Adiga grips you from the get go; its affable narrator weaves a tale so mesmerising as to render his status as a murderer insignificant.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Preetam Kaushik on Nov 06 2009

The White Tiger is truly gripping and the style of narration is indeed commendable.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Susan Whelan on Dec 14 2008

Blackly humorous, insightful and thought-provoking tale.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Robin Leggett on May 01 2008

This is highly impressive and marks Adiga out as a writer to watch.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

USA Today

Good
Reviewed by Deirdre Donahue on Apr 23 2008

This is an amazing and angry novel about injustice and power.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
Reviewed by Andrew Holgate on Jun 16 2008

India has rarely looked as raw as it does in this memorable debut, and has rarely been upbraided with such impressive, righteous anger.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

About.com Bestsellers

Good
Reviewed by Bess Newman on Jan 01 2008

This novel is an original and compelling story about modern India.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

BookRack

Above average
Reviewed by Abhilash Ruhela on Sep 20 2011

I felt that the story was stretched.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Red Room

Above average
Reviewed by Andrew Blackman on Dec 02 2009

Nothing’s black and white, of course, and this is one of the virtues of the book.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Shelf Awareness

Good
Reviewed by Nick DiMartino on May 01 2008

A banquet of moral complexity that will keep you laughing and thinking long after it's finished.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Asian Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Nigel Collett on Jul 09 2008

The White Tiger is Aravind Adiga’s first novel. It is sharp, sassy and very funny. This reviewer for one hopes that we will soon see his second.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

The Sunday Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Adam Lively on Apr 06 2008

Extraordinary and brilliant first novel.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

The Blurb

Below average
Reviewed by John Self on May 01 2008

A forgettable debut for which the most striking question is not: How on earth did it get onto the Booker shortlist?, but: How did it get published in the first place?

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

The Kenyon Review

Below average
Reviewed by Wendy Singer on Nov 01 2009

The Man-Booker committee chose to reward a weak novel that does little more than depict corruption among the powerful and depravity among the poor in the guise of a “post post-colonial” novel.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

New York Sun

Good
Reviewed by Scott Medintz on Apr 29 2008

"Tiger" is at once a fascinating glimpse beneath the surface of an Indian economic "miracle," a heart-stopping psychological tale of a premeditated murder and its aftermath.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Gaffyninja on Nov 01 2009

Aravind Adiga's adroitly written masterpiece finally leaves us with the message that in darkness, it is us, who must provide our own light.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Teen Ink

Above average
on May 01 2008

Balram has darkened his soul by becoming a killer, but he also has succeeded in everyman’s struggle because of it.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Helium

Good
Reviewed by Caroline Dalzell on Mar 01 2009

The White Tiger will entertain you in a deeply dark way. Enjoy it for all the underbelly, dirty, grubby, delights that Balram shares with you, his humble audience, on his meteoric rise to his delusional success.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Indy Bay

Good
Reviewed by Indy Bay on Dec 18 2008

With The White Tiger, Adiga is speaking for the invisible people and demanding to be seen.

Read Full Review of The White Tiger: A Novel

Reader Rating for The White Tiger
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 755 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×