Friday, January 16, 2009

"The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga

Summary: An Indian chauffeur recounts growing up poor in the "Darkness" and struggling as a servant to masters. Recounted from the present where he has "made it" as an entrepreneur.

Musings: The book is narrated by the main character as he presumably writes letters to the Chinese premiere. He has a unique voice--blunt and evasive through most of the book; cynical and yet full of lofty philosophizing. While I had a hard time connecting to the present-day narrator, I sympathized with and felt drawn to the stories the narrator tells about himself. Much of his background reads like Slumdog Millionaire: poor in the slums of India, forever beaten down by the rich and powerful. In the end, this narrator makes a choice to refuse servitude--but only at the cost of others' lives and adopting many of the attitudes of the rich he himself hated. He has no regrets--do we begrudge him for making "dishonorable" choices in a world that lacks fairness and justice?

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