The White Tiger details the cast system in India and the rise of a person from the lowest cast to an upper cast. When I mention this book, people say, oh. It’s like Slum Dog Millionaire. Uhmmm. No. I don’t think so. It’s very different. It starts off with our main character writing a letter to the premiere of China before the premiere’s visit to India and it addresses the issues of the country of India from the point of view of a man called Balram who also is The White Tiger.
For sake of disclosure, I was born in India and I completely understand the concepts presented in this book. And yes, they were disturbing to me and made me feel quite uneasy and uncomfortable. I have heard another Indian person say that they did not like this book. Perhaps it’s because of what the book revealed. The truth is the truth. We’ve got to suck it up.
Well, I was quite vested in the main character’s story and rooted for him, until the end, but I didn’t find the end justified. To me, it just didn’t seem too believable. Granted a book does not have to be believable or satisfy the reader, but I was left with so many questions. Perhaps, I had been rooting for the wrong person all along. I will give Adiga this. I love his words and his descriptive ability. The end felt rushed and needed more punch. All in all, I gave this book 4 stars. It was good, despite the unsatisfying end. If it weren’t for that, I would have given it 5 stars.
Please note that my book club will be doing this novel coming February. I record my book club sessions and they should be available shortly after on my podcast. Do not forget to subscribe to my podcast while you are there! The podcast Living a Life Through Books also has more reviews, bookish topics, author interviews and other interesting conversations about books with some fascinating people.
If you are interested in a different genre, click for a review of the fantasy novel, The Starless Sea.