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Extended Audio Sample The White Tiger: A Novel, by Aravind Adiga Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (61,708 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Aravind Adiga Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The captivating voice in the audiobook narration of The White Tiger: A Novel takes you on a journey through an India that few outsiders know exists. In first-person, Balram Halwai tells his compelling story of life as one of the many poor in his country, and how through luck and ingenuity he carves his own path. This novel pulls back the curtain on the illusion that is India. Under the exotic shell lurks the reality of a country whose government fails its huge class of poor, and breaking away from the ugliness sometimes involves murder.

With the illumination from an immense chandelier and spanning seven nights, Balram unrepentantly chronicles his life from oppressed servant to successful entrepreneur. Through his eyes we view his native land from his perspective, a picture of how misery can be overcome with intelligence and fortitude. After being put to work in a shop by his relatives; he fantasizes about getting away from the village, and finds his way into being hired as a rich man's driver. When luck leads him to a secret discovery, his ambition and brutality enables him to move up in the impoverished world he was born to.

This retrospective narration from Balram, a confession of sorts, places India's religion, corruption in government and class struggles firmly under the public microscope. A likeable character, he embodies the spirit of India today, even as he proclaims himself to be a representative of what the future will be. The dark humor used throughout adds to the compelling narrative.

The author, Aravind Adiga, conveys how a complex man from a simple background evolves as he runs the gamut from rickshaw puller to business owner. The White Tiger is the first novel written by Adiga, and received the 2008 Man Booker Prize for fiction. A native of Indian, born in 1974, he attended Magdalen College, Oxford and New York's Columbia University. His work has been published in renowned magazines including the Financial Times, the New Yorker and the Times of India..

No saris, no scents, no spices, no music, no lyricism, no illusions: this is India now.

Balram Halwai is a complicated man: servant, philosopher, entrepreneur, murderer. Over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of a preposterous chandelier, Balram tells us the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life—having nothing but his own wits to help him along. Born in a village in the dark heart of India, Balram gets a break when he is hired as a driver for a wealthy man, two Pomeranians (Puddles and Cuddles), and the rich man’s (very unlucky) son.

Through Balram’s eyes, we see India as we’ve never seen it before: the cockroaches and the call centers, the prostitutes and the worshippers, the water buffalo and, trapped in so many kinds of cages that escape is (almost) impossible, the white tiger. And with a charisma as undeniable as it is unexpected, he teaches us that religion doesn’t create morality and money doesn’t solve every problem—but decency can still be found in a corrupt world, and you can get what you want out of life if you eavesdrop on the right conversations.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Darkly comic…Balram’s appealingly sardonic voice and acute observations of the social order are both winning and unsettling.”

    The New Yorker

  • 2008 Man Booker Prize Winner
  • 2009 Indies Choice Award Honor Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jeremy | 2/19/2014

    " This was a compelling story of an indian servant who leaves the confining life imposed by his family, his class, and by his rich employers. He does this by killing his boss, taking his money, and using it to become a successful entrepreneur, using the same crooked and crafty skills his former boss' family used to obtain their wealth. At times the narative can be very crude and offensive, quite often using the "f" word. Also casual sex with hookers is referred to, but thankfully not described in much detail. Since we're obviously not dealing with a reliable and praiseworthily narrator, I guess I was able to set these things aside, as the story pulled me along and I greatly felt a desire to find out how the story filled out. It really was interesting, I just personally wish the author didn't choose to include so much swearing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chris Nelms | 2/7/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. One of the better books I've read this year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Elizabeth Moffat | 2/5/2014

    " What an intriguing book! Ok, our main character doesn't exactly paint India in a complimentary fashion, but the way it is written (in letter format) is so interesting. I think this book will stay with me for a while. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Rickson | 1/30/2014

    " Pale. Sluggish. I slept 4 times while reading the book. If this is what they nominate for the booker prize award, then chetan bhagat surely deserves better rewards. "

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