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Extended Audio Sample The White Tiger: A Novel Audiobook, 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: May 2008 ISBN: 9781400176656
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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. Download and start listening now!

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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

  • A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut.... It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India. Publishers Weekly Starred Review
  • 2008 Man Booker Prize Winner
  • 2009 Indies Choice Book Award Honor Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kulwant | 1/21/2014

    " An excellent novel set in modern day India. One of those rare books that are extremely well written, compelling, funny but full of great insights. Top book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Asawari | 1/14/2014

    " interesting depiction of Rural India "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd Copeland | 1/6/2014

    " Great expression of Indian life and the challenge of the cast system "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 1/1/2014

    " Felt like I was in modern India. Really well written book that packs a punch with realities of the class system. The main character is fantastic and you feel like you are a part of his life and life India. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelly Zinn | 12/26/2013

    " Didn't care for this book - just wasn't for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gaurav Vimal | 12/21/2013

    " hmm good book about life... nd describe reall nd true india... nd i also like the ending....who gave the idea to being to being a good enterpeniur... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irina Feeney | 11/30/2013

    " This is such an amazing book. A great story first, beautifully told in first person. But beyond that, this is a treatise, a guide, a primer, on modern Indian society the depths/honesty of which I, a non-Indian, have never seen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindy | 11/22/2013

    " Great Book. I love Adiga's writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 11/17/2013

    " What an interesting take on the epistolary form. I loved the fact that it was a very different but real look at India. I'm a little worried that I had no problems identifying with the main character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Klosa | 8/21/2013

    " This was a really smart look at modern India and the identity conflicts many Indians face. This narrator was just plain wacky and takes the readers for a ride. At times the book is exactly what we in the USA think of India and then at other times, it is really an eye opener. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Audrey Leyenhorst | 5/13/2013

    " I don't even want to finish reading it, but should for our book club. Not enjoying it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Pollard | 4/21/2012

    " Easy reading, eye opener to the hardships of the lower castes acting as servants to the rich in India. Unpleasant reading in places and the hero himself has questionable morals of his own at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Selvin | 3/29/2012

    " does'nt know why this book got man booker award....!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane Thomson | 3/22/2012

    " Disturbing but amazing!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ari | 3/15/2012

    " Crazy book set in India's darker streets. By the author who brought you slumdog millionaire "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Koka Jagadeesh | 11/20/2011

    " writing is good ... the way of narrating is excellent "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Asher | 7/18/2011

    " read it in a day! loved the way it was written as a letter :) just gave me yet another reason why i have to visit India.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KatDoyle | 6/28/2011

    " I listened to the audio book version -- Tantor Media -- and enjoyed it thoroughly. The author foreshadowed the tale, and then used humor to reveal the details. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 6/26/2011

    " I plowed through this book in three days - a fun, easy, read, but with a lot to say about India and about democracy as it is, which was worth listening to. The irony it presented, and the tone of ridiculousness, made the constant serious commentary on our world go down smoothly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roland | 6/25/2011

    " The best plotted story I've read since Poe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 6/24/2011

    " Reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire. Vivid writing.. a peek into a different world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vaishali | 6/24/2011

    " White Tiger is a book which most of us set to read while already hating it in the back of our mind. But the crude language notwithstanding, it's a fairly absorbing book. Not a masterpiece and certainly not worth a Booker, but worth a read with an open mind, I'd say. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 6/22/2011

    " Set up as a series of letters to a visiting Chinese dignitary, the protagonist tells the story of his life from his youth in a small village, to life in the city, to his rise to be a business owner from his dedication to learning from the school of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 6/20/2011

    " Such a good book! Glad I read it in India - the characters have real personality and you find the main character so endearing despite how he behaves "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 6/20/2011

    " An excellent story of a young man living in India and trying to forge a new life for himself. A great insight into a life so different to anything I've ever experienced. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Morgan | 6/20/2011

    " I LISTENED TO THIS BOOK INSTEAD OF READING IT. HAD A REALLY HARD TIME PAYING ATTENTION AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT WAS GOING ON. MAYBE IT'S BETTER TO READ THIS BOOK INSTEAD OF LISTENING TO IT. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shien | 6/20/2011

    " it was a light read easy to get through. i liked the perspective of the story though i didn't get the point of mr wen jiabao. my friend did comment that the protrayal of india was overly gloomy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teri | 6/20/2011

    " A satiric look at India and its current progress trajectory. Baldram, a self-important little man, becomes an entrepreneur and self-made man via an unorthodox route; but perhaps the only one open to him. The humour comes out particularly in the audio version. "

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About the Author
Author Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga was born in India in 1974 and attended Columbia and Oxford universities. He is the author of Selection Day, the Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger, and the story collection Between the Assassinations.

About the Narrator

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.