Book Read! The White Tiger

Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger (2008).

First sentence: “His Excellency Wen Jiabao, The Premier’s Office, Beijing, Capital of the Freedom-Loving Nation of China.”

P. 99: “The landlords brought in trucks full of their own supporters in retaliation.”

Last sentence: “Yours for ever, Ashok Sharma The White Tiger of Bangalore boss@whitetiger-technologydrivers.com.”

I’ve won this book in a contest on Leeswammes’ Blog; thank you so much, Judith!

When I started reading this book my first thought was that I really didn’t like it…  That was until I read the last sentence of the first chapter.  This sentence was so unexpected and so intriguing, that it drew me in immediately and I couldn’t stop reading from then on.  This is a book that sets you thinking.  The main character and narrator of the story, The White Tiger, tells the story of his life in a most unusual way.  And although he did things that shocked me, I couldn’t help liking him.  Now stories like this always leave me a bit shaken.  You know a character is bad in some way, and yet you like him.  I don’t understand how this is possible; is it because he tells everything from his point of view, or because there certainly are arguments in his favour?  I really don’t know.  But I do know that this is a book that I will be thinking of for a long time.

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4 Comments

  1. Glad you liked it, Nadine. I think you liked it better than me, so that makes it even nicer that I gave it away.

    I also like characters that are not likeable or that do bad things. I think it’s because they are the main person of the book and you get attached to them (maybe in a way that you are your own main person in your life and you care about yourself, too).

    Also, people can’t be totally bad. Well, maybe they can but that wouldn’t be very realistic I think. Everyone has a weakness, or a way of doing something that endears them to you.

    I think I didn’t like the protagonist too much myself, actually.

    • Thanks for your comment Judith!
      I always have double feelings about characters as this Munna, as he was called by his parents. Part of the reason can be that you only learn graduallu about the ugly things they did. I remember I had the same feeling about the main character in “Het diner” by Herman Koch. First I liked him very much, I thought he was a really sympathetic guy, but then suddenly he did something that I really didn’t expect and couldn’t approve of. But because I liked him before, I found it hard to believe this ugly streak was really part of his character and I started looking for plausible reasons why he could have done it. I’m not going to say any more, because I am not sure you read the book already, and I don’t want to give away too much in case you didn’t.
      But I liked reading The White Tiger and I am glad I won it. Thanks again!

  2. It’s funny how much first impressions count, isn’t it? I have read Het Diner although I don’t remember the details. But it’s very hard to believe that someone is plain “bad” – there must be a reason why they’re doing it, that shows that they can’t help it. But I guess not everyone is as nice as his first impression makes us think.

    • In “real” life, this is the same, I think, Judith … First impressions are hard to change… Although I think I tend to sympathize more with ‘bad’ people in books than in real life! 🙂

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