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by Ellyb on 27 August 2009Winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize, "The White Tiger," by Aravind Adiga, is a pretty intense piece of work. The narrator, an Indian from a caste of sweet-makers, tells the story of his scrabble to the higher rungs of society than that to which he was born. It is darkly comedic in tone, and the narrator tells his tale so pleasantly that the reader is taken in effortlessly and almost immediately to his case. All the while, the reader feels her stomach drop out because the description of life in "the Darkness" of India is so bleak and so irreparably stacked against those born in that Darkness, that a way out can hardly be imagined. The way out, so nimbly depicted by the narrator as the reason for his success, is egregious and SHOULD be unconscionable. But it is to Adiga's credit that by the time the novel comes to that point, the narrator has won the reader over, if not to the point of championing his act, at least to understanding his reasons. This is an excruciating, hilarious, brutal, wonderful read. No, those terms are not mutually exclusive. Read "The White Tiger" and see what I mean.
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