The White Tiger: Aravind Adiga

This is  a fiction I’ve read after a long break. There’s a lot of chatter about this book ever since it work the year 2009 B prize.  I do not have much fascination about reading fiction writing, however since this is a Booker winner I’d given it a try.

The book portrays the darker side of India, much like the movie slumdog millionaire. The book is a narration of Balram, a driver turned Internet entrepreneur, written as a letter to the Chinese premier. Why should Balram write a letter to the Chinese premier? It goes  rather strange and unexplained in the whole book!

The book is rather interesting to read in the first half. The life of the Balram as a driver and servant, references to a place called ‘Darkness’  are true to reality, but the latter half of  the book is rather out of touch with reality. As described in the book, Balram robs and murders his master and runs away to Banglore with 7 lakh rupees. With the stolen money he setups his own travel company to ferry employees to IT firm.  How can a illiterate boy, with absolutely no charisma or prior business acumen all of a sudden create this well managed business? Arvind Adiga do not have an answer to this in the book!

The world outside relates to India as as one of the BRIC states competing and cooperating with China in the world economy. It also sees India as Outsourceing  destinations. The book is primarily written for an audience outside India who can very well relate to Bangalore , China and outsourcing.  One of Balram’s master is an US returned guy  married to an American. Again an attempt to relate with an western audiance.  The outside world hardly can relate of Balram the protagonist in this book.  Arvind Adiga’s attempt to relate the two world is really a failure and far remote from reality!

I’ve read Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things. God of small things is certainly is a book deserving a Booker Prize, but this one by Arvind Adiga is certainly not frankly in my opinion!

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India: A Wounded Civilization : V S Naipaul

 I found an excellent blogpost on the book  here

I generally like the way VS Naipaul writes, but does not necessarily agree with his beliefs. I’m sure tons of people would agree. Go follow the amazon comments.

Naipaul refers to RK Narayans novels in the book and in a way accuses him of  not mentioning about the politics!

The books will certainly be of interest to people who are born after the emergency . Again, we do not know how much of these are well researched and how much is from prejudice.

The Tipping Point : Malcolm Gladwell