the-white-tiger

The White Tiger Author : Aravind Adiga
Country : India

Set in India, and particularly New Delhi, this is a novel depicting desperate poverty, both rural and urban, as well as bribery, corruption and crime.

Aravind Adiga. The White Tiger. New Press 2008. The White Tiger is Adiga’s first novel and won the 2008 Booker prize. Neither the publicity for the novel, nor the many reviews which appeared after its publication refer to it as a crime novel, yet it unmistakeably falls into the category. True, the novel’s major crime – a murder – is not committed until the novel has almost finished, but the plot itself is a study of crime and corruption in modern day India. More significantly, the novel describes in savage, ironic detail the way that many people live in the sub-continent. Unlike Adiga’s Booker prize-winning predecessor, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, The White Tiger does not follow the adventures of a middle-class eccentric, but concentrates instead on a man born into desperate rural poverty who makes his way to New Delhi, where all the horrors, injustices and inequalities of urban India are laid bare. If one of contemporary crime fiction’s principal functions is that of the social novel, then The White Tiger is a prime example. The novel has received criticism, however, for the falsity of its language, particularly the protagonist’s supposedly demotic speech (LRB, vol 30, nº 21, 6 nov 2008) or for being an inauthentic representation of modern day India written for the consumption of foreigners (Amitava Kumar in The Hindu, nov 2, 2008).

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