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The White Tiger Audiobook

The White Tiger: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2009.

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2008.

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.

With a charisma as undeniable as it is unexpected, Balram 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.

©2008 Aravind Adiga; (P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Balram's evolution from likable village boy to cold-blooded killer is fascinating and believable." (Library Journal)
"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2339 )
5 star
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3.9 (1134 )
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4.2 (1136 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amanda CAPISTRANO BEACH, CA, United States 09-25-12
    Amanda CAPISTRANO BEACH, CA, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "One of my favorite fictional stories"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A book for all. Clever, funny, relatable without being too heavy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The White Tiger?

    Countless, just read it and find your own favorite. I tend to fall deeply for the moments in which the character speaks to my own soul and gives me some kind of self awareness about my own life. Plenty of these moments without without the feeling that it was ever intentional. Love that.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. It took a chapter or two for me to fully digest his accent as horrible as it is to admit but loved that it helped me dig deeper into the character thereafter.


    If you could rename The White Tiger, what would you call it?

    I wouldn't.


    Any additional comments?

    Just try it. It's a quick read, will give you a good laugh here and there and if you want it to, will give you some perspective on your inner "entrepreneur"!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew 08-19-12
    matthew 08-19-12 Member Since 2016

    I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile

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    "A well told story with an enthusiastic narrator"

    The story follows the path of a lowly tea server in his ascent up the financial ladder in India.A country still seperated by castes,but fast modernizing.It chronicles the relationship between master and servant and helps us get a sense of what India is really like and why it is the way it is.The voice of John Lee is wonderful and really adds to the story.It is at times quite funny as well as instructional.I may buy the additonal titles by this author,since I have a keen interest in Asia,but the reviews weren't as glowing as they were for this book.Life of Pi was also very good,but perhaps not as plausible as this story was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandra 08-05-12
    Alexandra 08-05-12
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    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Story
    "Fantastic"
    What made the experience of listening to The White Tiger the most enjoyable?

    The reader is fantastic - his reading was a rest contribution to the overall experience.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice, his accent, his intonation bring the experience to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP United States 07-16-12
    KP United States 07-16-12 Member Since 2005
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    Story
    "Imagine Sean Connery with an Indian accent..."

    This is a very entertaining story. It is told from the perspective of a feisty "lower-caste" Indian man who outwitted fate and became rich via a combination of dumb luck, cunning, and illegal actions. He has plenty of sarcastic things to say about Indian economic growth, society, and religion, which I found both educational and amusing.

    The story is told in a letter to the Prime Minister of China (Wen Jiabao): the protagonist uses his story to give advice to "Mr. Jiabao" and to draw comparisons between India and China. But don't be put off by the epistolary format. The story is short, and there is generally enough happening to make it flow steadily. Plus, the narrator sounds like Sean Connery doing an Indian accent (for example, he says "sir" exactly the way Connery does in the movie The Rock). It took me a little bit to warm up to this combination at the very beginning, but overall I really enjoyed the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Raso Staten Island, NY United States 06-30-12
    R. Raso Staten Island, NY United States 06-30-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    85
    3
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    Story
    "Great Read"
    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes disturbing to read about life in India from both the perspectives of the poor and the rich. Great story, well done as a narrative by the lead character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada 06-28-12
    Paul Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada 06-28-12
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    "Pretty good ... but falls short of the hype"

    I like the premise of the story, and how it portraits the vast gulf between the rich powerful class and the poor working class. Certainly open ones eyes to the fact that India still has a dark side today (or as the author calls it.. 'the darkness'). The story is also has some dark humorous moments.
    The parts I don't like about the book is the last little bit. It felt like it was hurried and the story the author seems to have run out of time or something. I would have preferred if he had spent a bit more time on it.
    Overall, the story is better than the 3 that was indicated. I would have given it a 3.5 if the rating system had allowed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jim Toowong BC, Australia 05-14-12
    jim Toowong BC, Australia 05-14-12
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    2
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    "A very evocative analysis of India today."
    If you could sum up The White Tiger in three words, what would they be?

    Provokative, Satirical, Comedic


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    His ability to keep a large number of voices clearly delineated and effective while maintaining pace and energy throughout the sweep of the narrative.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I had read the hard copy of the novel some time ago and found that the Indian names were complex enough for me to forget who the characters actually were, so that at times I felt lost in the journey of the novel. This was not the case in John Lee's reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hari San Francisco, CA, United States 04-28-12
    Hari San Francisco, CA, United States 04-28-12
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    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "Stereotypical Indian accent for a great book"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The Narrator of course! What is ganja? Can this guy not even take the minimal effort to research to pronounce a few words right. John Lee is yet another ignorant Westerner with a poor imitation of the so called "Indian" Accent. Would an English narrator of a French novel get away with this? People would mock him if he tried french but pronounced it incorrectly. Please re-record this book with an Indian narrator or re-record it with an American or Englishman who does not feign an accent. It is quite insulting...really....


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Halwai


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator could have taken the pain to pronounce Indian proper nouns as they should be said.


    Was The White Tiger worth the listening time?

    yes. Only because it is a good book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. M. Berman Boston, MA 04-22-12
    M. M. Berman Boston, MA 04-22-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A Dramatic Look at Life in India"
    Where does The White Tiger rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This ranks right at the top. What a compelling story! It is obviously a work of fiction however the depiction of life in India in modern times is very real.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The format of the book, written in the first person, put the listener into the story in a particularly engrossing manner.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    The narrator was the main character and was performed with great authenticity. It was hard to imagine anyone else doing this reading.


    If you could take any character from The White Tiger out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Probably none of them. They are not a very appealing group but the picture of the Indian caste system was vividly depicted.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book. It requires a strong stomach at a few points but gives a particularly arresting picture of life in India in modern times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. M. Griffin Houston, Texas 04-19-12
    S. M. Griffin Houston, Texas 04-19-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange logic"
    Would you try another book from Aravind Adiga and/or John Lee?

    Probably not.


    Would you recommend The White Tiger to your friends? Why or why not?

    Only to people travelling to India as a way to understand the logic of the people.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    His description of his living/working space.


    Was The White Tiger worth the listening time?

    Yes, as an insight to the Indian thought process.


    Any additional comments?

    As a soon to be traveller to India this book was recommended to me. It offers insights into the ways of the country in the present day. So complicated yet clinging to many outmoded traditons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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