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
"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)
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.
The format of the book, written in the first person, put the listener into the story in a particularly engrossing manner.
The narrator was the main character and was performed with great authenticity. It was hard to imagine anyone else doing this reading.
Probably none of them. They are not a very appealing group but the picture of the Indian caste system was vividly depicted.
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.
Only to people travelling to India as a way to understand the logic of the people.
His description of his living/working space.
Yes, as an insight to the Indian thought process.
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.
I'm actually Judi Kearney and an avid audible listener. My listening time is constrained by the weather in that I am a small, organic farmer who needs to "make hay when the sun goes in!" I am also a quilter so I keep busy with that indoors when the weather is too hot to be outside here in Florida.
Culture differences, educational, surprising.
Learning about the way things are done in India.
Very authentic sounding. Steady and smooth.
Mr. Aushak to find out why he married Pinkie Madam and why he didn't follow her.
I have never read a book quite like this one.
He is a very gifted reader. I look forward to listening to more of his work.
I laughed and felt some sadness too.
I am so impressed with the great skill of this author, Adiga. He has woven such a clever tale of truth and wisdom about the working poor. In a very clever way, Mr. Adiga has taught us something while he entertained us with this wonderful story. This book is a true gift of pleasure and insight.
Yes! This book's protagonist, an entrepreneur, has a different approach to life. The descriptions of life in India are so vivid that I felt as if I was actually smelling and feeling the country. There are many laugh out loud moments. Graft and corruption can be humorous.
The author's book
So many! Probably when his name
As an Indian, it was painful to have to listen to this narrated by a non-Indian faking an Indian accent. It came off sounding like Apu in the Simpsons. Don;t think that's what the authir intended. It was a mutilation.
This book was "assigned" for my book club.
I didn't have time to read so I bought the audio.
Because the narrator is from India, the speaker gave the story authenticity with his accent and musical speech.
The story was fun to listen to.
It is a modern and compelling story.
Well worth listening to!
A fascinating read. Also, gives one insight into the problems in India that are reported in the media.
Although this book seemed a bit repetitive in the ongoing satire of the dismal conditions of the poor and impoverished class in India, the story itself was intriguing enough that I simply had to finish the book. I wish the characters had developed more, but the moral behind the story was evident. That India is full of the Have's and the Have Not's and to become a Have, you need to, at least partly, be prepared to set aside your morals. The relentless descriptions of the poor life style, disgusting living conditions and extensive corruption, while seemingly tedious, hits home that there is little hope for the poor to overcome their conditions and rise out of it.
You can sit back and just let the book be read to you without much effort and it is humorous in how the narrator describes his chronology. I say it's worth a listen.
Firstly, the performer accent was horrible. In an effort to make it sound indian, he spoiled the already bad story/content of this book. I am still struggling on what is so big and unique about this book that it won awards. The description of events or a place seems ordinary, no big insights into human minds (hero's mind rather), no thrill or suspense, nothing that is informative. Not sure why others are rating this to be high.
Waste of credit.
Certainly not from Aravind Adiga.
I have listed to John Lee's other performance, but here in an effort to sound original, he has introduced annoyance (especially to the Indian listeners).
Disappointment on the book content. Anger on the narrator performance.
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