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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 (2386 )
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4.3 (1174 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Gail N. 02-22-13
    Gail N. 02-22-13 Member Since 2012

    Honest Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Wonderful insight into Indian culture. Eye opening"

    Of course, John Lee is one of the very best readers. I search for his books. The story is simply brilliant - keeps you riveted the entire time. And I discovered an India I had never imagined.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn McDowell Salem, OR USA 12-28-12
    Dawn McDowell Salem, OR USA 12-28-12
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    5
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    Story
    "An emotional rollercoaster through modern India"

    A fascinating story of rampant corruption and the caste system, alive and well in modern India, and a man who has to break all of the rules (and at least a few laws) to get out of it. Adiga can make you laugh and also feel despair for the future of humanity, sometimes on the same page. The emotional experience was similar to what I went through reading Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, another of my favorite books. John Lee does a fantastic job with the narration and adds a lot to this entertaining and sometimes sobering story. This book kept my attention from beginning to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ginger 11-21-12
    ginger 11-21-12 Member Since 2010

    Mu favorites are paranormal, supernatural, post-apocalyptic, and horror!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    Story
    "Different Culture, Different World..."

    As someone who is interested in how people all over the world live and survive, i was particularly interested in this book. It amazes me at times how very different life can be in other countries. This story takes us on a descriptive journey through parts of India on one man's jouney from rags to riches. His environment was so different than the world that i live in, so i truely did not know what to expect next. It was an eye opening adventure as to how other parts of the world can function. I found vast differences in our morality and ethics. I am not sure i could survive in some of his standard living conditions, so i certainly could not judge him or fully understand the motivations for his decisions and actions. I can't say that i particularly liked the main character, but i did enjoy the story. If you want to take a virtual trip to visit a different world from America, this book offers an affordable and in depth exploration of a completely different culture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda CAPISTRANO BEACH, CA, United States 09-25-12
    Amanda CAPISTRANO BEACH, CA, United States 09-25-12
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    3
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    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 Listener Since 2008

    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    ratings
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    5
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    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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    90
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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    "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

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