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)
You certainly can't go wrong with John Lee as a narrator, the book was enjoyable to listen to but not something you could not put down. The main character did slowly full into darkness and at the same time grew more rich and powerful. I have found this novel had very strong Anti Christian themes, I would not discourage Christian readers from downloading though, the novel did not have an agenda, the author was straightforward with his beliefs which was refreshing.
Say something about yourself!
It took me a bit to become interested, but eventually I liked it. It seems to be brutally honest about how things are in India.
Work for software, read when going to work!
It's a good read and shows the world from an Indian driver's perspective, very well perceived!
An unexpected twist at the end.
The Indian accent
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.
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.
Mu favorites are paranormal, supernatural, post-apocalyptic, and horror!
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.
A book for all. Clever, funny, relatable without being too heavy.
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.
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.
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"!
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
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.
The reader is fantastic - his reading was a rest contribution to the overall experience.
His voice, his accent, his intonation bring the experience to life.
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.
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