Regular price: $24.49

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    998
  • 4 Stars
    907
  • 3 Stars
    489
  • 2 Stars
    145
  • 1 Stars
    118

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    792
  • 4 Stars
    388
  • 3 Stars
    147
  • 2 Stars
    48
  • 1 Stars
    46

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    564
  • 4 Stars
    450
  • 3 Stars
    278
  • 2 Stars
    71
  • 1 Stars
    55
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Saman
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 02-23-14

Unusual tale of rags to riches.

Continuing my education of books that won the Man Booker price, I picked up White Tiger which won the coveted award in 2008. The synopsis of the book and its setting in bustling Bangalore which I visited recently hooked me into this tale. I really wanted to like this book but the central character, Balram Halwai, never seemed likeable or plausible. He is as usual, in these types of Indian novels, the downtrodden poor village boy with no hope. Yet, he is a masterful schemer, learning from his social status and surroundings with a streak of evil to succeed in the long run. Perhaps that is the reason I did not enjoy the story telling. Or perhaps it was the narrator. Either way, I wanted more out of this book than I received.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

White Tiger

For the first time in all the years on Audible I just could not slog through this book until the end. Only two hours left and it became too tiresome. The author repeats himself over and over. I have listened to many other books that are cultural in nature and was very disappointed with this one. The narrator did try and was good!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fascinating look at modern India

Aravind Adiga's Man-Booker-Prize winning first novel, The White Tiger, tells the story of an Indian named Balram Halwi, born into poverty and deprived of education, who becomes a rich man's driver in New Delhi. There he commits an horrific act of theft and flees to become a successful entrepreneur in Bangalore, the out-sourcing Silicon Valley of the subcontinent. Written in first person as a series of letters to the Prime Minister of China, who is about to pay of visit of state to Bangalore, the story contains a disturbing and riveting mixture of comedy and tragedy. It is a dark and soul-shaking look at the grinding nature of poverty and the chilling price that Balram pays to escape.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Alison
  • GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States
  • 09-24-12

It's a Wild Ride!

Would you consider the audio edition of The White Tiger to be better than the print version?

Yes, the narration in authentic accents makes this a very engaging read, I felt transported to India.

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

When the protagonist took the money and escaped his servant life. I wondered if he could actually pull it off, I thought he would be a servant for the rest of his life, but he surprised me.

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

No, it was very rich and worked perfectly for my 45 minute commute.

Any additional comments?

The narration really brought the story to life; I could feel, taste, smell, see and hear the various people and places.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Barry
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 09-12-12

Horatio Alger with a twist?

Novelists have a way of capturing the truth of their times better than journalists or historians. I believe this book tells us a lot more about what is going on in India than all the stories we get from the media (which isn't really all that much in the US). I'm ambivalent as to why there needed to be a murder in this book, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a consistently entertaining story told with unflagging enthusiasm. Underlying all this is a truth that I wish more people would pay attention to: economics trumps politics, religion, and any other societal structure that people think they can rely on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

"Ganja" = Narcotic not the river Ganga

Where does The White Tiger rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The story is fantastic - gripping and deserving of the Booker price.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The protagonist - Balram Halwai.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator tried to interject an Indian accent. He ended up getting the pronunciation on a lot of words wrong - the most egregious being mispronunciation of the Hindi name of the Ganges river (Ganga: Gun-gah) to Ganja - which is Hindi for marijuana.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Lessons from an Indian "Entrepreneur"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • daphne
  • Richmond, Va
  • 01-14-11

Great story! truth with humor! nice and Dark!

I enjoyed this story very much because it put into language social commentary for which I had been struggling to find words. Though set in India, anyone can recognize the behaviors described as happening anywhere. I listened to this story against the mental backdrop of A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry. Together the two stories paint a nice concise picture of humanity. And of course verbalizes the great truth of where lies the key to the "chicken coop". I LOVE that .... the chicken coop.... a chapter well worth the story!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Awful narration

Who picked a non-Indian to narrate this book? Has he ever been to India? His pronunciation of Indian words (Ganga, the word for the holy Ganges River, is NOT pronounced "ganja," the Hindi word for marijuana) is awful and the stereotypical Indian accent he affects (think Apu from the Simpsons) is offensive.

Ruined an otherwise decent book.

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matt
  • Sierra Vista, AZ, USA
  • 06-05-09

Good reading

Story a little derivative of Crime and Punishment and Taxi Driver, but as a commentary it zings. Excellent reading drives it home.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Narrator is excellent

This format worked perfectly for this novel. Not only is the book one of the best fiction reads I've come across in a while, but the narrator delivers the reading with perfect timing, accent (there were a couple of flubs--but I'm being pedantic), and character. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to those familiar with south asian culture, and to anyone interested in a novel perspective for westerners. Both the book and narration deserve 5 starts.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful