Saturday, November 8, 2008

Booker winner The White Tiger

This year's Man Booker winner The White Tiger by young first-time novelist Aravind Adiga is a wonderful, enlivening read. It's a fierce denunciation of India in all its social, cultural, religious, political and economic dimensions. Apparantly the Indian authorities were not happy with it winning the prize, and no wonder.

No part of this sprawling society is spared. It is not primarily about the new, emerging and materialistic middle classes. It's a far more wholesale condemnation than that.

Adiga paints an India riddled with curruption, where murder and abject cruelty are commonplace and part and parcel of class, caste and power relations. Even India's famed democracy 'is a fucking joke'.

Adiga's art is the slow build. The central protaganist, the narrator, transitions from awakening, through mild resistance to outright fury, propelling the novel to its explosive ending.

Buy it and read it.

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