Thursday, March 05, 2009

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

I read this book ! Finished this evening.

I had tried to pick up a copy as soon as it was awarded Man Booker Prize for 2008. But, was not available at the bookstall! Had to place an order and pick up much later!

Thanks to all the hype, my expectations were very high. After I picked up the book, tried to (religiously) go through the preface. But there was only 8-9 pages of comments from world over.
I read some of them. The expectation shot up further.....

The narrative is very interesting. Having born in a village myself and having worked in interior Karnataka ( Adiga's roots !), Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Mumbai, I could associate myself with several sections of the narrative. It is interesting at stages, funny and sad ...But, I read through quickly. More because of the anticipation ( so quite un-puttable) of the ending! Though I felt there was no suspense as the flow becomes quite predictive. But at the end of it, I am quite dissappointed. Coming in the backdrop of Slumdog, I feel what the Slumdog did on the movie arena, Adiga has done differently on the literary front. India is lot more than what they portray and definitely lot better and positive. I want to go back to a more inspiring category of books !!! Not a self help/autobiography, but something that I love reading!

PS : Perhaps I need to evolve as a reader to appreciate these books. I have great regards and respect for Adiga for his achievement from his very first book.

1 comment:

B V S said...

I read that book too. So did two of my colleagues. Both of them said the same thing. "We do not get why this book won the prize. We could have written as good too." "Moreover it portrays India in bad shape".

I was of a different opinion. Simple (if not silly) story. But narrated in a new style. Particularly trying to use a 'rustic' and 'illiterate' mind to narrate something.Things seen from a different angle. Even the similes used through out the book, were trying to portray that he is not refined in his thinking.And to maintain a melancholy mood through out and yet make it thrilling. I think, these are definitely challenges for a writer, and not easy for everyone. I judge a book what emotions it springs in me and what different perspective it can provide.
About the image of India. Unlike a movie, books dont reach out to masses. They usually are read by people who understand it is a story and just an aspect of reality. When I read "The God of small things", I did not judge Kerala to be a place with communism, children left uncared for and incest ridden place. I know it is a story. So, I think (and hope) people don't take stories as reality.
Again slumdog, people should ideally take it as a story and a partial reality. Else, not an Issue, India is earning its fame in many ways. People are noticing it for other things already.