Friday, January 31, 2014
Book 6: White Tiger
Holy moly! I read Literature with a capital L! And a Man Booker winner at that! What's a Man Booker? I had the same question. Evidently, it's awarded to the best novel published in the Commonwealth of Great Britain, whatever that is. So, I guess a book written by an Indian (not sure if he is from India or GB) qualifies. And I'm glad it did. I found it on my bookshelf, left over from a forgotten gift or loaner or something and the label announcing the Man Booker award winner is what hooked me. In short, it's amazing. Told through a series of letters from a rural, uneducated Indian who works and scams his way to a fulfilling life, White Tiger is at turns scathingly funny, deeply poignant, and flat out horrifying in its depiction of modern India. If I hadn't seen a Vice episode on similar themes (though more urban), I could chalk it up to an exaggerated imagination, but I can't. For someone in the so-called western world where my primary exposure to Indians is via my IT team, it serves as a stark reminder of what much of the world goes through, told by captivating, charming, and ultimately soulless character. BRILLIANT!