Feature

Why ‘The White Tiger’ won the Booker Prize

Was a book about India's dark side deserving of the prestigious award?

Aravind Adiga's Booker Prize–winning book, The White Tiger, said Stuart Jeffries in the Guardian online, is already causing offense in the author’s homeland for its “defiantly unglamorous portrait of India's economic miracle.” It’s not surprising—it makes Salman Rushdie's 1981 Booker-winning “chronicle of post-Raj India,” Midnight's Children, seem like a feel-good story.

That’s why The White Tiger is an important book, said MeriNews.com, especially “for those of us in India.” It “holds a mirror” to our “corrupt” system, where policemen and politicians “take bribes” and “the division between the rich and the poor” is extremely wide. Adiga’s Booker Prize is “well deserved.”

Not really, said Sameer Rahim the Telegraph online. The White Tiger “reads like the first draft of a Bollywood screenplay,” where “every character is a cliché—the scheming servant, the corrupt politician, the alluring master's wife.” Not to mention the author’s “bitter and unsubtle” humor. There are much better books out there about “violence and conflict in the third world.”

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