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julianmeynell

Julian Meynell's Books

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The White Tiger

The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga One of the best books that I've read written in this century and a compelling and exciting first novel. It is a kind of post-post-colonial novel. It is a savage indictment of current India. It sees India as a corrupt inefficient and class based society. The colonial heritage being just one part of the make up of modern India.

The book feels very Russian to me. It has something of the feel of Dostoevsky or Nabakov. There seems to be some criticism from Indian reviewers about the realism of the speech patterns of the main character, but I think that kind of criticism is beside the point for this kind of book.

The main character is fascinating. People seem to react to him as if he is an endearing psychopath, but I don't really react to him that way at all. I think he has some endearing aspects and some not so endearing aspects. He's clearly not a psychopath, but someone who reacts to injustice with an injustice of his own. He sees contemporary India as a virtually rules free society and given that he takes what he wants. He is a fascinating mixture of cynicism and naivety.

Adiga's book is good. I strongly suspect that we will see more and more first class literature come out of India. I kind of feel that this book is the future.

A worthy Booker prize winner.