About Me

My photo
To listen to my latest recording, view my complete profile and then click on "audio clip" under "links"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When "I Liked It" Doesn't Pass Muster

Reacting to a novel like "The White Tiger" by saying "I liked it" grossly trivializes its raw power. Finishing something as coruscating as Aravind Ariga's 2008 debut obligates discerning readers to develop a fresh way to describe the experience.

I had no epiphany, nor am I different in any fundamental sense having read this. But I'm certain I'll have trouble ever reading a newspaper or magazine article about India's booming economy without thinking of this book and scoffing. I'm equally certain any American who reads it without feeling their gratitude deepen is running on empty empathy-wise.

"... the poor dream of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of? Losing weight and looking like the poor."

And here's something else remarkable about "The White Tiger". It's funny; really. The narrator - who happens to be a murderer (that's not a spoiler) - finds humor everywhere. Is this the author's device for providing ballast given the bleak surroundings, the sadness of the narrator's life, and the rampant corruption of India's politics? Does it matter when it's this funny?

"Like eunuchs discussing the Kama Sutra, the voters discuss the elections ... "

Read this book and try not to feel something. I dare you.

1 comment: