But, why did the "White Tiger" deserve the Man Booker?
Blog :Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity
Date: 8/1/2012 6:16:00 PM
It has now become my habit to go to the local Goodwill Store during the summer downtime.
I bought four LPs and two books for a grand total of $4.72. Neil Diamond's voice along with a little raspy background noise from the used LP seems to be a lot more exciting and real, compared to the sterile clarity from a CD.
Both the books I picked up are related to India, but in different ways. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's The Unknown Errors Of Our Lives and Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger.
As I started reading Divakaruni's collection of short stories, I remembered having read the first one in the book in The Atlantic (or was it the New Yorker?) a few years ago. I liked that story a lot, but I remembered it all too well to re-read now. I put away the book, and the rest of the stories will have to wait for another time later this summer.
Over the next couple of nights, I finished Adiga's White Tiger.
Throughout, and especially after I was done with it, only one question remained: what made White Tiger so exceptional for it to have won the Man Booker Prize?
It is good fiction, and has a lot to offer when it comes to understanding contemporary India, yes. But, the Man Booker? Seriously?
I was often reminded of the parallels with Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games that I read a summer or two ago. Both involve very similar styles of storytelling, and both describe the corrupted morals of everyday lives in India. While one is focused on Bombay, the other is told by the protagonist based in Bangalore. Perhaps the biggest difference is simply about the respective sizes--Chandra's yarn stretches way too long at more than 900 pages.
I wonder what I am missing in the White Tiger for me to question its inclusion in the Man Booker category!
Well, at least the LPs--especially the Neil Diamond one--were worth the trip to the store.