The short list of nominees for the Man Booker Award was announced yesterday and while I am still bitter about the amazing debut novel, Netherland, being omitted there are still some incredible books on the list – a few of which have long been BookPeople staff favorites.
The nominees are:
The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
And, my personal favorite and pick to win … The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.
We received a ton of advanced readers of the White Tiger before its publication in April and almost everyone on staff had a chance to read a copy. Everyone loved the book and we made it our Top Shelf Pick in April. Usually the Top Shelf essay is written by one staff member but since so many BookPeople had great things to say about The White Tiger we put all of our staff selections into the monthly newsletter.
Here’s what your booksellers have to say about this fantastic debut novel:
“In his literary debut, Aravind Adiga introduces us to Balram Halwai, a self proclaimed entrepreneur and murderer. Balram is our guide through a different India than we have visited in the past; rich with history and yet utterly contemporary. Balram is corrupt, but endearing, and through him, Adiga captures the tone and feel of his home country with the finesse of an Orhan Pamuk or Jose Saramago and offers up a character as irreverent and loveable as any by John Kennedy Toole or Gary Shteyngart.”
“Adiga has created a most marvelously evil and seductive character is this ‘social entrepreneur’ who makes his unconventional way from rags to riches in a fabulously vivid and dangerous India. I re-read the book at least twice and Balram’s voice haunts me still. The White Tiger is uncannily good for a first novel.”
The White Tiger is a hyper-realist vision of modern India. The protagonist’s narrative captivates with beauty and depravity. This book is Absurdistan meets the Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner.”
“I’ve always loved the typical Indian literature (Arundhati Roy, Manil Suri, Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman Rushdie, etc.) but this is the first book I’ve ever read that reflects India today – the noise, the pollution, the struggle, etc. What a great first novel. As soon as I read the last page I turned immediately to page one so as not to end my time with Adiga’s incredibly compelling character.”
I first fell in love with Indian literature via Gregory Robert’s incredible novel, Shantaram. Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children soon followed and Aravind Adiga has written a book that places him securely within these respected ranks. The White Tiger is the unforgettable story of Balram Halwai, a man of many faces – philosopher, entreprenuer and murderer. Adiga has created in Halwai a character so infused with humor and humanity it will break your heart to say goodbye after the last page.
The White Tiger is a fascinating portrait of the paradox that is modern-day India – crushing poverty and limitless wealth, water buffaloes and telemarketers – told through the life story of a paradox of a narrator – cold-blooded and deeply human, profoundly wise and remarkably simple. Filled with humor and anger and love, you will find yourself unable to put it down, but dreading coming to the end. It is a beautiful, gripping novel.
That’s a whole lotta BookPeople love for this nominee. It feels good to know that if The White Tiger should win, we can say that BookPeople knew and loved it when… Pick up a copy of The White Tiger and the other Booker Prize nominees today!
Posted by elizabethjordan