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New Meetup: May Book Club

From: Terri
Sent on: Monday, February 2, 2009 11:30 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Saint Petersburg Book Club Meetup Group!

What: May Book Club

When: May 19,[masked]:30 PM

Where: (A location has not been chosen yet.)

Meetup Description: This month's book is White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer. Balram Halwai is from the Darkness, born where India's downtrodden and unlucky are destined to rot. Balram manages to escape his village and move to Delhi after being hired as a driver for a rich landlord. Telling his story in retrospect, the novel is a piecemeal correspondence from Balram to the premier of China, who is expected to visit India and whom Balram believes could learn a lesson or two about India's entrepreneurial underbelly. Adiga's existential and crude prose animates the battle between India's wealthy and poor as Balram suffers degrading treatment at the hands of his employers (or, more appropriately, masters). His personal fortunes and luck improve dramatically after he kills his boss and decamps for Bangalore. Balram is a clever and resourceful narrator with a witty and sarcastic edge that endears him to readers, even as he rails about corruption, allows himself to be defiled by his bosses, spews coarse invective and eventually profits from moral ambiguity and outright criminality. It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India. (Apr.)
Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker
In this darkly comic d?but novel set in India, Balram, a chauffeur, murders his employer, justifying his crime as the act of a "social entrepreneur." In a series of letters to the Premier of China, in anticipation of the leader?s upcoming visit to Balram?s homeland, the chauffeur recounts his transformation from an honest, hardworking boy growing up in "the Darkness"?those areas of rural India where education and electricity are equally scarce, and where villagers banter about local elections "like eunuchs discussing the Kama Sutra"?to a determined killer. He places the blame for his rage squarely on the avarice of the Indian ?lite, among whom bribes are commonplace, and who perpetuate a system in which many are sacrificed to the whims of a few. Adiga?s message isn?t subtle or novel, but Balram?s appealingly sardonic voice and acute observations of the social order are both winning and unsettling.

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/stpetebookclub/calendar/9653670/

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