Sunday, April 5, 2009

TSS Week 27

Goodreads now has a way to blog your book reviews with a simple HTML code plugin. That is kind of cool. I might start doing that :) Here is the latest one:

The White Tiger The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars

The New Yorker said that this novel depicts an India that is "like the Wild West on acid." I didn't get that at all. Honestly, I enjoyed the story and felt compassion for some of the characters, but I didn't enjoy this novel like I expected to. I am weary of all of the Indian literature out there that focuses exclusively on corruption and poverty, as if there is nothing else that India has to offer. I have read many Indian bestsellers and I would like to see the beauty of India for once. We have corruption in the United States too, but it is not what every American novel focuses on. Is there only a Western market for Indian tragedy?

I may need to move out of the realm of what is popular in order to find this. Suggestions are welcome!

I also started reading After These Things by Jenny Diski. I was pleasantly surprised to find it in the library one day, having read and enjoyed Only Human a while back. Only Human was a novel about the biblical Abraham and Sarah, and After These Things is a sequel of sorts, focusing on Isaac, their son, his wife, Rebekah and their twin sons, Jacob and Esau. If you are familiar with the Bible, you probably know all of the intrigue that surrounded these people and the stories. I was really excited to find this novel since I am a real sucker for Biblical fiction from secular sources. (They tend to humanize and make sense of stories I grew up with.) Anyway, I am 1/4 of the way through and enjoying it. I think that after I finish I may need to reread The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I love that novel and it has been many years since I read it. It focuses on Jacob's daughter, Dina, so it seems like a natural next step in the saga.

3 comments:

debnance said...

I wish I had titles for you, but I agree that most of the books I've read about India show the dark side.

When I read about Indians who have left India, however, most of them are eager to return. Ex.: Unaccustomed Earth

Kerrie said...

I obviously liked this book much more than you.
http://paradise-mysteries.blogspot.com/2009/01/review-white-tiger-aravind-adiga.html
It thought it was deserving in its win of the Man Booker prize, for what it tells us about life in current day India

April Boland said...

Kerrie, fair enough. I realized after I wrote the review that I focused a bit too much on how dark it was and not on the novel itself. Though to be honest, an extremely dark novel on India that I found much, much better was "A Fine Balance." I cared about those characters more than I cared about Balram. I felt sorry for his situation but as a character, I found him hard to sympathize with.