I’ve just finished reading one of the Booker shortlisted novels and thought it was so good and so original that it should win but probably won’t! The novel is Aravind Adiga’s White tiger and it is a mix of social commentary, black comedy and original aspects that are entirely its own. The novel is told in the form of a letter to the Chinese premier from an Indian social entrepreneur and it outlines how he rose from being the humble son of a rickshaw driver whose family originated from the rural poor.
The whole book is like an amoral fable in that the main character gets to where he is (running a company who provide drivers for the workers in the I.T. companies that service the first world from the anonymity of the third) by blackmail, graft, working in with the corrupt police force and even murder. It is funny and touching at the same time and any illusions people have get knocked about as the book rattles along at a fast pace.
Will it win? One of the other novels on the list which I’ve read, Steve Toltz’s A fraction of the whole, although bloated in its length, can give this a run for its money in sheer exuberance and originality.