Balram Halwai is a servant, a philosopher, an entrepreneur, a murderer. Over seven nights he explains how he became a success in life, having nothing but his own wits to help him along.
♥ “Born in the dark heart of India, the protagonist Balram gets a break when he is hired as a driver for his village’s wealthiest man. From behind the wheel of their Honda City, Balram’s new world is a revelation. He observes his employers bribe foreign ministers, barter for girls, drink liquor, and benefit from the poor in the society’s unfair class system.
“Balram learns many things, good and bad, but importantly, he finds his own way up from the bottom of the system.
“Balram’s narrative provides a look at India as few others could: the cockroaches and call centers; the prostitutes and worshippers; the ancient and Internet cultures; and, trapped in so many kinds of cages that escape is (almost) impossible, the white tiger. With undeniable charisma Balram teaches us that religion doesn’t create virtue, and money doesn’t solve every problem, but decency can be found in a corrupt world, and you can get what you want out of life if you eavesdrop on the right conversations.
You ask ‘Are you a man or a demon?’ Neither, I say. I have woken up, and the rest of you are sleeping, and that is the only difference between us.
♥ “At the centre of this book is a touching story about India’s class system and the injustices that come with it. On the surface is Balram Halwai, an amoral, endearing but totally charming protagonist who manages to con his way through life, and into your life as the reader, too. The dark humour ties the reality together and produces a provocative novel. I found this book hard to put down.” – Rachel