This book has been sitting in my shelf for almost 2 years but what inspired me to pick up is the Netflix announcing the movie being released on 22nd January and I have to read this book before it getting spoiled for me by movie or trailer. Now let me tell you few facts about the book before diving into the review. This book is a debut novel of the Indian author Aravind Adiga who later won 40th Booker Prize for it in same year. It has also been ranked as New York Times Bestseller.
The story is narrated in the form of letters which Balram Halwai has written to a Chinese Premier telling his journey of how he became an entrepreneur in Bangalore from being a servant in dark cities of India. This book has shown a dark humor and a questionable morality of the protagonist in the whole narrative. It also takes a good dig at the democratic and bureaucratic system in India and how much it is skewed to favor the riches. It also sheds light on how much are the poor people oppressed in India that slavery is deep rooted in their mindset even after so many years of independence and how it’s difficult for anyone who wants to break free.
The Rooster Coop was doing its work. Servants have to keep other servants from becoming innovators, experimenters or entrepreneurs. The coop is guarded from the inside.
Being an average middle class Indian myself who also enjoy moderately all the luxuries of life without that much trouble, this book has really made me think about how the poor person might feel or think seeing us enjoy these riches. It’s important to read these kind of books and promote them as it also makes us aware of our surrounding and the society that we are living in. There is a quote in the book that really stayed with me:
“To sum up—in the old days there were one thousand castes and destinies in India. These days, there are just two castes: Men with Big Bellies, and Men with Small Bellies. And only two destinies: eat—or get eaten up”
The writing style and the language of the book is simple, yet it kept me hooked all the time. Using animals to metaphorically describe the characters really hits the right nails. All and all it’s an interesting read and I would recommend it to all my fellow readers.
My ratings: 4 stars