The book is desribed on the Man Booker Prize site as "a 'compelling, angry and darkly humorous' novel about a man's journey from Indian village life to entrepreneurial success. It was described by one reviewer as an 'unadorned portrait' of India seen 'from the bottom of the heap.'
In a Q&A on the site, Adiga talked about the inspiration for The White Tiger:
"The novel began as an experiment of a kind. Visitors to India from South Africa or Latin America often asked me why there seemed to be so little crime in India, given the vast (and growing) disparity in wealth between the classes -- a condition that had led to much higher levels of crime in their countries. Why was it, I began to wonder, that even though rich people in India keep so many servants, and the servants have such regular and intimate access to their master's households, that the servants in India, by and large, stay so honest? What keeps the class system in place -- and what are the conditions under which it might start to crumble? I began to think of a servant in Delhi who would, cold-bloodedly, steal from his master -- and do something even worse to him. And imagining what that servant would think, and feel, and do, I began making notes that turned into this novel."