This won the Man-Booker prize last year and rightly so. It's a brilliant portrayal of the complex culture of modern India. Balram is born in the Darkness (a small village in India) but unwilling to accept a life of poverty and servitude goes about clawing his way out of what he aptly names 'the rooster coop'. In fact Balram is willing to do anything to take control of his own fate including what most would consider immoral. But if that's what it takes to escape an unhappy existence who are we to judge????? I can imagine this will be on every book club list soon as there is just so much to discuss. Overall a great read.

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I really liked this too- it was a really interesting look at the grimier, and probably more true to life side of India, at least for the poor. Even though Balram does some pretty despicable things in trying to escape from his bleak existence, it's really not difficult to sympathise. His choices seem understandable in someone who has been taught their whole life not to expect anything better than to serve some equally amoral master. Confronting in its blunt honesty about Indian culture and politics, and not a swirling sari in sight.

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