Here's a strange fact: murder a man, and you feel responsible for his life - possessive, even. You know more about him than his father and mother; they knew his foetus, but you know his corpse.
Meet Balram Halwai, the 'White Tiger': servant, philosopher, entrepreneur... murderer.
Balram was born in a backwater village on the River Ganges, the son of a rickshaw-puller. He works in a teashop, crushing coal and wiping tables, but nurses a dream of escape. When he learns that a rich village landlord needs a chauffeur, he takes his opportunity, and is soon on his way to Delhi at the wheel of a Honda.
Amid cockroaches, call-centres, thirty-six-million gods, slums, shopping malls, and crippling traffic jams, Balram comes to see how the Tiger might slip the bars of his cage.