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The basic premise of this novel is that a first person narrator, Balram Halwai, writes a series of letters to the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who hears on the radio that he wants to "know the truth about Bangalore." Balram Halwai, in his unique and rather sarcastic voice, seeks to provide the Premier with the truth from his perspective as he reveals the troubling inconsistencies and terrible cruelties in India.
Stylistically, the major aspect of the novel is the voice of Balram Halwai and how he manages to present India to us whilst also showing himself to be a sympathetic character with disarming elegance. This is something that is no mean feat when we remember that Balram is a self-confessed and unashamed killer. He lays before us the gritty realities of modern-day India with its terrible poverty and presents the situation of trying to alleviate any of those conditons as being absolutely hopeless. The voice of Balram is certainly very captivating as he leads us through his journey from rural poverty towards urban success and the various characters and events he sees along the way.
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