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Searing. Explosive. Lyrical. Compassionate. Here is the astonishing new novel by the Man Booker Prize–winning author of The White Tiger, a book that took rage and anger at injustice and turned it into a thrilling murder story. Now, with the same fearlessness and insight, Aravind Adiga broadens his canvas to give us a riveting story of money and power, luxury and deprivation, set in the booming city of Mumbai.
 
At the heart of this novel are two equally compelling men, poised for a showdown. Real estate developer Dharmen Shah rose from nothing to create an empire and hopes to seal his legacy with a building named the Shanghai, which promises to be one of the city’s most elite addresses. Larger-than-life Shah is a dangerous man to refuse. But he meets his match in a retired schoolteacher called Masterji. Shah offers Masterji and his neighbors—the residents of Vishram Society’s Tower A, a once respectable, now crumbling apartment building on whose site Shah’s luxury high-rise would be built—a generous buyout. They can’t believe their good fortune. Except, that is, for Masterji, who refuses to abandon the building he has long called home. As the demolition deadline looms, desires mount; neighbors become enemies, and acquaintances turn into conspirators who risk losing their humanity to score their payday.
 
Here is a richly told, suspense-fueled story of ordinary people pushed to their limits in a place that knows none: the new India as only Aravind Adiga could explore—and expose—it. Vivid, visceral, told with both humor and poignancy, Last Man in Tower is his most stunning work yet.


From the Hardcover edition.
Published: Alfred A. Knopf an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Jan 1, 2011
ISBN: 9780307700407
List price: $15.95
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The first thing, the inevitable thing, is the comparison to The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga's first book that won the Man Booker Prize. (Side note: I have no idea about the awards most books win and don't really use those as a reason for reading - or not reading - a book.)I thought The White Tiger packed a punch, it was in your face, fast-paced... None of these characteristics are present in this book. This book has more of a slow, trickling effect. It kind of creeps up on you and then leaves you devastated, which is how I felt a couple of minutes after I finished it.Whereas the previous book was from the point of view of a poor person in India, this one examines a group of people who would probably fall into the middle class, or the lower middle class. It follows a similar pattern, in that it looks at how far people are willing to go to make money or, more accurately, move themselves up into a better situation. I kind of thought that the climax of the story towards the end happened too quickly, as well as the tying up of the rest of it, which was covered in the epilogue. Though, on the other hand, it makes sense because the crux of it all was everything leading up to it and how their mindsets changed over the course of time. In fact, the more I consider the book, the more "truthful" or "real" it seems. I can actually imagine that this could happen in India.As I think about it more while it processes, I may have more to say. End note: I do have a copy of Adiga's 2nd book, Between the Assassinations, checked out of the library but I'm not sure if I can take reading more of these depressing stories about India right now. Might have to read at least one book in between before I attempt that one.read more
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a bit overly long; kind of a depressing story but well writtenread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was successful both as a fun book to read and as a book with a serious point to make- not always easy to combine in a single title. Adiga's sense of humor is alive and well, and I really enjoyed all of the characters. I think it could have been a bit shorter, but this is what happens when people win major prizes, no one dares edit them anymore.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

The first thing, the inevitable thing, is the comparison to The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga's first book that won the Man Booker Prize. (Side note: I have no idea about the awards most books win and don't really use those as a reason for reading - or not reading - a book.)I thought The White Tiger packed a punch, it was in your face, fast-paced... None of these characteristics are present in this book. This book has more of a slow, trickling effect. It kind of creeps up on you and then leaves you devastated, which is how I felt a couple of minutes after I finished it.Whereas the previous book was from the point of view of a poor person in India, this one examines a group of people who would probably fall into the middle class, or the lower middle class. It follows a similar pattern, in that it looks at how far people are willing to go to make money or, more accurately, move themselves up into a better situation. I kind of thought that the climax of the story towards the end happened too quickly, as well as the tying up of the rest of it, which was covered in the epilogue. Though, on the other hand, it makes sense because the crux of it all was everything leading up to it and how their mindsets changed over the course of time. In fact, the more I consider the book, the more "truthful" or "real" it seems. I can actually imagine that this could happen in India.As I think about it more while it processes, I may have more to say. End note: I do have a copy of Adiga's 2nd book, Between the Assassinations, checked out of the library but I'm not sure if I can take reading more of these depressing stories about India right now. Might have to read at least one book in between before I attempt that one.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
a bit overly long; kind of a depressing story but well written
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was successful both as a fun book to read and as a book with a serious point to make- not always easy to combine in a single title. Adiga's sense of humor is alive and well, and I really enjoyed all of the characters. I think it could have been a bit shorter, but this is what happens when people win major prizes, no one dares edit them anymore.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The White Tiger mostly enchanted me because it introduced me to the Indian reality I knew nothing about. Great story, exotic background. In Between the Assassinations, it was mostly the picture of Indian contemporenean society that made an interesting read. Now in this work, the setting in Mumbai is more or less unrelated to the story. The book is also a beautiful portrait of the city, but the actual narrative and characters could have been told anywhere in the world: it is about greed (or the pursuit of happiness if you wish) and human relations. It is about how charming and friendly people can be driven to do heinous things, not because they turn bad, but because they feel they must, because of obligations, because of cowardice, in the end: because they are only human. What I liked a lot: how there are no bad guys in this story. The many perspectives the author takes. Less: a bit too long. 100 pages less should be possible without taking out the core.
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Enjoyable Indian fiction. Wonderful characterisation, and great development of the theme of how greed corrupts. Not pacy enough for older teen audience, but worth stocking as part of a C21 Indian authors' collection.
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This novel won't be to everyone's taste but I absolutely loved it. Middle class people living in a multistory building in the midst of the Mumbai slums are offered huge amounts of money to sell to a less-than-scrupulous builder. The catch – everyone in the building must agree to sell. And there are holdouts.The story is filled with unforgettable characters and their all-too-human foibles. The writing is gorgeous:He cursed his luck. Of all the things to pick up from Falkland Road – all the horrible names he had worried about – gonorrhoea, syphilis, prostatitis, Aids – he had to pick this up: a conscience.Dark and filed with irony and subtle humor, the story kept me interested throughout and made me care about characters who were not always very likeable people. Those readers who liked The White Tiger will most likely enjoy this novel as well.Thank you to the publisher for giving me an uncorrected proof for review. The quote may have changed in the finished edition.
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