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Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga
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Last Man in Tower (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Aravind Adiga

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3972127,024 (3.6)28
Member:jjdoerksen
Title:Last Man in Tower
Authors:Aravind Adiga
Info:Knopf (2011), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga (2011)

Recently added byprivate library, KBea, Urban_Forsum, aquileyo, belladonnas, SpineCracker, sabdasagar
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  1. 20
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (TooBusyReading)
    TooBusyReading: A non-fiction about the very poor, real people living in poverty in the area where Last Man in Tower is set.
  2. 10
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Modern India in a nutshell. Adiga is an accomplished writer.
  3. 00
    The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany (teunduynstee)
    teunduynstee: The Yacoubian shares with Last Man in Tower the way it shows an urban society through the eyes of the inhabitants of one appartment building. Taking changing perspectives and developing their characters as you go, the full complexity of Egyptian society comes into view. Also, both are great story-tellers.… (more)
  4. 00
    The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri (hairball)
    hairball: I read The Death of Vishnu ages ago, so I don't recall the details, but both use apartment buildings as metaphors for India.
  5. 00
    Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Both multifaceted views on modern India.
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English (20)  Dutch (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
You know, I can't remember [The White Tiger] all that well but I know I was a little disappointed by it. Not so [Last Man in Tower]. It might benefit simply by being a longer book (400+ pages), as there's space for a larger cast of characters and more character development. The premise of it is that a group of long-term residents live in a dilapidated old housing cooperative in Mumbai. A developer comes along, seeking to tear down the tower and build a new block of ultra-luxurious flats. He offers every resident of the tower a huge sum of money to move, but the deal is only valid if everyone agrees to leave. Soon the only dissenter is a retired schoolteacher called Masterji, formerly one of the most popular and respected tenants.... You can probably see where this is going; a tragedy of almost Shakespearean proportions. I recommend it but maybe get in a pint of Ben & Jerry's and some comfort reading afterwards to restore your faith in human goodness. ( )
  Erratic_Charmer | Jun 10, 2014 |
I elected to listen to this novel as an audio book. This is the second book that I have read of Aravind Adiga, Booker Prize–winning author of The White Tiger.

The story revolves around the Vishram Housing Cooperative, Tower A and Tower B of Bombay, India where several tenants live together with a organized set of rules; some for many years.

Enter the greedy developer who offers the residents the sum of $200,000 US dollars for each of the apartments. His goal is to build an ultra luxury apartment complex. But…but a 100% of the residents must sell to complete the sale.

Master G, a retired high school physics teacher, who misses his daughter and wife and does not want to sell the apartment where all his memories live of his family. A few other residents feel this way too.

While he values his neighbors of 30 years, he decides not to accept the developers offer. The majority of his neighbors do want to sell and envision so many wonderful prospects that are beyond their wildest dreams.

The novel gives us some much information about the society of Vishram and Bombay where we meet the developer and his left hand man, mistresses, a “Communist Auntie”, ungrateful sons, street vendors and beguiling female neighbors.

Slowly through bullying, rumors and then threats, all the tenants but Master G agrees to sell. He is the only stand out.

The writer, Adiga appears to be making a comment about the extent of the human appetite for money. How quickly the residents loose their self respect and revert to lawlessness.

I enjoyed his character development of all the participants in the novel. It asks the question, who do you know? and how much can you trust them?

Pick up the book and answer those questions yourself. ( )
  memasmb | Nov 19, 2013 |
Adiga was a smash-hit right out of the gate with [b:The White Tiger|1768603|The White Tiger|Aravind Adiga|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255914804s/1768603.jpg|1766737] but this book shows he was no flash in the pan. Indeed, he's cultivating a reputation as the Dickens of India. Not only is it a masterful story with excellent characters and solid plotting, it's a magnificent examination of the human condition and how we are all, deep down inside, motivated by self-interest - whether for good or bad. An important book - highly recommended.

More in-depth thoughts about the thought-provoking book over at RB: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-jM ( )
  drewsof | Jul 9, 2013 |
While reading this book I harrumphed, cringed, guffawed, held my breath, and sighed in relief. This is a tale of poverty vs. power, of both the courage and frailty of the human spirit, and about aging alone. As graphic and powerful as the imagery of Mumbai life is in this novel, I think the values which are tested in these characters are universal, and the effort to survive and maintain integrity is also universal. Excellent read! ( )
  hemlokgang | Jan 27, 2013 |
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. ( )
  teunduynstee | Jan 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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To my fellow commuters in the Santa Cruz-Churchgate local line
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If you are inquiring about Vishram Society, you will be told right away that it is pucca - absolutely, inimpeachably pucca.
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Book description
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.
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Refusing to leave his home when a powerful real-estate developer offers to buy out the residents of a crumbling apartment complex near the infamous Dharavi slums, a retired schoolteacher becomes a target of violence by the developer and his own neighbors.… (more)

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