Last Man in Tower

Last Man in Tower

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Random House, Inc.
The magnificent new novel from the million-selling Booker Prize-winning author ofThe White Tiger: one of the most eagerly anticipated literary novels of 2011--"a kaleidoscopic portrait of a changing Mumbai."
Guardian (Best Books of 2011)

Ask any Bombaywallah about Vishram Society--Tower A of the Vishram Co-operative Housing Society--and you will be told that it is unimpeachably pucca. Despite its location close to the airport, under the flight path of 747s and bordered by slums, it has been pucca for some fifty years. But Bombay has changed in half a century--not least its name--and the world in which Tower A was first built is giving way to a new city; a Mumbai of development and new money; of wealthy Indians returning with fortunes made abroad.

When real estate developer Dharmen Shah offers to buy out the residents of Vishram Society, planning to use the site to build a luxury apartment complex, his offer is more than generous. Initially, though, not everyone wants to leave; many of the residents have lived in Vishram for years, and many of them are no longer young. But none can benefit from the offer unless all agree to sell. As tensions rise among the once civil neighbours, one by one those who oppose the offer give way to the majority, until only one man stands in Shah's way: Masterji, a retired schoolteacher, once the most respected man in the building. Shah is a dangerous man to refuse, but as the demolition deadline looms, Masterji's neighbours--friends who have become enemies, acquaintances turned co-conspirators--may stop at nothing to score their payday.

A suspense-filled story of money and power, luxury and deprivation, and a rich tapestry peopled by unforgettable characters, not least of which is Bombay itself,Last Man in Tower opens up the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of a great city--ordinary people pushed to their limits in a place that knows none.

Publisher: Toronto : Bond Street Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780385669887
Branch Call Number: FIC ADI
Characteristics: 381 p. ;,25 cm.

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Margush
Sep 28, 2017

This book is captivating, very well written and keeps you on your toes. It also makes you to mentally take sides and tries your character and principles - what would I do in a similar situation? The old man’s actions are understandable but his son’s arguments and observations are logical as well. His neighbors behavior is unforgivable. As much as I enjoyed the book, I found it a bit tedious especially towards the end. The amount of details on basically the same emotions of the same characters within the same plot was just too much...I ended up scanning the last 25 pages to get an idea where everyone landed.

u
unicorn1
Feb 02, 2017

A wonderful book, with a subtle sense of humour running underneath the darkness. If you're a fan of Rohinton Mistry's "A Fine Balance", you will appreciate this one as well. The characters come to life and the ending is stark.

ChristchurchLib May 15, 2016

The Vishram Society was the first of its kind in its part of Mumbai -- a cooperative apartment building that ushered in, many years later, several more middle-class housing options in an otherwise iffy part of the city. But now it is under threat by a developer who wishes to tear down the historic building to make way for luxurious condos, and the sense of community built by the Society's residents is torn apart by the vast sum the developer has offered each resident. Each of the residents is fully realised, their struggles and very natures revealed in luxurious, detailed prose by Man Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga.

Jane60201 Apr 02, 2014

Wonderful perceptive commentary on life in modern india.

ChristchurchLib Feb 19, 2014

"The Vishram Society was the first of its kind in its part of Mumbai -- a cooperative apartment building that ushered in several more middle-class housing options in an otherwise iffy part of the city. But now it is under threat by a developer, who wishes to tear down the historic building to make way for luxurious condos, and the sense of community built by the Society's residents is torn apart by the vast sum the developer has offered each resident. There is one holdout, a retired teacher, but each of the residents is fully realised, their struggles and very natures revealed in luxurious, detailed prose by Man Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga." Fiction A to Z February 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/5fdf91da-47ce-498a-9809-d124d568f696?postId=8c92a5c1-369b-4131-85d1-534a1bd46a6b

Diell Dec 17, 2013

see White Tiger comment

w
Winnipeg1
Jul 29, 2012

Another complex social commentary, proving people, and groups of people, are the same anywhere in the world. Compelling, poetic prose; fullsome plot. Highly recommended.

alleycat Jun 13, 2012

As noted in the Library Journal review (under VERDICT), this novel is a *stunner*. Packing a tremendous punch, it has it all ... great story, really good writing, memorable characters and a shocking finale that's just begging to be discussed book-club style. Highly recommended for any serious literary fiction reader.

s
susettem
Mar 22, 2012

The story takes place in an old, respected Mumbai coop apartment complex, the Vishram Society.

debwalker Jul 27, 2011

"Adiga, who has cast a lively, wry eye on India’s ongoing transformation, leapt to prominse with his 2008 Booker winner, The White Tiger. The plot engine for the new novel is the changing face of real estate development in Mumbai."
Vit Wagner

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ndp21f
Aug 12, 2012

I wish we had never been picked by that builder. We are not good enough to say no to his money, and not bad enough to say yes to what he wants us to do for it.

n
ndp21f
Aug 12, 2012

It’s Ibrahim Kudwa’s,” Ram Khare said. “Bought it yesterday.” “He shouldn’t be spending money he doesn’t have.” The guard smiled. “The mouth waters before it has food. It’s the human way, Masterji.

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