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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Bolinda audio (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1743102461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1743102466
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras in 1974. He studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities. His first novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize for 2008. A former Indian correspondent for Time magazine, his writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the Financial Times, and the Sunday Times among other publications. He lives in Mumbai.

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Review

'I was absolutely mesmerized by this novel, and think that Aravind Adiga is already, with this, his second book, the most exciting novelist writing in English today.' - A. N. Wilson. 'Beautifully done... Last Man in Tower is as honest a book as it is entertaining: funny and engaging as he can be, Adiga never forgets the seriousness of his subject.' - The Times 'A funny yet deeply melancholic work, Last Man in Tower is a brilliant, and remarkably mature, second novel. A rare achievement.' - The Economist 'The story of a struggle for a slice of shining Mumbai real estate brings all of Adiga's gifts for sharp social observation and mordant wit to the fore... His scope, in this novel teeming with life and skulduggery, is Dickensian... [Adiga is] a writer who is evocative, entertaining and angry.' - Daily Telegraph --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"Extraordinary and brilliant... Adiga is a real writer – that is to say, someone who forges an original voice and vision." (The Sunday Times)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sometimes a book is so good it's hard to do justice to it in a review. This is one of those books.

As the Vakola area of Bombay (as the author usually calls it) begins to come up in the world, the inhabitants of an apartment block are offered money by a developer to move out. One man, Masterji, a retired teacher, wants to stay. This is the story of how the promise of wealth changes and corrupts a community. But it's also so much more than that. The author takes us into the lives of Masterji and his neighbours, letting us see their thoughts and dreams and fears. With humanity and humour he paints a picture of the friendships, favours and shared histories that bind a community together; and then shows how small envies and old grievances are magnified when that community is divided.

Bombay itself is a major character in the book. There is a real sense of how the city is changing as India becomes richer. The contrasts between the lucky rich and the frightening hand-to-mouth existence of the very poor are woven into the story, but subtly, so that the reader accepts these contrasts as easily as the inhabitants. The author also highlights the cosmopolitan nature of the city, the differing religions and cultures all forming one vibrant whole.

This book made me laugh and cry. It is full of warmth and the characters are drawn sympathetically and affectionately. In many ways an intimate portrait of a small group of people, but also an in-depth look at the strengths and frailties of human nature. By a long way, this is the best book I have read this year. Don't miss it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Valentine Gersbach on 23 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
I read "White Tiger" a while ago and remember being impressed even though I can't recall anything about it now.I doubt that I'll forget this engrossing novel very quickly.

The story is a simple one about how decent people can,given the right circumstances,do terrible things.Adiga's talent is to trace the descent into evil with meticulous care and observation.No one in this novel is without flaw,just as no one is totally without redemptive features.Even the central heroic character is marked with pomposity,vanity and self deception.All the characters are given the time and space to develop themselves,all are realised as personalities,not cyphers, because of the length of the novel and its concentration on one central theme.

Perhaps the true villain of the piece is the city of Mumbai,shown here as a mixture of aching poverty,slick wealth,glamour,greed,envy,stunning beauty and teeming humanity.Where you live here is what you are to the world.What you have is what matters about you.Destitution means living on the pavement and scrounging a living from the filth around you.Wealth means existing in glamorous otherworld made all the more sumptuous by its existing within sight of human misery.Maybe this explains the devastating impact that the prospect of wealth has on the characters in the novel or maybe we're all capable of inhumanity, given the right circumstances.Whichever way you look at it,this is a novel that transcends its time and setting even though Mumbai is vibrantly and fascinatingly a major player in it.

If I read another novel of this quality this year,I shall count myself lucky.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Set in modern day Mumbai, a rich builder is seeking to force residents of an old apartment block to sell their flats to enable redevelopment. Adiga takes has a clear group of people - the diverse residents of the apartment block; an outside agent to force change - the property magnate Dharmen Shah; and a time span that focuses the decision - with the offer needing to be accepted before the oncoming monsoon rains. The diversity of the residents and their varying willingness to accept the generous payouts of the builder create a perfect environment for a good story.

Some residents are in favour of taking the money, others have more commitment to the memories that the building offers for them and gradually, by hook or by crook the residents argue and come around to the builder's way of thinking, albeit with a little help sometimes. All that is except for a retired teacher whose reaction to the pressures of his fellow residents and the builder merely encourage a more intransigent position until he is the only one holding out. But without his agreement, everyone will lose out on the deal.

It's a lovely piece of story-telling that pits rich against poor, the past against progress and corruption against standing up for what you believe in. Loyalties are questioned and greed is pitted against loyalty and reputation.

Adiga manages to give a good feeling of the poorer areas of Mumbai without being overly descriptive. Much of the story progresses through dialogue and the residents of the apartment block are all clearly portrayed to such an extent that the reader wants most of them to come out on top - but of course only one side can win in the end. Definitely a recommended read. It's been quite a wait since his first novel, the Booker-winning The White Tiger, but it's been worth the wait as this is, for me, even more enjoyable.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I agree that it must be hard to produce a novel after reaching the unexpected heights of a Booker win so early in one's career as a novelist.

This continues the theme of how rapid change and exposure to western materialism is corrupting traditional Indian society and values, and rightly seeks a different theme from the prize-winning "The White Tiger", which highlights the gulf between rich and poor. In this case the community of residents in a proudly "middle class" Bombay tower block are split apart by the lure of a businessman's very generous offer for them to leave, to enable him to redevelop the site for luxury apartments. The story is also a study of human nature - the way in which formerly decent people turn on the one moral - and perhaps foolishly stubborn - soul who persists in refusing to be bought, thereby sabotaging their one off chance to get their hands on the windfall which they imagine will transform their lives.

Although I want to admire and enjoy this book, it seems to me to lack the sharp wit and verbal imagery, combined with creative imagination and originality of "The White Tiger". Despite the large cast of potentially interesting and moving characters, I found the scenes too plodding and pedestrian to sustain my interest. The opening pages also read more like a journalist's article, than a piece of creative writing in which the reader gradually works out what is going on, who the characters are and what they are like.

I may return to this book and try the author again with another title, but was a little disappointed.
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