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Last Man in Tower

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  5,137 Ratings  ·  594 Reviews
A tale of one man refusing to leave his home in the face of property development. Tower A is a relic from a co-operative housing society established in the 1950s. When a property developer offers to buy out the residents for eye-watering sums, the principled yet arrogant teacher is the only one to refuse the offer, determined not to surrender his sentimental attachment to ...more
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published September 2011 by Atlantic Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Man Booker Prize Eligible 2011
16th out of 155 books — 273 voters
The God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe White Tiger by Aravind AdigaMidnight's Children by Salman RushdieThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Best Indian Books
103rd out of 682 books — 2,140 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 22, 2011 Sofia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, literary
Sorry to start with a cliche, but wow. I have never been to India and I'm only somewhat familiar with Delhi. I didn't know anything about Mumbai before I read this. Sure, there's Slumdog Millionaire, but I haven't read the book and all I got from the movie was that there are very, very poor people living in slums next door to very luxurious buildings. Which also happens to be the case in Bangkok and Rio de Janeiro and other places. If you want to see, hear, smell, taste, truly experience Mumbai ...more
Mar 18, 2014 Petra rated it liked it
With subtlety, Aravind Adiga tells the story of an apartment building of home-owners offered the chance to sell their building to a developer and move onwards to find their new homes and/or dreams. But one man wants to stay. Slowly, his neighbours pressure him to change his mind.
None of this is a spoiler. It's all on the back of the book in the blurb.
What's surprising is how these people change in such slow, normal, understandable ways that their behaviour almost appears completely normal. Sca
Mark Staniforth
Jul 05, 2011 Mark Staniforth rated it really liked it
You don't need some blogger to tell you India's in the middle of a seismic economic shift. Aravind Adiga's books encapsulate that change best of all. They're richly evocative of a rush to riches which seems as unstoppable as Mumbai's filthy, shit-strewn tide. With 'White Tiger', which won the Booker Prize in 2008, Adiga established himself indisputably as the voice of this newly modern India, shaking the caste system to its core and highlighting the endemic corruption and greed which blights suc ...more
Jun 25, 2011 Wolf rated it liked it
There is a point when Adiga’s latest suddenly comes to life. The man last holding out in the tower block, not prepared to sell to a developer, seems to have run out of ways to fight the builder whilst others in the block are desperate that they might have miss the deadline for accepting the builder’s deadline and prepare to try and force the old man’s hand. The story gains dynamism, strength and tension. Sadly, by this point I was about three-quarters of the way through the book.

It isn’t easy to
Jun 25, 2011 Candace rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 03, 2011 Preeti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: desi-authors, india
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
Sep 13, 2011 Nagesh rated it it was ok
Somehow I feel something about his nation of birth has rubbed him (Arvind Adiga) very wrongly

I see only a pessimistic view of most things and the same views get translated into words in his stories

I pretty much did not like "White Tiger" and really honestly wondered how it deserved the Booker Prize, but this one is also nothing great to write about

The plot looked interesting from the back-page hence I went on to read it. The start of the story is also intersting, the description of the mohalla,
Sep 27, 2011 Tony rated it liked it
Adiga's acerbic and darkly funny debut novel, The White Tiger, won the 2008 Booker Prize, so expectations are high for this one. I quite liked the earlier book for its unabashed class warfare plotline and compelling moral ambiguity. This one deals with similar themes: invoking the aspirations of rich, poor, and middle class in a story revolving around a developer's attempt to buy out the residents of an old building in Mumbai so he can tear it down and build a luxury condo. The catch is that acc ...more
Sep 28, 2011 Paula rated it it was ok
Aravind Adiga, brinda-nos com o seu 3º romance “O Último Homem na Torre”. Uma história que nos mostra, uma vez mais, uma Índia corrupta, onde os interesses materiais sobrepõem-se aos valores humanos.
A narrativa desenvolve-se na Cooperativa Vishram à volta da qual bairros degradados crescem a uma velocidade atroz!
Os habitantes da Cooperativa, apesar da consciência daquilo que lhes cerca, mantêm-se com uma “respeitabilidade burguesa” no edifício que lhes é querido. Onde a água visita as torneiras
Oct 06, 2011 Felice rated it it was amazing
A couple years ago author AravindAdiga had a big critical and commercial hit with the Man Booker winning The White Tiger. It was a funny, gritty, grisly, wonderful, contemporary Horatio Alger/ Kind Hearts and Coronets story set in India. Adiga’s new novel, Last Man In Tower, can be described with all the same adjectives (and then some) except this time he’s not creating his version of a dark rags to riches story but the classic Kaufman and Hart play, You Can’t Take It With You.

The tower itself i
Oct 09, 2011 Pia rated it it was amazing
I liked The White Tiger, I loved Between the Assassinations, but I adored Last Man in Tower. I think part of the reason this book was so poignant to me was the clear connection between the characters in this book and real life. My grandmother's society in Bandra East is about to be dismantled and pretty much everything that is happening in this story may very well be happening in real life. In the spirit of RK Narayan and Rohinton Mistry, Aravind Adiga's Vishram Society is so true-to-life; the c ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Vijay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As somebody who is living in India, I have experienced the massive real estate growth that has taken place in India in the last few years. Buying a home was a middle class aspiration for a long time and one which people strove for in their life.

Slowly but surely, this dream is getting out of reach for a majority of Indian people. Property prices have sky-rocketed in cities leaving ordinary middle class aspirants reeling. Just a cursory look at how the business is conducted in India shows how uno
Jan 15, 2012 Cynthia rated it really liked it

“Last Man in Tower” may not be a book you’ll enjoy reading but will probably be a book you’ll feel rewarded for finishing. As we’ve learned to expect from Adiga the book is incredibly well written and the characters have depth. It’s not a pretty world they inhabit though. Money appears to be the main theme of this book but in my opinion it’s only a vehicle for more personally important themes such as human dignity, respect, and betrayal. “Tower” is rife with metaphor. One that stands out
Jan 03, 2012 Ajay rated it really liked it
I read this book complusively. I have witnessed first hand the real estate growth in India. I have seen the naked greed and aspirations of the middle class (of which I am a part too). I have seen the extreme religiosity and the erosion of moral values (morality and religion are not to be confused here). Adiga takes all this and packages it in a compelling tale of desire, greed and ambition. I could almost see the characters living and breathing. It was a visual read. This is one book that is scr ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Katie rated it liked it
I loved "White Tiger" by this author and decided I had to read this newer book. I did not like it as much, however, it did contain a lot of the same things I liked about this author's writing style from White Tiger.

I was not totally drawn into this book's plot as much as I was hoping. I thought it was a bit too long and just not quite gripping enough. I found the ending to not be completely convincing, in terms of these peoples' moral failings. So that was an issue--I definitely did not find it
Mar 30, 2012 Justin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a massive disappointment. I was a huge fan of The White Tiger, but other than being set in India this book has nothing in common with its predecessor. There is no humor, no great sense of place, the characters never get stuck in the reader's imagination, and the preachy, didactic nature of the novel just grates on the nerves after awhile. The painful over-exposition throughout the dialogue was particularly surprising for a writer of Adiga's talent. He doesn't trust his readers to figure any ...more
Vidya Tiru
Mar 22, 2012 Vidya Tiru rated it really liked it
My Take: This was a book that left me devastated in the end. It was kind of reading an adult version of Lord of the Flies in a different setting.
The book is set in Vakola, Mumbai and focuses on the residents of Vishram Society. The apartment complexes that make up the Society are eyed by Shah, a real estate developer who plans to build his dream there. His efforts to clear the buildings in order to realize his dream – by making generous (in the real estate world) financial offers to the resident
Apr 09, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
I'm a little surprised by many of the tepid reviews here. I was truly impressed with Aravind Adiga's ability to write a literate, plot-driven tragicomedy that manages to ask some big questions. The novel is funny, literate, bitter, and profound, and it deserves our attention and respect.

The plot is pretty straightforward. Occupants of a cooperative apartment building are offered a small fortune by a developer so he can tear their building down and build a new luxury apartment tower. However, the
Fanatique Francaise
Apr 28, 2012 Fanatique Francaise rated it liked it
Adiga returns with a powerful, well-researched, and gripping novel about the underside of India.

I think I'm too young and inexperienced to really grasp the dark and almost scary picture that Adiga creates of Mumbai (India's industrial hub), but thankfully for me, he manifests that very chaos in the lives of the inhabitants of a building about to be torn down by a builder in his extravagant plans for expansion.. The conflict experienced by the inhabitants who are reluctant to let go of their live
May 19, 2012 The-vault rated it it was ok
By Aravind Adiga. Grade: B
Ask any Bombaywallah about 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 and bordered by slums, it has been pucca for some fifty years. But then 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 new development and new money; of wealthy Indians returning with fortunes made a
Silvia Iskandar
Aug 14, 2012 Silvia Iskandar rated it liked it
I admire Adiga's way of describing his character so meticulously, they all seemed so real. It's just that I don't like the way it ended. It was a bit flat for me. For a book that thick with that many characters, I was expecting some spectacular ending.

Or maybe the anticlimax after Masterji's death was too long that I expected something else was going to happen, and then it didn't. Maybe that's what made me feel disappointed.

I particularly like the paragrapraphs in:
1) page 74
Mrs Puri felt lighte
Sundarraj Kaushik
Oct 04, 2012 Sundarraj Kaushik rated it liked it
The city of Bombay, on one hand, has many old buildings many of which are dilapidated and on the verge of collapsing. To facilitate the rebuilding of such structures the government has formulated a law called Transfer of Development Rights by which the residents of the Housing Society of the building can transfer rights to a builder who will build a new building for them. To finance this project the builder will buy extra area (equal to the current area of flats that can be built on the land) fr ...more
Here's Russell Peters on being Indian:

All my life I've been identifying myself as an Indian man. I'm always like, I'm Indian. What are you? I'm Indian. Where you from? I'm Indian. What do you mean, where am I from? I'm Indian. And then I realised something. I was born and raised in Canada. There's nothing Indian about me! The only thing Indian about me are my parents and my skin tone. That's it! Culturally, I'm not Indian at all. And the only reason I know this is because last year I went to Ind
Jul 07, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book and its truth as to the Indian mindset. The novel is set in Mumbai and revolves around one particular Vishram society and its residents. An eclectic mixture of people reside in the two dilapidated towers – Tower A and Tower B that the society comprises of. Yogesh Murthy, better known as the Masterji, Mrs.Puri, the Pintos, the Secretary and many such lay the foundation of the story. The storyline is as simple as it could get. In the power hungry and money minded underw ...more
Feb 11, 2014 Zanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poco-or-is-it, india
Adiga's constellation of Vishram Society inhabitants are well furnished with religious backgrounds, family histories, personalities and motives, but efforts to foresee the twists in the tale are foiled by human unpredictability. Heroes and villains reveal unexpected facets throughout; the murderer finds a conscience; the friend tears up the token and changes sides; the loving mother goes absolutely all the way for her disabled son...

On reflection, I've come back to thinking how it's structures t
Elizabeth Moffat
Dec 29, 2013 Elizabeth Moffat rated it really liked it
This is the second book of Aravind Adiga’s that I have read, after thoroughly enjoying his Man Booker prize winning novel The White Tiger which I also recommend. In this novel we meet a host of colourful characters who are living happily in a tower block in Mumbai despite the occasional shabbiness and state of repair of their apartments. Unfortunately, change is coming in the shape of a ruthless property developer called Dharmen Shah who offers a life-changing amount of money to the residents of ...more
Mar 16, 2014 Corey rated it liked it
Shelves: india
I really enjoy Aravind Adiga’s writing. He knows how to convey subtle yet poignant humor, and large messages through deceptively simple stories – particularly relating to greed and corruption.

This book lost me a little bit because there were so many characters. I kept getting Mrs. Rego and Mrs. Puri confused, ditto for Mr. Ajwani and Mr. Kudwa, and the various children were all a bit of a mish-mash. The central conflict of the novel struck me as a bit unnecessary. Masterji, an elderly resident o
John Pappas
Jul 08, 2014 John Pappas rated it really liked it
Adiga's novel is at once a portrait of fierce resistance - that of one man, Masterji, a former teacher in Mumbai - and a portrait of the futility of resistance to the surge in redevelopment that is transforming both the landscape and the people in Mumbai. The engaging characters and their families each follow their own moral path, and Adiga shows how the promise of easy money, and the prevalence of corruption lead to the abandonment of traditions and morality. He seems to beg the reader to conte ...more
Clement Lee
Apr 28, 2015 Clement Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The purpose of novels (or any short story), for me, is to give me new eyes to look at the world so that I don't look only from my perspective. Adiga made me see the world and myself in a different light.

I've done this before - considered the way materialism corrupts our behaviour - but I've stopped doing that for quite a while. LMIT forced me to see reality as it is - he told a fictional story, BUT actually he described the reality around me. The characters are very believable, and that's what m
Dec 28, 2015 Laura rated it did not like it
This is the worst book I read in 2015! I really like to give books a go before I will trash them or stop reading them but and I gave this book all the chances but each time I kept hating it. It's very rare that I'll pick up a book and not understand the storyline but this book consistently had me scratching my head and wondering what the heck I'd just read.

There are too many characters in this book and none of them are easy to keep a track on as the author likes to chop and change so randomly I
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Aravind Adiga was born in 1974 in Madras (now called Chennai), and grew up in Mangalore in the south of India. He was educated at Columbia University in New York and Magdalen College, Oxford. His articles have appeared in publications such as the New Yorker, the Sunday Times, the Financial Times, and the Times of India. His first novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize for fiction in 2008 ...more
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“Nothing can stop a living thing that wants to be free” 25 likes
“A man's past keeps growing, even when his future has come to a full stop.” 19 likes
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