Howard's Reviews > Last Man in Tower

Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga
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's review
Dec 12, 2011

really liked it

I really enjoyed this story of the residents of Tower A of Vishram society and found it very compelling and it kept me thinking about what would happen next. The characters were engaging and the relatively small geographical scope of the novel belies the message I think it is aiming to put across, that being the ceaseless drive towards the westernisation of India, and the rights and wrongs of that. The story takes place in Mumbai and focuses on the residents of a somewhat dilapidated tower block in the northern suburb of Vakola and the attempts of a property developer to buy them out of their homes in order to build luxury apartments. This may sound predictable, a straight forward tale of good people standing up to the evil corporate machine, but it goes far deeper than that. The residents aren’t simply ‘good’ but have many shortcomings as well, the developer also isn’t just ‘bad’ either and is shown to be a human being. In short this is an excellent novel that I enjoyed immensely, it makes a refreshing change to read a story about India that isn’t focused entirely on the poverty of the slum dwellers, but instead tells the story of the lower middle classes of Mumbai. The characters are complete on the whole and you feel you know and understand them, whether you like or dislike them. Ultimately though I found that the most interesting and richly drawn character of the story was Mumbai itself, Aravind Adiga really conjured up a living breathing metropolis in my mind that was an essential to the enjoyment of the story. I have seen comparisons with White Tiger that claim this book isn’t as good, I personally haven’t read White Tiger, but I can say that Last Man in Tower is definitely worth picking up.

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