Last Man in Tower

Aravind Adiga. Knopf, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-307-59409-9
When Mumbai was still Bombay, the apartment building became the new village, inhabitants growing up and old together, intertwined in one another's rhythms and needs. Tower A of the Vishram Society is one such building—both a character and the setting in this highly allegorical yet riveting novel, Adiga's first since winning the Man Booker Prize for The White Tiger. Here, Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Communists have lived together for decades, finding recent common ground in their suspicions about the new "modern" single girl in 3B. But when a developer offers each resident an astronomical sum to move out so that he might build a luxury condo, greed threatens to destroy the community. But one holdout, the teacher Mr. Masterji, is determined that knowledge and principle will protect him. Though occasionally overwritten ("The hypodermic needle of the outside world had bent at his epidermis and never penetrated"), Adiga is a master of pacing. The momentum builds as Masterji's neighbors become consumed by money, allowing Adiga to show his characters grappling with circumstances, and enduring difficult changes of heart. Adiga takes a harsh look at Mumbai's new wealth, but his characters are more than archetypes. Though the allure of capitalism has won them over, the inhabitants of Tower A are at the mercy of the rich as much as their neighbor, the teacher, is at the mercy of them. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 560 pages - 978-1-84887-516-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-94096-4
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-385-66988-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61657-789-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-94099-5
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-385-66989-4
Hardcover - 659 pages - 978-1-4104-4316-8
Open Ebook - 252 pages - 978-1-84887-786-3
Paperback - 467 pages - 978-0-307-73983-4
Open Ebook - 303 pages - 978-0-307-70040-7
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-385-66990-0
Paperback - 421 pages - 978-1-84887-518-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 576 pages - 978-0-307-95014-7
Paperback - 978-0-85789-687-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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