Saturday, January 12, 2013

Last Man In Tower - Aravind Adiga

Last Man In Tower is the second book of Aravind Adiga I reading after The White Tiger. I had liked The White Tiger and had picked "Last Man In Tower" with a lot of hope and am happy to say Aravind Adiga didn't disappoint me.

Last Man in Tower explores how money changes people? How far would people go for the sake of money? It pushes us to think does the convictions of one man out weigh the consensus of the many?

The story is about "Masterji"; The one man refusing to leave his home in the face of property development. Tower A of Vishram Society  is a pucca housing society established in the 1950s. A property developer "DarmenShah" offers to buy out the residents for mouth-watering sums, the principled masterji is the only one refusing the offer, determined not to surrender his sentimental attachment to his home and his right to live in it, in the name of greed. But as his neighours, the others in the building can't get the benefit from the offer until all agree tensions in the society. As the deadline to accept the offer looms - Friends turn enemies, acquaintances turn co-conspirators. His neighbours gradually take matters into their own hands, building up to a nice climax.

Arvind nicely explores the psyche of humans, How money can turn people, how friendships can break when money comes in between. He nicely shows the changes in thinking of the people, how one-by-one each neighbor gets seduced by money. Arvind again captures the changing India, he shows us the co-existence of both the slums and the high rises in Mumbai.

Arvind lets the reader decide with whom his/her sympathizes lie, With Masterji - who stands in the way of his neighbors' most audacious dreams, and whose integrity and incorruptibility borders on the improbable. Or with the middle-class neighbors for whom the windfall can make all their dreams come true. 

He makes us think what is the price growth? Will so called good people risk their humanity when faced with a chance to bag a lot of money? Who can we trust to stand by us when we take a lone stance? The breakdown of family life in modern India.

I give the "Last Man in Tower" a rating of 3/5. Its a  Gripping read, with the right mix of humor and suspense. At every point, the reader is wondering, "What's going to happen to the Masterji?" Arvind has etched out the Characters are well. It lost points because its not always a page turner, at some parts you feel he has stretched out the book.

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