LAST MAN IN TOWER
Published by Knopf September 20, 2011
“A gripping novel about real estate and community” set in Mumbai.
“A devilishly on-target comedy of greed, conspiracy, and blood-shed.”
“A high-stakes drama concerning the fate of an old apartment building on the swampy outskirts of seething, polluted Mumbai, Adiga continues his satirical inquiry into the forces at work in the new India.
“Dharmen Shah, an excessively ambitious developer, is hell-bent on buying out the co-op group, tearing down the tower, and erecting a monumental dream palace. His cash offer functions like a stick thrust into a beehive. Everyone is abuzz and ready to sting as some view the buyout as a godsend, while others think it’s a catastrophe.
“In this shrewdly constructed microcosm, Adiga wryly yet tenderly portrays a spectrum of struggling individuals, among them Mrs. Puri and her Down syndrome son; social worker Mrs. Rego, whose husband abandoned the family; and retired teacher Masterji, who has lost his daughter and his wife. As the promise of wealth trumps basic decency, let alone morals, Masterji, a tragically deluded man of principle and pride, becomes the last holdout, clinging to the tower as emblematic of all that is under assault in a mindlessly greedy, materialistic world.
“Adiga’s calculatingly detailed and elaborately suspenseful, charming yet murderous tale asks painful questions about community, the dark bewitchment of money, and all that we endanger for ‘progress.’”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
“A gripping novel about real estate, greed, and community.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
“Riveting.” —Publishers Weekly