Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga reviewed

The old and new Indias fight it out in an apartment block

By Mark Sanderson

An apartment block provides the perfect plot for a novelist to explore. Its inhabitants – always varied in caste, class and character – are forced to rub along as best they can, but friction often results.

A single building comes to represent not only a city but a whole country. Now, in his third book, Aravind Adiga, whose first, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker Prize in 2008, has chosen to show what happens when old, respectable India clashes with new, get-rich-quick India.

The Vishram Society consists of two tower blocks in Vakola, under the flight path of the domestic airport of Mumbai. However, it is only the tenants of Block A that concern Adiga. Many of them have been in residence since it was built as an experiment in gentrification in the Fifties. The ceilings leak, and virulent nature invades the windows, yet its denizens consider themselves indisputably “pucca”. The mains water may be turned off twice a day and the thin walls preclude privacy but, for the most part, they enjoy lives of quiet contentment.

Read full article @ The Telegraph

~ by eneryvibes on 1,June 12, 2011.

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