The White Tiger has escaped

This is my review of Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga.

I agree that it must be hard to produce a novel after reaching the unexpected heights of a Booker win so early in one's career as a novelist.

This continues the theme of how rapid change and exposure to western materialism is corrupting traditional Indian society and values, and rightly seeks a different theme from the prize-winning "The White Tiger", which highlights the gulf between rich and poor. In this case the community of residents in a proudly "middle class" Bombay tower block are split apart by the lure of a businessman's very generous offer for them to leave, to enable him to redevelop the site for luxury apartments. The story is also a study of human nature – the way in which formerly decent people turn on the one moral – and perhaps foolishly stubborn – soul who persists in refusing to be bought, thereby sabotaging their one off chance to get their hands on the windfall which they imagine will transform their lives.

Although I want to admire and enjoy this book, it seems to me to lack the sharp wit and verbal imagery, combined with creative imagination and originality of "The White Tiger". Despite the large cast of potentially interesting and moving characters, I found the scenes too plodding and pedestrian to sustain my interest. The opening pages also read more like a journalist's article, than a piece of creative writing in which the reader gradually works out what is going on, who the characters are and what they are like.

I may return to this book and try the author again with another title, but was a little disappointed.

⭐⭐⭐ 3 Stars

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