by Aravind Adiga (Penguin) ISBN: 9781848875173
In 2008 Adiga won the Man Booker Prize for his debut White Tiger. His new book is set around the depilated building, Tower A of the Vishram Society in the heart of Mumbai.
The residents have learned to live with the shortcomings of their flat, until a real estate developer offers them a large amount for their homes under two conditions: they all have to agree and there is a deadline. The viewpoint shifts between a few residents who all ponder the offer.
In five months the dynamics within the flat change: the residents especially turn against Masterji, the old teacher, who lost his daughter and wife. He is the only one not wanting to sell: he does not want to part with his memories and he sees no advantage in leaving. He thinks he is fighting against greed and corruption.
Adiga makes some characters come to life with their behaviour, for example when they delve into their neighbour’s rubbish and draw conclusions from their finds.
His descriptions are colourful and the petty fights of the neighbours are amusing, but also take a lot of space in the book and I found my thoughts drifting in the middle of the book.
Recommended, ‘when nothing else available’.