The Apprentice is a novel totally different in tone from all other novels and writings of Arun Joshi. The protagonist, Rattan Rather, represents the quintessence everyman — a contrast to other protagonists in so far as his intellectual level is much lower. An unsophisticated youth, jobless, he comes to the city in search of a career; unscrupulous and ready to prostitute himself for professional advancement. Seduced by materialistic values, he takes a bribe to clear a large lot of defective weapons. As a consequence, a brigadier, who is also his friend, has to desert his post and, to escape ignominy, commits suicide. A penitent Rather, avoids confessing his guilt, but, tries to achieve redemption by cleaning the shoes of devotees, every morning, at a temple. The Apprentice attacks materialistic values but with a different strategy. Rattan Rather wades through corruption to arrive at an understanding of life and its affirmations. According to World Literature Today, "the novel is cast in a series of Browning-like monologues, to a boy to whom the protagonist, burdened with sorrow of 'a wasted life', lays bare the motives, aspirations, dilemmas and frustrations of his past. "