No. of Recommendations: 0
I just finished reading this doorstop of a book. It was very good but oh so dark. It has completely changed my perspective on India. I knew there were some very harsh realities to life there for a lot of people but I had no idea just how harsh they could be.

Good book, though. Anyone else read it?

P.
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I haven't even heard of it. What's it about? And it's fiction?

Sil
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No. of Recommendations: 3
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is a fictictious story about life in India in the 70s although it profiles some earlier times to set the scene. It is about both the sheer cruelty people were treated to under the reign of Indira Ghandi and beyond as well as the human need and ability to find friendship and support. It is about the effects of the caste system and about a despotic government and about industrial progress (to a lesser extent).

From Powells.com
With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers — a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village — will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.

As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.


Like I said, it is a doorstop and it's a good read but boy is it dark.

P.
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When I was in the hospital, a friend visited and told me she had just finished it. She was deeply affected. She started tearing up as she was describing it. She is from the Phillipines and related it to her background of struggle.

RBS
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I loved that book. it was so hard to read because it was so well written. You could identify almost perfectly with each character and their travails became your own as you read along.

Heartbreaking.

Great story.

I wonder how accurate. Before the book there is an intro (a poem?) saying that, as bad as things seem in the book, in reality they were unimaginably worse. Hard to believe but possible.

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I loved that book. it was so hard to read because it was so well written. You could identify almost perfectly with each character and their travails became your own as you read along.

So true - really remarkable character development and writing. A friend of mine had told me she loved the characters so much she almost wouldn't finish the book for fear something would happen to them.

I sometimes forget when I read a book that absorbs me that much and gets me that close to the characters just how much skill it takes to make that happen.

P.
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