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Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (edition 2012)

by Katherine Boo

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,3282152,708 (4.09)1 / 364
Member:Max89
Title:Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Authors:Katherine Boo
Info:Random House (2012), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

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    Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh (wandering_star)
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English (220)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (222)
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
Incredible that anyone can survive life in a Mumbai slum. While survival is possible, escape seems even less likely. The corruption that exists at all levels is astonishing! ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
This story felt a little disconnected and sort of a cross between documentary and novel. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This story felt a little disconnected and sort of a cross between documentary and novel. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
It was very difficult to read and imagine this kind of poverty. I think this book will stay with me for a long time. ( )
  nljacobs | Jan 19, 2016 |
this is a tough read. And I mean that in a gutwrenching, heartbreaking kind of read. To know that these are the actual lives of people, of children, living or rather trying desperately to survive in the slums. The corruption, the poverty, the deaths, they are all not something that were made up. Sure, we see those statistics in the newspapers every day. We know that there are very many men, women and children who live in poverty, who can barely make ends meet. But to read of their stories, to know that Katherine Boo spent years with them, talking to them, interviewing them, observing them, and writing this important book to let the rest of us know what it is really, truly, like out there. This is a book about hope and desperation. It is neverending sadness, a daily struggle to put food on the table, to ensure that their most basic of necessities can be afforded, whether it be via corruption or stealing or trading garbage. It is hard to stomach.

Originally posted at http://olduvaireads.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/bout-of-books-day-5-and-a-library-l... ( )
  olduvai | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
Boo, in letting go of her story, in dwelling with it relatively briefly in her book's 250 pages (in contrast to the years she spent with the slum-dwellers), allows it to resonate with us as a small classic of contemporary writing.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Booprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malhotra, SunilReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For two Sunils
and what they've taught me about not giving up
First words
Midnight was closing in, the one-legged woman was grievously burned, and the Mumbai police were coming for Abdul and his father.
Quotations
“Instead, powerless individuals blamed other powerless individuals for what they lacked. Sometimes they tried to destroy one another. Sometimes, like Fatima, they destroyed themselves in the process.”
She was damaged, and acknowledged it freely. She was illiterate--acknowledged that, too. But when others spoke of her fury as an ignorant, animal thing, that was bukwaas, utter nonsense. Much of her outrage derived from a belated recognition that she was as human as anyone else.
. . . He still found it strange to think of her as dead, because at Annawadi he hadn't considered her fully alive. Like many of his neighbors, he had assessed her damage, physical and emotional, and casually assigned her to a lesser plane of existence. . . .
In the West, and among some in the Indian elite, this word, "corruption", had purely negative connotations; it was seen as blocking India's modern, global ambitions. But for the poor of a country where corruption thieved a great deal of opportunity, corruption was one of the genuine opportunities that remained.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and a India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a teenager who sorts and sells recyclable airport garbage, believes that he's on the verge of lifting his family of eleven out of poverty. Asha, a mother of three, is determined to make her sensitive teenage daughter, Manju, the first female college graduate in Annawadi. Meanwhile, even the poorest among them, like Kalu, a homeless, fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, feel themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call the "Full Enjoy." But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terrorism and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the true contours of an unequal, desperately competitive market city are revealed, so too are the resilience and ingenuity of the people of Annawadi. (978-1-4000-6755-8)
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Profiles everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother, and a young scrap metal thief, illuminating how their efforts to build better lives are challenged by religious, caste, and economic tensions.… (more)

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