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A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
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A Fine Balance (1995)

by Rohinton Mistry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,566205710 (4.37)1 / 711
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English (197)  French (3)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (204)
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
Such injustice and sadness in the world! Rohinton Mistry is brilliant with his prose otherwise I would never have been able to bear this story. The depths to which he defined his characters brought them alive and made me love them so much. I laughed with them, cried with them, cried for them. "But for the Grace of God..." Listening to this book on my daily commute for the past month made me so grateful to have the life I have. ( )
  TracyRitter | Oct 16, 2018 |
Life for poor/lower castes in Bombay is pretty grim. ( )
  BookBuddies | Oct 12, 2018 |
excellent writing style. Set in the backdrop of the emergency era in the 70s India, Mistry keep me hooked till the very end.
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
I could tell I was going to like A Fine Balance when I got to this line early in the the novel, "How much gratitude for a little sherbet...how starved they seemed for ordinary kindness" (p 8). The writing is so graceful and honest. This is the story of the daily lives of four people in an unnamed seaside town in India, thrown together by a housing shortage after the government has declared a state of emergency. At the center is Dina Dalal, a widowed seamstress. As a matter of pride she will not remarry just to be supported by a man. In order to stay self sufficient she takes in borders. One such border is Manek Kohlah, a student attending college in the city. He is studying refrigeration. Ishvar Darji and Omprakash, two other borders, are tailors fleeing caste-centric brutalities in their village. There is no doubt in my mind most people find this story incredibly tragic, considering its ending. I found it sad but with a thin thread of optimism. When a once bitter character can laugh by the end of it, you know the human spirit has not been broken.

The word that comes up time and time again when describing Mistry's work is depth. Depth of characters, depth of plot, and of human emotion. That being said, pay attention to Dina. Her transformation is the best part of the book. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Nov 17, 2017 |
So, so sad. Just when the characters reach an equilibrium...BAM! The rug gets pulled right out from under you. Such is life. ( )
  CarynPic | Nov 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
Rohinton Mistry needs no infusions of magical realism to vivify the real. The real world, through his eyes, is quite magical enough.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mistry, Rohintonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cowper, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danielsson, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Echevarría, AuroraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Julià, PepTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mulder, ArjenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Post, MaaikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pujol, RubénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Holding this book in your hand, sinking back in your soft armchair, you will say to yourself: perhaps it will amuse me. And after you have read this story of great misfortunes, you will no doubt dine well, blaming the author for your own insensitivity, accusing him of wild exaggeration and flights of fancy. But rest assured: this tragedy is not a fiction. All is true."

Honore de Balzac, Le Pere Goriot
Dedication
For Freny
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The morning express bloated with passengers slowed to a crawl, then lurched forward suddenly, as though to resume full speed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140003065X, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:31 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A portrait of India featuring four characters. Two are tailors who are forcibly sterilized, one is a student who emigrates, and the fourth is a widowed seamstress who decides to hang on. A tale of cruelty, political thuggery and despair by an Indian from Toronto, author of Such a Long Journey.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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