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

by Rohinton Mistry (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,878184530 (4.38)1 / 625
  1. 60
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    JudeyN: Set in a different time and place, but similar themes. Examines the different ways in which people respond to hardship and upheaval.
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  4. 52
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    mariamreza: Also leads the reader through an emotional roller coaster, experiencing the hope and despair of the characters from poor/ oppressed communities.
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  6. 10
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English (175)  French (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (182)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
Ah, this book! This is the book I plug into Amazon or whatever booklist I'm searching and find reviews from people that were as taken by this novel as I was...in other words, 5 stars plus, if there is a plus. And then I look at what the reviewer is reading and use that to further my search for the perfect read.

I swear that I could smell India in the pages of Mr. Mistry's novel as I read even though I've never been to India. I could feel the heat. I loved the indomitable spirit of the characters...a true fine balance of life.

I have looked at the book many times and thought about giving it another go around, but I don't want to change any of the feelings I have about it, so it remains on my shelf.

( )
  LouisaK | Feb 2, 2016 |
Ah, this book! This is the book I plug into Amazon or whatever booklist I'm searching and find reviews from people that were as taken by this novel as I was...in other words, 5 stars plus, if there is a plus. And then I look at what the reviewer is reading and use that to further my search for the perfect read.

I swear that I could smell India in the pages of Mr. Mistry's novel as I read even though I've never been to India. I could feel the heat. I loved the indomitable spirit of the characters...a true fine balance of life.

I have looked at the book many times and thought about giving it another go around, but I don't want to change any of the feelings I have about it, so it remains on my shelf.

( )
  LouisaK | Feb 2, 2016 |
Ah, this book! This is the book I plug into Amazon or whatever booklist I'm searching and find reviews from people that were as taken by this novel as I was...in other words, 5 stars plus, if there is a plus. And then I look at what the reviewer is reading and use that to further my search for the perfect read.

I swear that I could smell India in the pages of Mr. Mistry's novel as I read even though I've never been to India. I could feel the heat. I loved the indomitable spirit of the characters...a true fine balance of life.

I have looked at the book many times and thought about giving it another go around, but I don't want to change any of the feelings I have about it, so it remains on my shelf.

( )
  LouisaK | Feb 2, 2016 |
There is no happy ending in this book. So much tragedy, suffering and injustice. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Four disparate lives join in one small modest flat in a "city by the sea" in India circa 1975: Dina, a young widow trying to maintain her independence; Manech, a young college student from a Himilayan hill town who rents a room from her; Ishvar, a middle-aged tailor who hails from a caste of leather workers in a poor village; and Om (Ishvar's 17-year-old nephew), an apprentice tailor. It is a time of unrest in India and the events that unfold outside their tiny flat have profound effects on them.

The book is at times humorous, and at other times horrific. Mistry tells a compelling story. ( )
1 vote BookConcierge | Jan 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (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, RohintonAuthorprimary 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
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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 6 descriptions

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