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A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance (1995)

by Rohinton Mistry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,952223737 (4.37)1 / 740
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.
Recently added byClaireSims, piquareste, rena40, TheaJean, judyblaine, private library, Deyvena
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English (214)  French (3)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (222)
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
The author bullied Me ( )
  Kelmanel | Apr 17, 2020 |
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. ( )
  Tracyannritter | Apr 4, 2020 |
How can a book with so much misery and social abuse be so engaging? Through wonderful characters and excellent writing style we see India during the Emergency created buy India Gandhi and the horrors that were created in the name of social improvement. Four lives come to live together in one small, cramped apartment, all seeking respite and connection in a world turned upside down. A moving tale that is one you are not likely to forget. ( )
  dugmel | Apr 4, 2020 |
I tried a couple of times, but it's just a run-of-the-mill domestic drama.

No, it's not beautiful - the writing is certainly capable - but thoroughly average. Glad I didn't stick with it. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
I loved almost everything about his book except that it was really just too long. This is the story of friendship. Set in a large city in India, this tells the story of a strange and unexpected friendship between a widowed woman, two lower caste tailors, and a young man from the country who is attempting to escape his family's business.

Plot is very complicated with so much happening; much of which is almost unbearable to read. Life in India is so hard - beggars, horrible food, sleeping on the street, corruption at all levels of government.
The most interesting characters are Ishvar and his nephew Om who were from the lowest caste of tanners, but were able to learn to be tailors. Although there is such a detailed look at the abject poverty in their lives, the story is told in a very straightforward manner; this is not a sentimental look at India.

Although I've read several books revolving around poverty in India ("Djinn... purple line" and "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" ) this book probably paints the most accurate picture. ( )
  maryreinert | Mar 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 214 (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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"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
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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