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A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance (original 1995; edition 1996)

by Rohinton Mistry

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,640169565 (4.38)1 / 593
Title:A Fine Balance
Authors:Rohinton Mistry
Info:Emblem/Mcclelland & Stewart (2002), Paperback, 728 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

  1. 50
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (JudeyN)
    JudeyN: Set in a different time and place, but similar themes. Examines the different ways in which people respond to hardship and upheaval.
  2. 51
    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (mariamreza)
    mariamreza: Also leads the reader through an emotional roller coaster, experiencing the hope and despair of the characters from poor/ oppressed communities.
  3. 40
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both novels look at the dire side of life in India, and both are very well written.
  4. 40
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (TeeKay, Othemts)
  5. 21
    Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (reenum)
  6. 10
    Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry (mcenroeucsb)
  7. 32
    Roots by Alex Haley (mariamreza)
    mariamreza: Also leads the reader through an emotional roller coaster, experiencing the hope and despair of the characters from poor/ oppressed communities.
  8. 00
    Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (pdebolt)
  9. 00
    An Autobiography: the Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi (sruszala)
  10. 11
    The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri (Heaven-Ali)
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    Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra (Heaven-Ali)
  12. 00
    Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie (Othemts)
  13. 00
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Othemts)
  14. 11
    Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (LDVoorberg)
  15. 00
    A Far Country by Daniel Mason (KimarieBee)
  16. 01
    Q & A by Vikas Swarup (eugeniajune09)

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English (160)  French (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (167)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
It is a book I will always recall due the true description of how life can take a path ... an the descriptions of life in India are unforgettable
  melkrupinski | Apr 5, 2015 |
Wow. Beautiful, brutal and heart breaking, this is an amazing book. Interwoven lives, the stories of families, of families created from friends, the horrible way we sometimes treat those we perceive as different, and whether that treatment can be an integral part of our belonging to a group. The battles everyone fights. Delicious food. Suffering, poverty, hardship, injustice and mistreatment. And the fine balance between hope and despair in India in the 1970s.

Also, I listened to this as an audiobook read by John Lee. I'd only ever heard him read China Mieville before, so I wasn't sure if it would work for me - I'm used to him being 'weird'. But he was fantastic, and I think he's up among my favourite narrators now. ( )
3 vote evilmoose | Mar 4, 2015 |
Appropriate description likening this to a Charles Dickens. Think twice before beginning; this does not end happily. After 600 pages, you are pulling for the four main characters, making the ending a punch in the gut. Unfortunately, for me it took 300 pages to get "into" this book. If it weren't a book club book, I wouldn't have finished. It DID make for good discussions, though. ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
This is an outstanding book. I found it hard going, having to regularly put it down at each moment of injustice in the lives of the characters. There are many moments of injustice as India in the 1970s was a corrupt and unfair society. Lots of what went on in the book upset me, but it felt very important to read it and acknowledge the hardness of life and the way humans adapt to the difficult situations they find themselves in. Those with the hardest lives adapted more capably than those from a more privileged background. Although at times it was a grind to read, it was a grind that felt necessary. It felt truthful. ( )
1 vote missizicks | Dec 29, 2014 |
"Sometimes you have to use your failures as stepping stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair."

Gripping, heartbreaking novel. The ironic part is that ultimately there is no fine balance. Glimmers of hope are blasted away by unimaginable despair. ( )
  nlgeorge | Aug 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (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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"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."

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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:28 -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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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