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A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
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A Suitable Boy (1993)

by Vikram Seth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,935981,520 (4.18)2 / 521
A special limited edition of nine classic novels produced to coincide with Weidenfeld & Nicolson's 60th anniversary. Designed by the award-winning advertising agency Fallon with special endpapers commissioned from ground-breaking artists. The endpapers for this title have been designed by Yehrin Tong. Vikram Seth's novel is at its core a love story, the tale of Lata - and her mother's attempts to find her a suitable husband, through love or through exacting maternal appraisal. Set in post-Independence India and involving the lives of four large families and those who orbit them, it is also a vast panoramic exploration of a whole continent at a crucial hour as a sixth of the world's population faces its first great General Election and the chance to map its own destiny. 'A SUITABLE BOY may prove to be the most fecund as well as the most prodigious work of the latter half of this century - perhaps even the book to restore the serious reading public's faith in the contemporary novel ... You should make time for it. It will keep you company for the rest of your life' Daniel Johnson, The Times… (more)
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    The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street by Naguib Mahfouz (chrisharpe)
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    The Makioka Sisters by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (kitzyl)
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  3. 20
    The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott (mcenroeucsb)
  4. 10
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (WirSindAlive)
  5. 00
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  6. 00
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  7. 22
    Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (rebeccanyc)
    rebeccanyc: Both these books, which are among my favorites, explore the lives of families, over time and at length. Different countries, different times, but wonderful characterization and development and wonderful depictions of the worlds the families live in.
  8. 00
    Sweet Dates in Basra by Jessica Jiji (-Eva-)
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English (90)  Dutch (4)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (98)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Finally finished this! This book could have been shorter by half, I don't know why the author wants to write such a behemoth with so many sub-plots and characters. It became quite hard to remember who's who, especially the minor characters. The story also didn't absorb me as I thought it would, probably because of the plot's meandering. Nevertheless, having been on it for almost half a year, I think I will miss reading it, and many of the memorable characters. Arun must be the most detestable character in the book; the scene where he had to admit he had never been to England before despite waxing so lyrically about it is one of my favourite scenes. He doesn't seem to have any redeeming features, unlike some of the other more frivolous and unlikeable characters. Meenakshi knows when to be helpful, she volunteered to take charge of Uma when the others had to hurriedly pack for Brampur upon finding of Maan's arrest from the papers; Bibbo knows when to take charge, asking Maan to leave the crime scene quickly and pretend he had never been there; even Aggarwal showed some humanity by planning for Maan to pass by his mother's cremation while on the move to another prison. The kindness shown by the Nawab Shabib to Maan, and the reconciliation between the Nawab Shabib and Mahesh Kapoor are some of my other personal highlights of this book. ( )
  siok | May 31, 2020 |
It's certainly a long journey to travel with the various characters. I must admit I found myself more engrossed in the sections of the book dealing with the way personal and political life was shaped by events of early post-Independence India (the backdrop) than the personal story of the Mehras, Kapoors, Chatterjis. Tandons and eventually Khannas (the main plot). Even if I on a couple of occasions did put the book down, letting it rest for a few days (weeks) and then become re-engaged, I finally found myself 50 pages from the end cringing at the prospects presented to Lata. I guess after a "year" and 1500 pages you can't help but feel a certain affinity to all the people and places (Brahmpur sounds a bit of a drag, but certainly it would have been somewhat exciting to be in Chatterji Kolkata) in the book. ( )
  linuskendall | Mar 22, 2020 |
Took a break 850 pages in (well, 862, not that I was counting), and I don't think I can bring myself to go back for the remaining 600 or so. Seth's writing has some qualities I love, but this is too much for me.
  matt_ar | Dec 6, 2019 |
Epic in scope and ranging from epic to intimate in detail, this covers about 18 months in 1951 & 1952, during which India is adjusting to independence. The great attraction for me is in the characters which may come from cultures which have different imperatives than mine, but who are each recognizable and probably one-for-one mapable onto my acquaintance. I found none them deeply developed, but all of them more than plausible. I am slightly more turned off by academic politics than by national politics, but the sections devoted to both are pretty well leavened with character detail and other distractions. ( )
  quondame | Apr 20, 2019 |
Reading the book like a radio soap opera was distracting. ( )
  sandra.pinkerton83 | Apr 16, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vikram Sethprimary authorall editionscalculated
Perria, LidiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, HoniCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Wie saai wil zijn moet alles zeggen.
VOLTAIRE
Het overbodige is onontbeerlijk.
VOLTAIRE
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To Papa and Mama and the memory of Amma
First words
'You too will marry a boy I choose' said Mrs Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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