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Vikram Seth

Author of A Suitable Boy

42+ Works 13,024 Members 255 Reviews 65 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Photograph: Eamonn McCabe

Works by Vikram Seth

A Suitable Boy (1993) 5,731 copies
An Equal Music (1999) 2,929 copies
Two Lives (2005) 1,193 copies
Three Chinese Poets (1992) — Translator — 130 copies
All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990) — Author — 115 copies
Arion and the Dolphin (1994) 107 copies
A Suitable Boy: v. 1 (1901) 73 copies
A Suitable Boy: v. 2 (1993) 52 copies
A Suitable Boy: v. 3 (1995) 50 copies
The Collected Poems (1995) 39 copies
The Rivered Earth (2011) 35 copies

Associated Works

Granta 57: India! The Golden Jubilee (1997) — Contributor — 202 copies
The Vintage Book of Modern Indian Literature (2001) — Contributor — 131 copies
Ox-Tales: Earth (2009) — Contributor — 86 copies
Ox-Tales: Fire (2009) — Contributor — 81 copies
Ox-Tales: Air (2009) — Contributor — 70 copies
Ox-Tales: Water (2009) — Contributor — 70 copies
AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India (2008) — Contributor — 59 copies
Writers on writing (2002) — Contributor — 29 copies
Yaraana: Gay Writing from India (1999) — Contributor — 29 copies
Yaraana: Gay Writing from South Asia (1999) — Contributor — 18 copies
Passages: 24 Modern Indian Stories (Signet Classics) (2009) — Contributor — 10 copies


1001 (44) 1001 books (44) 20th century (127) anthology (56) Asia (41) biography (138) China (78) contemporary fiction (53) England (44) English (55) family (105) fiction (1,560) Germany (40) historical fiction (75) history (60) India (814) Indian (172) Indian fiction (75) Indian literature (148) literature (135) London (53) love (89) marriage (74) memoir (104) music (190) non-fiction (120) novel (283) own (51) poetry (463) read (95) Roman (52) romance (77) San Francisco (45) short stories (117) Tibet (61) to-read (579) travel (121) unread (72) Vikram Seth (46) WWII (49)

Common Knowledge



2019 Group Read: A Suitable Boy in 2019 Category Challenge (December 2020)
2nd Quarter Group Read of A Suitable Boy in 2017 Category Challenge (September 2017)


The BBC audio performance of A Suitable Boy was a treat for the ears and was easily able to evoke the cinema of the mind for me. The portrayal of the various characters was top notch as was the voice acting and sound effects. The musical soundtrack was inspired. All in all this was a treat for the lovers of this art form. Will be looking for more BBC productions to relive the experience in a different manner.
thanesh | 107 other reviews | Mar 8, 2024 |
A group of friends look for love in San Francisco around 1980.

I can look on this verse novel as something of a tour de force and it is fun watching the author's verbal dexterity in keeping to the meter, but the actual story is really rather slight.
Robertgreaves | 40 other reviews | Feb 28, 2024 |
A Suitable Boy is, if nothing else, an epic accomplishment. Seth has created and populated a world in such detail, astutely developed numerous characters and maintained a written style of rich eloquence throughout. The vastness of his purview results in the plot having a disjointed flow (no more evident than in the slightly brusque ending). But in the attempt to encompass so many factors of life and society - quite rightly demonstrating how in reality they pervade the daily life of a family - it would be incredibly harsh to criticise the book for a lack of an adequate crescendo. The quote by Voltaire, Seth includes at the beginning of the book ('the superfluous, that very necessary thing') adroitly highlights his belief that it was indeed imperative to include so much - I would in fact argue that he didn't include enough as there was a palpable sense of abruptness in the ending almost like he couldn't take it anymore or that he was increasingly worried about the word count. This by no means takes anything away from the enjoyment had by reading this book. Take your mind through the romanticism of India proffered by Seth in his gargantuan novel/substitute pillow!… (more)
Dzaowan | 107 other reviews | Feb 15, 2024 |
Having read 'A Suitable Boy' previously, I was already aware of Seth's prowess as a writer and it was nice to see an author successful in other forms of writing than just traditional prose (since I'd also picked up his 'The Golden Gate') and this seemed a convenient prelude to the aforementioned novel.

'Beastly Tales From Here and There' is a compendium of poetic fables exclusively written in rhyming couplets and each about two or three 'beasts' whose lives are intertwined in various ways. The poetry is light and humourous and initially the novelty of the book's form is engaging and delightful. However, the effect and impact wanes a little through the 10 tales and since the last is the longest it felt a little bit of a chore to finish.

This is not to say though that there aren't snippets of brilliance, none more so than Seth's creative use of meter and rhyme throughout. Furthermore, he cleverly sews in plot twists and moral lessons which are entertaining and funny. We read this over a period of a few months, dipping into it every now and then, so perhaps if we'd have read it a bit more regularly it wouldn't have felt as one trick ponyish. It's definitely a nice little read for those who want something a bit different and it by no means does Seth's reputation any harm as a good and interesting writer. 3/5 stars.
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Dzaowan | 5 other reviews | Feb 15, 2024 |



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