A Fine Balance
ISBN: 0771060548
EAN13: 9780771060540
Language: English
Pages: 713
Dimensions: 1.42" H x 8.27" L x 5.35" W
Weight: 1.63 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

This Description may be from another edition of this product.

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.

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Book Reviews (18)

  |   18  reviews
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   A sad, memorable story which is beautifully written and will stay with you
I really enjoyed this book ''. It is unusual to have four strong, well thought characters who are given equal time in the development of their characters, and the author did this well. I enjoyed the back stories of each of the characters before the beginning of the real story, possibly more than the real story itself. I was curious to see how this book would end and it was certainly not predictable. The epilogue really needs to be seen as part of the book, as the actual ending is unsatisfying. While I probably wanted a different ending, I can see how it all fit together and whilst sad, there was still some joy. Given that the writing is a pleasure to read, it is contrary to some of the sad stories told in this book, which somewhat alleviates what could have been a very depressing novel. I am sure there are elements of truth in this book, which makes it rather surprising and shocking at times. I would recommend this book to any lover of good-written literature.
   Story about people in a different culture and background, but a not too long ago society
Good story -- I, who knows little of the history of India at that time, was shocked by poverty and corruption of the time. The attitudes and practices of characters at all levels of society will shake you both and calm, and make you think twice about your feelings on the conditions and background of those different from us. Some are very different. Others, universally the same and connected by human nature.
   Great book!
In the pages of this book, Mistry took me through many emotions. He made me laugh, cry, I was sad at times, mad at times and even in disbelief every now and then. It is a fictional story because, even though sad, parts of the story are too close to reality. Don 't be discouraged by the size of the book. 700 pages can seem intimidating, but this is a very easy and fast read. I can 't wait to read other books by this author.
   Possibly one of the best books I have ever read
If you like Austen, Balzac, Zola, Twain, Trollope, Wharton, etc., you will like this book. If the above authors concern you, you would feel the same. I think that this book will soon be a required standard of any secondary school and/or university syllabus. I read a great deal and am pretty much cynical when authors try to avoid emotion, but at the end of this book,???? If you want to see real India, see Salaam Bombay's film Salaam Bombay.
   Excellent, intense, funny and ultimately depressing..
I finish this book overwhelmed by wonderful writing about how misadventures in India fare in their lives. The writing is excellent and stories are intricately woven despite the tragic and depressing tone. It is Indian in nature, but more riveting and when I finished, I felt overwhelmed by sadness and am planning to discuss this with my Dickensian friends--is it REALLY like that? Not great, but certainly uplifting and a uplifting read. This is a book that you do not forget or dismiss.
   Amazingly well written
Mistry has done a great job of bringing out the lives and struggles of four individuals in India, which have been blighted by archaic cultures and values. The story of a widow, struggling to make it herself in a society that perhaps was still dominated by the male-male era in the 20th century. The history of a class sent by weak parents to make it big in the city - perhaps a very inherent part of real India in the way we know it today. Yes, the book is dense and leaves you with a lot to consider, but it engenders a sense of empathy for families and an appreciation of what we have in a society far removed from such stereotypes and non-sensical norms. A must read book, a must read if you want to increase your horizons and gain an insight into a part of India, a rapidly growing economy, but with a diverse income distribution, this story is about the have-nots.
   As described, probably better.
The item was probably better described as described. Very satisfied with the quality and price ''. From now on, would definitely buy again.
   Wonderful read of tragic lives in India
The tragic story of a couple of tailors caught up in India’s caste system, bureaucracy and widespread poverty.
So well written! Highly recommended if you are interested in the world of India.
   1970's India
I didn 't really get into this book until about half the way through, but it was hard to put down after that. It follows the life stories of four main characters, Dina and Maneck, and the Taylors Ishvar and Omprakash. Dina and Maneck seem to have more modern lives and will have more in common with most readers, but Ishvar and Om are born among the lower caste and live lives of terrible poverty, violence and suffering. It is very difficult to read about their lives and hard to believe that these humans can be treated worse than animals. In this book, however, all four end up living together and becoming like the family. The book does not have a great ending though, and I felt as if it ended very abruptly and unfinished, so that was a little disappointing. It is one of those books where you might have to read twice to pay more attention to the smaller details in the beginning to connect back to things that happen later.
   Super Downer
Yes, it may be historically correct, but with all the crap going on in the world, I prefer to read my leisure reading in a more positive way to transport me to other places. I read in the evenings and this gives me bad dreams. I read many of the other reviews and will now delete my Kindle download.