A Fine Balance

A Fine Balance

Audiobook CD - 2001
Average Rating:
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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.
Publisher: Newport Beach, CA : Books on Tape, Inc., p2001.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780736684422
Characteristics: 20 sound discs :,digital ;,4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Lee, John narrator.
Books on Tape, Inc

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l
laratis
Jul 01, 2014

I've read everything of his a can get my hands on. I love everything of his I have found.
Keep up the good work Mr. Mistry!
His books are filled with charectors I love and become ingrossed with. I hope he decides to write something soon and have it published.

jwhite412 Dec 15, 2011

Manek says “everything ends badly”. His mother asks him “Why are you so sad?” He answers “You sent me away, and I lost everything” But that’s not really it. The problem is Manek. He examined the shelves, savoring the brand names on the jars and boxes that he had not seen for years, but how small, how shabby the shop was he thought. The shop that was once the center of his universe, and now he had moved so far away from it… that it was impossible to return The past is gone. His father is dead. He hates his job. There is graft and war in the land. Avinash’s murder is brought back to his mind, and he is overwhelmed by all he has lost. He runs back to the city in an attempt to find hope / recapture the sense of meaning he had when he lived with Dina Auntie and Om, but he finds Dina old and practically blind, and initially a bit cold toward him for failing to return or even write to her. She is not living in their old place because she was evicted and has lost her independence. Yes, things are unbearable, but there is something ABOUT Manek that cannot bear it. There is something in others that CAN bear. Om and Ishvar have lost even more. They have become beggars, Ishvar with amputated legs, and Om the victim of a cruel retaliatory castration which socially bans him from ever marrying in a culture that seemingly cherishes children above sustainance. What allows some to survive and others to fold inward? I think that is the lesson of the novel. Not that "nothing ever gets better", but that it is up to US to survive it. Manek was physically whole, educated, employed, and had a living mother to care for him, and gave up on life. Conversely, In the last scene, the beggars - who have nothing left of nothing - are seen being told by Dina Auntie to stop laughing and playing, or they will not receive any alms from the people because they look too happy.

m
moonflowwer
Apr 19, 2011

Really enjoyed the book. Felt like I could almost smell India! Made me search out the authors other books and they were interesting as well.

r
Richood
Feb 04, 2011

A parade of miserabilism. It gives some perspective on Indian life, but it's so loooooong and nothing's going to turn our right. Ever. It feels like the author could have made the same point in many, many fewer pages. And you would actually care about it instead of just feeling dragged along a poorly built road to little effect.

b
brinyurchin
Feb 03, 2011

One of my all time favorite books. I read it several years ago and still miss the characters. Goes well with Shantaram as well.

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