A Fine Balance

“A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry (India)

Synopsis

Set in mid-1970s India, “A Fine Balance” tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a ‘State of Internal Emergency.’ Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates – become inextricably linked in ways no one could have foreseen. Written with compassion, humour and insight, it is a vivid, richly textured and powerful novel by one of the most gifted writers of our time… Read more

Favourite Quote

Where humans were concerned, the only emotion that made sense was wonder, at their ability to endure; and sorrow, for the hopelessness of it all.

My view

At 614 pages, this was the second longest of the 6 Big Books from my reading list. This is a magnificently written and moving story that had me in tears. Despite the depressing and oppressive setting, I became completely immersed in the lives of the four protagonists, Ishvar, Om, Dina, and Maneck, wanting all their travails to end well but knowing that they could only end badly. A must read.

Big Books Challenge 2014 reading list

There were some books in my to-read pile that I’d been putting off reading for years because they are over 400 pages long. So one of the reading resolutions I set myself for 2014 was to choose six of them to read that year (one every 2 months). And I did it; I cracked their spines and finished them all! The 6 books were: 

“I Am A Cat” by Soseki Natsume (Japan) – 470 pages
“Wizard of the Crow” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenya) – 766 pages
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) – 422 pages
“Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden (Canada) – 432 pages
“No Man’s Land” by Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam) – 450 pages
“A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry (India) – 614 pages

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