A Fine Balance floored me; it was more emotionally affecting than almost any other book I've read. Mistry's sweeping, epic story, fantastic cast of characters, and gorgeous sensory imagery paints a full-to-bursting portrait of India and its people. Dickensian in scope and devastating in impact, A Fine Balance is one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. Recommended By Jill O., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Astonishing. . . . A rich and varied spectacle, full of wisdom and laughter and the touches of the unexpectedly familiar through which literature illuminates life." Wall Street Journal
"A serious and important work . . . the product of high intelligence and passionate conviction." New York Review of Books
"Monumental. . . . Few have caught the real sorrow and inexplicable strength of India, the unaccountable crookedness and sweetness, as well as Mistry." Pico Iyer, Time
About the Author
Rohinton Mistry was born in Bombay and now lives near Toronto. His first novel, Such a Long Journey, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and received, among other awards, the Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book of the Year. A Fine Balance is his second novel, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction, the Giller Prize, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize as well as a Booker Prize finalist. Mistry is also the author of Swimming Lessons, a collection of short stories.