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A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

(25 Posts)
moonblushtomato Mon 23-Jul-12 20:57:06

Contemplating choosing this for my book group.....any views??

OP’s posts: |
Conflugenglugen Mon 23-Jul-12 21:01:30

It is beyond words, really. Lyrical, unforgettable, and also unrelentingly brutal. If you're looking for a feel-good book, this isn't it - although in its own way it shows you that even the most dire of circumstances offers its own kind of support and love. I would recommend it.

moonblushtomato Mon 23-Jul-12 21:07:15

Wow!! That's quite a recommendation!!

OP’s posts: |
Lilymaid Mon 23-Jul-12 21:15:44

Its a very good read but no happy endings. Plenty to discuss in a book group but it is quite long so best for a group with voracious readers!

Conflugenglugen Mon 23-Jul-12 21:26:35

Agreed, Lilymaid - voracious readers who are up for a challenge.

moonblushtomato Mon 23-Jul-12 21:32:03

Yes, that's the only thing that puts me off. I find it hard to finish a longer book within a month.....

So, if not A Fine Balance, any other ideas, O Wise Ones??

Nothing Holocaust related - we've done alot of that of late.

We're not high-brow but not low either!!

OP’s posts: |
Conflugenglugen Mon 23-Jul-12 21:47:52

Ah, but you flatter me. A Fine Balance was probably the last fiction(ish) book I read! Okay, I'm kidding, but to make the point that I'm probably useless in terms of recommendations.

An oldie but a goodie, and in the same vein: God of Small Things (one of my favs). Have you read it?

Leanderbaer Mon 23-Jul-12 21:55:04

This is an amazing book. One of my top ten ever. If you are concerned it is too long you could read another of his books. They are all excellent and I would recommend them wholeheartedly. Family matters and tales of Firozsha Baag are both shorter (I am pretty sure) and are great reads.

moonblushtomato Mon 23-Jul-12 22:23:17

Yes conflug we have just read The God of Small Things - marvellous!!

Any other ideas apart from Rohinton???????

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HilaryM Mon 23-Jul-12 22:24:39

My first Rohinton Mistry was Family Matters which is fabulous and quite a bit shorter. Also Booker shortlisted IIRC.

paulapantsdown Mon 23-Jul-12 22:28:07

It is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Also one of the saddest. I still think about the characters sometimes, and its years since I read it.

Thank you for prompting me to start it again. smile

Conflugenglugen Tue 24-Jul-12 11:38:57

Have you read Atonement by Ian McEwan?

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Tue 24-Jul-12 13:58:55

I think I must be the only person in the world who didn't like it - the unrelenting misery just got ridiculous and irritating and the ending was stupid imho. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've still got the copy upstairs if anybody wants it. It's long, yes, but is a v easy read and you don't have to think a lot when reading it so I wouldn't let length put you off.

I hated 'Atonement' too, so will probably be no use on here.

If you want a book that is really thought-provoking, try 'Paula' by Isabel Allende or 'This Thing Of Darkness' by Harry Thompson. The former is about Allende's daughter dying after a long coma. The latter is about Fitzroy and Darwin's relationship on The Beagle. It sounds potentially dull but is brilliant. These are two of the best books I've ever read. Another is 'All Quiet On The Western Front' which is sublime - and very short!

banyan Tue 24-Jul-12 14:02:52

I adore A FIne Balance. Best book I've ever read and same for DH which means it has to be the best novel ever as we rarely agree on books!

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga or Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph are other good options if you're in the mood for a novel set in India.

NoraHelmer Tue 24-Jul-12 19:29:43

How about Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne. Set in Sri Lanka in the 1960s and 70s and then London up to 2005.

Heartbreaking and very sad in places but beautifully written and evocative.

battherat Tue 24-Jul-12 20:25:19

I love a fine balance. I have lent it to lots of people and they have loved it too. What about Midnight's Children or Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie. Both epic but brilliant. I agree with White Tiger too. V good book. Atonement didn't do it for me.

battherat Tue 24-Jul-12 20:27:33

Completely different I know, but I couldn't put down Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I always thought it would be a good book club choice.

redrobin Tue 24-Jul-12 20:28:42

like others, i still think about the characters today, i found it a devastating and humbling read, and the writing was absolutely sublime. not perhaps a book group choice unless you are all up for a challenge (my book group would baulk at it, but we're pretty low rent). read it yourself anyway, fantastic book.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Tue 24-Jul-12 21:25:01

I enjoyed White Tiger.

Also, have you read 'Half Of A Yellow Sun' set in 1960s Nigeria? That wasn't bad and was about a time and place I knew nothing at all about, so interesting for that reason.

Conflugenglugen Wed 25-Jul-12 18:54:44

Another great one: Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. Quite the best autobiography I've read - about her hugely dysfunctional childhood in (then) Rhodesia. The follow-up, Scribbling the Cat, is also phenomenal; honest with not a jot of self-pity.

AgentProvocateur Thu 26-Jul-12 10:39:27

I think A Fine Balance is my favourite book ever. Every time I see someone reading it, I want to tell them how great it is.

LeandarBear Thu 26-Jul-12 22:19:55

Conflugenglugen I absolutely loved Dont lets go to the Dogs Tonight. It's a fantastic book. A really, really amazing book.
You may want to take a look at the following African books which I also loved...
Place of Reeds by Caitlin Davies
Before the Knife by Carolyn Slaughter

Shirley, Goodness & Mercy: A Childhood in Africa. By Chris Van Wyk

Three Letter Plague and The Numbers both by Jonny Steinberg. Non-fiction, The Numbers is about SOuth African Prisons, it's amazing

As an aside....
spud by John van de Ruit, This is like a Adrian Mole but much funnier and ruder , it was a huge seller in South Africa about four or five years ago

MuseumofInnocence Sat 23-Mar-19 12:34:49

I just read it and thought it was great. There was misery in it, but it was uplifting in other ways. Characters who kept on going despite everything

waycat Sun 24-Mar-19 16:55:19

A Fine Balance is without doubt a truly remarkable book, like nothing I have ever read before.

For a book club I would say it’s a perfect choice.

tripfiction Mon 25-Mar-19 20:07:21

Wonderful. Go for it!

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