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A Fine Balance is the best book ever written!

A Fine Balance is my favourite book. It is set in India in the mid-1970 and shows how the lives of four ordinary people are overturned by the Emergency, a period of political turmoil and violence.

It brings the country to life, enabling you to feel what it was like to live in the slums, struggling to survive each day.

Photo credit: Ben Garrison, Flickr

But it also shows life in the beautiful, rural areas.

Photo credit: Shayon Ghosh, Flickr

There is violence and death, but there is also love and an endless feeling of hope that warms my heart.

Photo credit: Sistak, Flickr

A Fine Balance has everything that you could ever want in a book:

  • fantastic characters
  • an exciting plot
  • vivid descriptions of a different way of life
  • fascinating facts
  • an array of human emotion

I’m going to be giving out copies of A Fine Balance in my local community for World Book Night. I really hope that I can help to bring the magic of this book to a few people who wouldn’t otherwise have come across it.

If you’d like to know more about the book then please take a look at the profile I created on Book Drum.

33 replies on “A Fine Balance is the best book ever written!”

Coffee and a Book Chick, I agree – India is a fantastic setting for books – I have loved so many based there. I hope that you decide to read this one and enjoy it as much as I did.

I have a copy of this, which I picked up after your rave review (and a few others) so I do want to read it at some point… but I’ve been holding off because I have heard that it is pretty bleak and melancholy and I don’t know that I want to pick up a book that is only sad. One day I’m sure I’ll be in the mood for it!

Steph, This book does have several bleak scenes and I suppose that the theme of the entire book is quite sad in that they are constantly fighting for survival, but there are lots of lighter moments and I’d argue that the ending is quite hopeful (others disagree!) I think you need to save this book for a time when you can concentrate fully as it isn’t something you can dip into/out of quickly/easily but don’t worry too much about the sadness – I’m sure you’ll love it :-)

Stu, I really hope so. The great thing about giving the books to people who live close by is that I can actually find out what a lot of them think about it. :-)

This is on my list of top 5 books! I plan to reread it one day soon as it has been about 10 years ( I think) since I read it for the first time. I haven’t read his book, Family Matters, either but will one day. I’m glad you enjoyed it too.

Judith, I’ll try to let you know how it went and hopefully I’ll be able to do a post at some point in the future to let you know what a few of the people thought of it.

I have this book, bought last summer over the recommendations I’ve read about it for so long. Yours only reiterates, all the more clearly, why it should be read. Looking forward to picking it up as soon as possible.

Coming from Asia myself I do see the differences not just clearly but on a daily basis of what you are talking about. I would love to read this book – in a good writers hands this subject will be a wonderful one.

Mystica, Rohintom Mistry is a fantastic writer. He handles the subject with intelligence, passion and an eye for detail. I’m sure that you’ll be impressed with this one. Enjoy :-)

Glad you enjoyed your booknight give away, ad did my daughter & I was amazed by the initial suspicion & lack of knowledge, but most people came round once I’d discussed the why & wherefores.

Ps. Would you do it again?

parrish, I wasn’t surprised by the suspicion – you rarely get something for free without there being a catch. What I was surprised by was how few people rejected the book. I expected people to say it was too long etc, but only a couple of people said they didn’t read books (and couldn’t be persuaded to). Everyone else was willing to give it a try. I’ll be interested to follow up and find out what people made of it.

I would do it again and actually think I’ll give away more of my own books randomly in the future – I loved to see everyone so happy to be given a book.

This book has been hovering on my shelves for far too long! I’ve decided I should definitely tackle it for this year’s Chunkster Challenge. Thanks for the good influence!

It’s one of my five favourite books – yeah, I have a list of five favourite books :D

The Fountainhead is the other book, which I just can’t read enough number of times. Make it a point to re-read it at least once a year, and each time I re-read it, I love it a little bit more than the previous time.

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