Set in mid-1970s India, after the declaration of a "State of Internal Emergency" by Indira Ghandi. Four characters are brought together by circumstance, eventually to overcome social and political barriers. A compelling narrative that balances simple humanity, humour and hope with the inevitable forces of fate. Booker Shortlist, 1996. [Big read, small font]
Comments from Groups
An excellent book. We all agreed that it was a compelling, but harrowing read. Would definitely recommend this book to other groups. Tauranga 034
The members of our group all really enjoyed this book which really brought life in India alive. It was a brilliant read with great characterisaton and many thought-provoking passages. We were horrified with the descriptive chapters of the caste system and dreadful poverty and marvelled at the sheer tenacity and determination of the characters. Hokianga 001
We all found this book interesting and it told us a lot about India we didn't know. It isn't an easy read and not for those who wish to have a light read. Dunedin 002
One of the widely enjoyed books of our group. Enthusiastically recommended. Start reading the book early in the month as it's a big read, but very readable. Dannevirke 001
While everyone acknowledged Mistry's skill as a writer, many of us found the subject matter quite depressing. It was an enlightening history lesson. Wellington 123
While everyone acknowledged Mistry's skill as a writer, many of us found the subject matter quite depressing. It was an enlightening history lesson.
Small turnout with huge range of opinions. Tragedy after tragedy, but always with a sense of hope!
Everyone attending the meeting had read the book, and all found it an informative and great read. Very cleverly written and full of detail, and drew one into the real Indian scene. A good discussion ensued on many aspects of the book. Only complaint - the small print!
Those of us who finished reading the book considered it well-written though somewhat despairing in parts, but fine descriptions. Small print made it a long read. A great writer, giving a vivid picture of Indian life.
We thoroughly enjoyed this book - an eye opener from both the political perspective and the social. Story that needed to be told.
Our group found this novel very poignant and sad. Some could not finish it as the depiction of life in India was too confronting for them to be able to cope with. Beautifully written with lovely descriptive passages.
The 5 of us who read the book all loved it.
Amazing - beautifully written. Very difficult to handle such poverty and cruelty, but overall one of the best books we have studied.
Challenging book - we learnt a great deal. Confronting nature, however well constructed.
A long but easy read. Everyone enjoyed it, some rereading having already read it some years ago. A lot of discussion about India, the caste system, poverty etc. Very enlightening.