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A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth s novel is, at its core, a love story Lata and her mother, Mrs Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find through love or through exacting maternal appraisal a suitable boy for Lata to marry Set in the early s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence By the time I got to the end, I wanted to throw this book across the room, but by then I was exhausted The book was too heavy to lift and heave properly, so I slapped the paperback covers with as much derision as I could manage.This is the longest book I ve ever read It s the world s 17th longest novel Longer than Infinite Jest Longer than War and Peace.You d think they d give me some sort of prize for reading all that But what do I get instead view spoiler I get THAT ending Some review By the time I got to the end, I wanted to throw this book across the room, but by then I was exhausted The book was too heavy to lift and heave properly, so I slapped the paperback covers with as much derision as I could manage.This is the longest book I ve ever read It s the world s 17th longest novel Longer than Infinite Jest Longer than War and Peace.You d think they d give me some sort of prize for reading all that But what do I get instead view spoiler I get THAT ending Some reviewers congratulate Vikram Seth for not indulging the romantic notions of readers who want a happy ending for his two star crossed lovers That elevates A Suitable Boy above tawdry romance novels The thing is, if I read a whole book only to have the heroine choose the easy, boring choice, that is not a story That is just someone doing the obvious, pedestrian things we go through every day I stuck with this story for 1500 pages because I wanted to see how the girl would end up with the perfect but tragically unsuitable boy And she didn t I am so annoyed and heartbroken hide spoiler I was all set to give this book four stars The boring parts hundreds of pages of boring parts would be forgiven because the good parts were so good Ugh But then I began turning those last pages with a sick, disgusted, wretched feeling That cost the book twostars Now that I m finished I have to keep telling myself it s not real It s only a story So then I should probably add a star back on because if it made me feel that emotional about it, that is effective On some level Not the best level, but I guess you can t have everything After about page 200 I realised this was like eating Turkish Delight morning noon and night and my spiritual teeth were beginning to dissolve under a tide of sickliness which didn t ever let up All these characters are so unbearably cute, even the less nice ones If post independent India was crossed with Bambi, it would be Vikram Seth s endless gurgling prose So I stopped reading and drove several three inch nails into my head, and I ve been all right since then. This is a magnificent saga, which left me breathless and awaiting the next word, set in India at the beginning of the fifties Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth s epic love story set in India Funny and tragic, with engaging, brilliantly observed characters, it is as close as you can get to Dickens for the twentieth century The story unfolds through four middle class families the Mehras, Kappoors, Khans and Chatterjis Lata Mehra, a university student, is under pressure from her mother to get mar This is a magnificent saga, which left me breathless and awaiting the next word, set in India at the beginning of the fifties Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth s epic love story set in India Funny and tragic, with engaging, brilliantly observed characters, it is as close as you can get to Dickens for the twentieth century The story unfolds through four middle class families the Mehras, Kappoors, Khans and Chatterjis Lata Mehra, a university student, is under pressure from her mother to get married But not to just anyone she happens to fall in love with There are standards to be met and finding a husband for Lata becomes a family affair in which all the members are to play a part The richness of this book is remarkable What with marriage, religion, customs, etc it has been a really fascinating read for me India s caste system has four main classes also called varnas based originally on personality, profession and birth I m eternally grateful to Fionnuala for suggesting that I may perhaps like this author Do I like Vikram Seth No, of course not I just happen to adore him I think that he s absolutely splendid I get the same pleasure reading this book as when I m eating lobster or tasting a superb Burgundy wine or whatever sublime other pleasures that we have in life My I must confess that I had never heard of Seth before and I wouldn t if it hadn t been for Goodreads It s one of those remarkable books that becomes a reference book that once read, you can open it at any page and still get that continual enjoyment It s a wonderful sensation to savour It s always so difficult for me to write a review on a book that I love to death but that has been the case here This is now my second favourite fiction book after The Alexandria Quartet and I could never do that justice Bravo for the past for Durrell and for the present for Vikram Seth.In conclusion, Fionnuala and Seth thank you for giving me so much pleasure What a serendipitous find I love this book I know some GR ers didn t really cotton on to the style of this book And maybe it was because I read this while on vacation in India itself, but wow Just W.O.W It s a fucking long book 1,500 pages And every single page was worth the time I spent on it andIf Midnight s Children is India s One Hundred Years of Solitude, then A Suitable Boy must be its War and Peace It s got the same melding of personal lives seen in amidst great national events Instead of the romance of Natasha and Pi I know some GR ers didn t really cotton on to the style of this book And maybe it was because I read this while on vacation in India itself, but wow Just W.O.W It s a fucking long book 1,500 pages And every single page was worth the time I spent on it andIf Midnight s Children is India s One Hundred Years of Solitude, then A Suitable Boy must be its War and Peace It s got the same melding of personal lives seen in amidst great national events Instead of the romance of Natasha and Pierre, it s that of Lata and her three suitors Instead of the war with France, we have the post Independence and post Partition politics of a nation searching for an identity And instead of descriptions of war, we get exchanges of heated debate on the floor of the state parliament, and the passing of a contentious bill Seth looks at the lives of four families intertwined by marriage and friendship And all the detail and it is indeed loving detail is very very necessary to immerse you in the India of the 1950s, and what it felt like to be alive then We get details of village life, life in the city, life of the different castes, business life, religious life, modern life, traditional life It s all there And it works in tandem with several great stories of love and passion, and what these mean, both at the level of family, romance, and nation Word has it that Seth is working on a follow up not sure if it s a sequel as such to be called A Suitable Girl I, for one, can t wait

  • Paperback
  • 1474 pages
  • A Suitable Boy
  • Vikram Seth
  • English
  • 17 January 2019
  • 0060786523

About the Author: Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth is an Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children s writer, biographer and memoirist During the course of his doctorate studies at Stanford, he did his field work in China and translated Hindi and Chinese poetry into English He returned to Delhi via Xinjiang and Tibet which led to a travel narrative From Heaven Lake Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet 1983 which won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award The Golden Gate A Novel in Verse 1986 was his first novel describing the experiences of a group of friends who live in California A Suitable Boy 1993 , an epic of Indian life set in the 1950s, got him the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize His poetry includes The Humble Administrator s Garden 1985 and All You Who Sleep Tonight 1990 His Beastly Tales from Here and There 1992 is children s book consisting of ten stories in verse about animals.In 2005, he published Two Lives, a family memoir written at the suggestion of his mother, which focuses on the lives of his great uncle Shanti Behari Seth and German Jewish great aunt Henny Caro who met in Berlin in the early 1930s while Shanti was a student there and with whom Seth stayed extensively on going to England at age 17 for school As with From Heaven Lake, Two Lives contains much autobiography.An unusually forthcoming writer whose published material is replete with un or thinly disguised details as to the personal lives of himself and his intimates related in a highly engaging narrative voice, Seth has said that he is somewhat perplexed that his readers often in consequence presume to an unwelcome degree of personal familiarity with him.


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