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Gora

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  2,208 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Vast in its scope and rich in thought Gora has been acclaimed as a monumental work in the history of Bengali fiction. The story reflects the social, political and religious scene in Bengal at the turn of the century. The forces that were operating in Bengal at that time were one of the intense nationalism and revival of ancient spiritual values and also that of liberal wes ...more
580 pages
Published 2004 by Albatros (first published 1910)
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Ritika Mondal
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Chrissie
This book is definitely worth reading. It is an Indian classic more Westerners should read. Tagore wrote the Indian anthem, short stories, poetry and novels.

Nevertheless, reading this was a challenge, particularly as an audiobook. The names are hard to grasp, so I started by looking on internet to get a character list. I had no idea how to spell the names. How could I take notes?

These are the central characters:

Gora - one of two friends
Binoy - second of two friends
Poresh Babu - father in a Brahm
...more
Indrani Sen
Aug 04, 2016 Indrani Sen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india
What can I say about this that has not already been said? Still let me try recording my impressions.

This is the story of two Hindu Bengali friends - Gora and Binoy, and two Brambho Bengali sisters - Sucharita and Lalita. Gora is the leader with strict principles which he is ready to defend at any cost. Binoy while intelligent and educated, still is very heavily influenced by Gora. There is Anondomoyee, Gora's mother, who is mother to both these friends and is very very refreshingly completely mo
...more
Dhara Mehta
May 07, 2012 Dhara Mehta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tagore’s Gora is a profoundly Indian book. It questions the identity of each of its characters as the well as the Indian nation. Caste, tradition, filial piety, patriotism and marriage are all philosophical addressed in the novel. Tagore examines the difference between religion and religious fanaticism. Tagore compares and contrasts relationship between: fathers and daughters, ruler and ruled, society and individual.

Binoy is an intelligent young man who lives in the shadow of his best friend Go
...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
So it turns out Tagore is really all he's cracked out to be! This is a wonderful work of fiction (and philosophy). It was like a breath of fresh air for me, because when I read enough petty books and start wondering if maybe reading just got boring or maybe I can't quite feel like books are so grand anymore, or maybe I'm just not as impressionable, I stumble upon something like this and realise that everything is still fine with the world of books, and all I've been longing for is simply just a ...more
Gorab Jain
Perfect 5!
It is books like these which makes you think twice before rating 5 stars to any other book! Even in the Hindi translation the language was so beautiful, too bad I can't read Bengali :(

Hindu Samaj and Brahmo Samaj are two sides of a coin, which is flipped hard... and what you see are clashing beliefs from both perspectives in terms of some very intense arguments.
Add to it elements of love and sacrifice which spurns a dilemma on prioritising your religion, friend, patriotism, lover, and
...more
Anirban Nanda
After completing this book, I feel like a huge storm has calmed down. The tumultuous point-counterpoint, the arrogant urge to follow the rules of society, its necessity and importance had been swirling in mind for days and I was learning with each debate, making my own stand and within minutes Tagore came and broke that. I have read many philosophical novels full of points and counterpoints, for example, The Idiot or Elizabeth Costello; but never have got something so close, never have emerged m ...more
Angshuman Mukherjee
Born and brought up in Bengal , I have had the privilege of reading this book in the original Bengali and since then, it has secured a very special place in my heart . This book is all that we crave to be or at least ( at the risk of sounding like a moral police ) something we should crave to be . It is gargantuan in its expanse and length while in beauty ,it surpasses almost any piece of literature anywhere in the world save a handful . And it is a great treatise on how our minds work as well a ...more
Adam
Dec 16, 2007 Adam rated it it was amazing
"Gora is more than mere novel; it is an epic of India in transition at a crucial period of modern history, when the social conscience and intellectual awareness of the new intelligentsia were in the throes of a great churning. No other book gives so masterly an analysis of the complex of Indian social life with its teeming contradictions, or of the character of Indian nationalism which draws its roots from renascent Hinduism and stretches out its arms towards universal humanism."
Language Notes
T
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Arul
Apr 22, 2012 Arul rated it it was amazing
Felt sorry for not knowing Bengali for the first time while reading this book. The english translation of the work was really great but always had a feeling of missing something. The story is fast paced and all the characters were thoroughly described which made me to laugh, cry and feel with them. Gurudev has handled the topic of religious practices in our country with great authority.
Sourav Das
Oct 08, 2016 Sourav Das rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
বইটা আমি পরথম হাতে নিয়েছিলাম কলেজে থাকতে। একশ মতন পৃষঠা পড়ে আর কুলে ওঠাতে পারিনি তখন। আবার পড়লাম। বিশাল উপনযাসের মধয দিয়ে আসল কি কথাটা ঠাকুরমশায় বোঝাতে চাইলেন বোঝার চেষটা করলাম।

বইয়ের পরায় শুরুতেই লালন ফকিরের একটা গানের কথা আছে,
“খাঁচার ভিতর অচিন পাখি কেমনে আসে যায়
তাঁরে ধরতে পেলে মনোবেড়ি দিতাম পাখির পায়”

রবীনদরনাথ ঠাকুর আর লালন ফকিরের মতাদরশে বিশাল আকারে মিল ছিল। বলা যায় রবীনদরনাথ লালনের অনেকটা ভাবশিষযটাইপ ছিলেন। রবীনদরনাথের লেখা গানগুলোর একটা বড় ভাগ হল বাউল পরব। সেই ভাবের বেশির ভাগ গানই লেখার স
...more
Tim Green
Aug 06, 2014 Tim Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have, for some reason, been putting off writing a review for this book. Perhaps I was concerned I would not be able to accurately describe how much I loved this book, and I probably still cannot, but here it goes.

Gora is fantastic, truly. The prevailing message is about humanity, and how we tend to create these barriers between one another - whether they be social classes, nationalities, ideologies or religion - which make us blind to the most important fact. We are all human. We let social n
...more
Sharon
May 05, 2012 Sharon rated it liked it
I wanted to read a book steeped in Indian memes and that's what I found, so I was happy. It reminded me so of Jane Austen it made me want to laugh- because... Rabindranath Tagore and Jane Austen? Come on!Right? Austen was an "elegant" "worldly" woman (Austen's kind of language) and the other was a romantically long-bearded figure. Ye olde Indian mystic. But there were two guy friends and two women friends. They pair off and face tough times. I mostly read it to get at an unselfconscious descript ...more
Lindsay Goto
I was not thrilled with this book. If I hadn't had to read it for school, I might have never finished it. While I love Tagore's poetry, it took approximately 150 pages for both the story to pick up and for me to start to care about the characters. By the end of the novel, I was deeply invested in it, but I can't say that a novel that takes so long to get into is good. It is a fascinating look at the politics of the time, but the beginning is so focused on setting the scene as well as introducing ...more
Sieben Day
Feb 26, 2014 Sieben Day rated it really liked it
It's the best example of a biblical quote, "the truth will release us"
Samrat Ashok
Nov 04, 2013 Samrat Ashok rated it really liked it
The book captures the essence of the religious turmoil happening in Bengal in early 20th century.
The characters of Gora and Binoy are constantly searching for their identities.
There is the constant criticism the hindu society is facing from the Brahmo Samaj. The path against this attack seems to be to adhere to all customs and traditions without any doubts.

The characters travel amazingly thorough the story , Gora finds the shortcomings of his idea of identity when the secret of his birth is rev
...more
Simran
Oct 10, 2012 Simran rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is an amazing novel. Each chapter ends with you craving for more.
The characters and their life is very beautifully presented, such that you would feel that you have truly been transported to a household of 1910 Bengal.
Rabindranath Tagore, as we know is a legend, and this is the first novel by him that I have read.
With its perfect detailing, twists and turns, a powerful story is presented, which would really make every reader think about India's past and how far we have come.
This was one o
...more
Carmen
Dec 12, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing
I have finished this book and I have so many questions. Do orthodox Hinduists still live by such strict and binding rules? I wish I were back in India so that I could discuss this book with so many of my friends.

A fascinating story. What is religious belief? Believing in God or believing in God and abiding by restrictions imposed by society. It would seem in this book and in the world today that religious belief, as it is practised by many, tears humanity apart instead of helping it to grow mor
...more
Sudheepta Gubbala
A story set in the times when Bengali society was divided into the traditional Hindus and the modern-thinkers.It is about Tagore's exploration of religion and nationalism with invariably got intermingled,but does not end as a mere socio-political discourse. This book will leave one thinking,questioning and searching for answers about virtues of his/her own-self,religion and the rectitude with which one follows what he/she perceive is right. There is no definitive message but only a new beginning ...more
Meghana
May 09, 2016 Meghana rated it really liked it
Tagore's historic tome makes for engrossing reading.

With compelling characters and a nuanced narrative, this fictional social commentary addresses every aspect of the status quo of those times- from tense nationalism to religious confusion to the evolving gender norms.

Often incisively insightful and always perceptive, Gora is a must-read novel for all Tagore's fans.

Prathiksha
May 29, 2014 Prathiksha rated it really liked it
A Beautiful work of one's man quest on determining his self identity and love within the rise of nationalism in Pre-Independent India. It was a part of my Political Science reading, a work so beautifully written. Tagore never seems to disappoint. A must read for all those in the quest of finding their true identity in contravention the following the "mass culture"
Anmol
Jul 27, 2008 Anmol rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Vast in scope and rich in thought , this masterpiece by Tagore was translated into English by W.W.Pearson . It reflects the social, cultural, regional and political scene in Bengal at the turn of the century.
A brilliant story of self searching and self discovery.
विकास   नैनवाल
3.5/5

उपनयास कई महतवपूरण बिंदुओं को उठाता है। लेकिन इसके अंत में मुझे नाटकीयता अधिक लगी। मुझे पता है इस बिंदु में विसतार से लिखने की जरूरत है लेकिन वो बाद में लिखूँगा। अभी के लिए इतना कहूँगा कि अगर आपने इस उपनयास को नहीं पढ़ा है तो इसे जरूर एक बार पढ़िए।
...more
Sim
Jun 07, 2013 Sim rated it really liked it
Loved the story but i wish I'd read it in Bengali - the english translation was not the best... so it was a bumpy read...
Sudipta
Jun 23, 2013 Sudipta rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
আমি মনে করি এটা রবীনদরনাথ ঠাকুরের শরেষঠ উপনযাস।
[ I think this is Rabindranath Tagore's best noble. ]
...more
Arvind
Jun 03, 2013 Arvind rated it it was amazing
Oh if you are Indian this book will turn you inside out, like many of Tagore's books.
Surabhi Sharma
Jan 17, 2017 Surabhi Sharma rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star
कहानी गोरा वैचारिक मतभेद के बारे में है किसी और से नही अपितु अपने आप से। गौरमोहन एक सजीला नौजवान है, जो जोशीला, उतसाही और दृण इचछा शकति रखता है। उसे उसके मारग से अडिग करना कोई नही जनता अपितु सब उसे परभावित हुए बिना नही रह पाते। वह करमठ है और बस करम में ही विशवास रखता है। उसे यकीं है की देश की जो दुरदशा है उसके जिममेदार हम ही है और यह सब बदला जा सकता है।

यही मन के विचारो की उथल पुथल को गोरा में दिखाया गया है।
...more
Alka Arya
Nov 24, 2013 Alka Arya rated it it was amazing
Gora a novel by Tagore is masterpiece and treasured gem in Bengali Literature. The classic novel written so elegantly takes reader to examine the social life during The British colonial period in India. The story set in the unrest times when the Bengali society in Calcutta was sharply divided into the traditional orthodox Hindus and the modernized, liberal thinking Brahmos. The novel captures essence of religion, deep rooted belief in it and its consequences during the colonial period, which sti ...more
Ken Powell
Mar 21, 2015 Ken Powell rated it it was amazing
I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to like this book - Tagore's fifth and arguably best novel. It was written in 1910 and so belongs to an era where language then was often flowery and quite superfluous by today's 'active voice' precise writing. Yes, I'd enjoyed reading all his short stories and, of course, his 'Gitanjali' are beautiful gems of poetry. But could I cope with a novel entirely Bengali in thought and word even if translated into English? Or would I find it dated and as satisfying ...more
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Tagore's great novel on religion, orthodoxy, and society on the one hand, and relationships and interactions on the other- It really can be described as a story of India and Indian society (of the early 20th century) at one level and a more personal one- a story of individuals at another. And a lot of what he says has relevance even today.

I read this book in Hindi (I would have loved to read the original but don't know Bengali) and was both glad and I did because some of the language and ideas I
...more
Zainab
Jan 09, 2016 Zainab rated it it was amazing
رواية يصعب ع القارئ وصفها .. ترى فيها جميع الاديان الموجوده في الهند صراعات بين البشريه من اجل الدين الصراع الازلي !
كل واحد منهم يرى ان دينه هو الصحيح . لأول مرة اعرف اشياء عن الدين الهندوسي والبراهمو ساماج
كيف ان الهندوس لا يأكلون طعام غيرهم الا بعد ان يتطهرون !
المشكلة عندما ينشئ الحب مع اختلاف الطوائف قليل من يتنازل عن طائفته من اجل من يحب لكن الاجمل من يتقبل الاخر رغم طائفيته لأنه يحبه هو فقط كأنسان لشخصه لأفكاره لا للطائفة التي ينتمي اليها
غورا الذي يدافع عن ديانته بكل ما اوتي من قوه واخير
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Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West."

Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and ess
...more
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“শক্তির দুটো অংশ আছে — এক অংশ ব্যক্ত আর-এক অংশ অব্যক্ত, এক অংশ উদ্যোগ আর-এক অংশ বিশ্রাম, এক অংশ প্রয়োগ আর-এক অংশ সংবরণ — শক্তির এই সামঞ্জস্য যদি নষ্ট করে তাহলে সে ক্ষুব্ধ হয়ে ওঠে, কিন্তু সে ক্ষোভ মঙ্গলকর নয়।” 5 likes
“I have only one prayer to offer to God, and it is that when I have been driven out of every society He will give me shelter at His own feet.” 1 likes
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