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Such A Long Journey

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  6,216 ratings  ·  295 reviews
Such a Long Journey is set in Bombay against the backdrop of war in the Indian subcontinent and the birth of Bangladesh, telling the story of the peculiar way in which the conflict impinges on the lives of Gustad Noble, an ordinary man, and his family.

Such a Long Journey is a brilliant first novel by one of the most remarkable writers to have emerged from the Indian litera
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Published (first published 1991)
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Ian Webster a fine balance ,is one of the best books ive read ,i have nt read such a long journey but intend too .
shantaram is another great epic book .
would be…more
a fine balance ,is one of the best books ive read ,i have nt read such a long journey but intend too .
shantaram is another great epic book .
would be great to get some reviews on such a long journey ?(less)
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Paul Bryant
P Bryant: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for Goodreads.

Rohinton Mistry : My pleasure. It's such a nice website.

PB: Yes. Regarding Such a Long Journey, your first novel, must say that I found it almost unbearably moving.

RM : Why thank you. Many people have said similar things.

PB : In fact (tears begin to stream) when I think…

RM : Have a tissue -

PB : When I think -

RM : Have another tissue -

PB : When I think..

RM : Yes?

PB : of the fate of Gustad Noble and his family.. (breaks down complete
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Mala


This book is suffused in such melancholy that I'm still unable to shake off the feeling.
In Paradise Lost, Milton described Hell as a place without hope- such is Bombay, India in 1971-- overflowing gutters, mounds of fetid garbage, dirt & despair everywhere- a state of general apathy which is only symptomatic of the deep rot within- emanating from the power centre in Delhi; from the very top.

One could live with chronic water shortage, load shedding, adulterated milk (still same same!), but ho
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Erwin
I really enjoyed this book. It is a touching story of an Indian family in the early seventies, a turbulent time in India's history. Mistry managed to create a colourful and rich setting and his characters are well believable, imperfect and therefore very human.
I gave it four stars because it did not drag me into the story like his other novel A Fine Balance did. I still felt I was kept at a comfortable distance where in AFB I, as a reader, felt I was being made a part of the misery and happines
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Phil
I have the name Rohinton Mistry etched on my brain for he is the author of my favourite book of all time – A Fine Balance.
This is a story that is again set in Mumbai, India, and is focused on a small community and in particular Gustad, his wife and their three children. It is brilliantly written in what I would call trademark Mistry language (having now read a whole two of his books!) – compelling and intricate with great character descriptions.
The reason I have given this book 3 stars and not
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notgettingenough
I know quite a bit about India in the period in which this is set - but only at a very micro, rural level. This is an urban middle-class story set against the backdrop of the period of war with Pakistan, a world I really only started discovering through Mistry's books. For the colour of life in the city, the stench of it, its cheapness, its noise, its horrifying poverty-strickenness, its cruelty, this book can be thoroughly recommended. To watch the small attempts to rise above these circumstanc ...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
A better understanding of the political events occurring in the background would have enriched my reading of this, but even without, Mistry was able to catch and hold my attention, weaving layers of story and symbolism together, creating a sometimes farcical, bittersweet domestic tale. I felt like I got to know this group of middle-class Indians and their microcosm of that larger world a little bit better. I certainly got to smell it - from frangipani and sandalwood to rotting garbage and sewage ...more
Judy
I loved this book. I read it in India and for me it reflects all the ambiguity of this wonderful country; the corruption of its government and yet the generosity and charm of many of its inhabitants. Gustad Noble is a character with whom ones sympathises from the start, a man who tries to do his best for his family and his friends in difficult circumstances and who is always doubting himself and his ability to negotiate the difficult world around him.
Tonya
Another masterpiece by Mistry, i'm overjoyed that I have found another prize author! Set during the Indian war over Bangladesh, Gustad Noble takes us on a journey of fraud, corrupt politics, witchcraft, family feuds, a million religious relics and so much more. If you enjoyed A Fine Balance, then you're in for a treat. I loved this book.
Vaidya
At various points I was reminded of these 3 Calvin and Hobbes strips:
c&h
The house has been burgled, and while Calvin is able to sleep peacefully with Hobbes as support, his parents find their peace disturbed.

****
That's almost the story of Gustad, a middle aged man with 3 children, watching them grow up, going through the vagaries of them growing up - a teenager, a pre-teen and a sickly child, and trying hard to hold the whole thing together. Then there are the friends who 'betray' him, friends he l
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Lorina Stephens
Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey is one of those remarkable confluences of astonishingly beautiful writing, tightly crafted plot, and fully-developed characterization. The work is neither pretentious nor formulaic. And although there is no major crisis that takes place, no earth-shattering destruction of place or person, there is a sustained tension throughout the novel that keeps you reading, that draws you into the life of the main protagonist, Gustad Noble.

The novel is set during the rul
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Preetha
Adorable , heartbreaking and enduring ! The soul of the book remained with me long after I finished reading it. Almost as if I had just met the people in the story and travelled a part of their journey with them ! That’s how beautifully Rohinton Mistry has etched out his characters in this heart rendering tale of relationships, love , betrayal and pain. The book tells us the story of Gustad Noble , a simple and honest man, one who remains immaterial and inconsequential in the larger scheme of so ...more
Issicratea
The mystery of Mistry: why does one of the most acclaimed literary novelists of the Anglophone world seem to have stopped writing? His last novel, Family Matters, was published in 2002 and since that time he seems only to have published a novella, The Scream, in 2008. Mistry was never hyper-prolific: there was a four-year gap between Such a Long Journey and A Fine Balance, and a seven-year gap between A Fine Balance and Family Matters. Twelve years seem a long hiatus, though, even for him.

Such a
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Andrew
How come some authors churn out books and you wonder whether someone should have a polite word telling them to stop yet others produce wonderful novels but someone should have a similar word encouraging them to hurry up and write more! So it is with Rohinton Mistry, and whilst this (as his first novel) isn't quite the masterpiece that he would produce with 'A Fine Balance' is still a wonderful portrait of India in the 1970's and MIstry has the ability to create a story about a man and his family ...more
Jaykumar
everytime I read this book I get a network or shall say layers of meanings and emotions and history that I had not seen previously... and that i believe is the skill and genius of its author, Mr.Mistry.
Book'd
Oct 01, 2014 Book'd rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like to read Indian Literature.
I wonder why we never get to hear much about good books like Mistry’s penning quite contrary to the books that stand tall in bookshops but have nothing to appease a reader’s appetite.

Anyway! Here goes the review.

What you wouldn’t want to know about a book is that it is endlessly tiring, way too lengthy running over 450 pages with sentences as long as a paragraph, too many characters to keep up with, so many incidents that you forget what happened the last page, and to make matters worse, events
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Shishir Chaudhary
I was disappointed by this book because of the sole reason that I read it after reading Mistry's masterpiece 'A Fine Balance' and the equally brilliant 'Family Matters'. The common thread of dismantling the rays of hope with despair and the related melancholy that runs through these two books find their origins in 'Such A Long Journey', Mistry's first novel. This is a book much less depressing than 'A Fine Balance' (which I consider to be one of the best books ever written by an Indian) but is m ...more
Fran
Jul 29, 2008 Fran rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Indian fiction
Recommended to Fran by: Amazon when I ordered another Indian novel
Shelves: indian-fiction
I had previously read Mistrey's Oprah book, "A Fine Balance" and his collection of short stories, "Swimming Lessons" and this is not as good as either of them. However, this IS his first novel, so I should cut him some slack. It is very good, just not as good as the other two books of his I have read. Before I read "A Fine Balance" my familiarity with Indian fiction and my knowledge of India at all was miniscule. I remember being SO SHOCKED about what happens in "A Fine Balance" that at one poin ...more
Rags
well well i loved this book,set on the background of 70's India . mistry has been very successful in portraying a typical indian middle class . Gustad noble a bank employee with three children and a wife . The author has been able to capture things very quintessentially indian ,attention to detail is quite marvellous which take the book to another level examples are sohrab and gustad noble's difference of opinion, a black wall which serves as a public lavatory and gustad being irritated with the ...more
Sampriti Roy
"Go?But where?Have you made any plan?"
"Where does not matter,sir." The tumbling Trimurti had restored all his philosophical buoyancy."In a world where roadside latrines becomes temples and shrines,and temples and shrines become dust and ruin,does it matter where?"

Gustad Noble,the hard working bank clerk and a devoted family man unravels to us Mistry's power of diction.Elegant yet contrite,the novel is a wonderful read.Though the twists and turns were not larger-than-life, there were some signifi
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Dhanya
If I could personify this book and say that it should exalt in vindication for it shattered my pre-read notions, it would certainly not be an exaggeration. Having suffered the humiliation of being a controversial book and having to face the wrath of Shiv-Sena activists in the way of getting mercilessly taken off Mumbai University syllabus among many, this book has truly risen like a Phoenix at a personal level.
Rohinton Mistry, in his very first novel, charges at a controversial topic head-on. I
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El
I liked and disliked this book for all the same reasons:

* The story is slow to unfold. At first this was pure awesome because Mistry would drop these little hints that made me realize there was an incredible back story; but then as this continued it became repitious and frustrating. It also made it feel like so much of the text was really just filler.

* Interesting characters. I love interesting characters! But I quickly realized that there were so many different characters that they all began to
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Mugdha
Decent read. The story moves at a slow place and nothing much happens, its fine even if you skip a few pages. Main story catches speed only in the last 40 pages. Detailed description of Parsi lifestyle which is interesting in some parts. Description of Mumbai & Indian politics in 1970-80 adds a flavour to the story.
Did not understand the linkage of the coverpage to the story. The controversy caused by this book was totally uncalled for and baseless.
janet
It doesn't have the power and drama of A Fine Balance but it gives you a more intimate and more subtle picture of a neighborhood and it's people and effectively portrays the dizzying mixture of religions and traditions that are at play in India. He also reveals the treachery of Gandhi's government. I was quite fascinated by what I learned about the Parsi religion, Zoroastrianism, through the book and that was a weird coincidence in my reading and travels which I enjoyed immensely. The man that g ...more
Nirupama
Gustad Noble is the face of a motley crowd-a wistful son mourning a gleaming childhood soon snuffed out of paternal warmth,a content husband whose lady's tender love is a salve on the gashes of his strained soul, a doting father struggling to nurse his fractured hope,a bereaved friend grappling with the unkindly sudden deaths of men he had come to regard as brothers,a once ambitious employee disenchanted by workplace nepotism and a beleaguered citizen piqued by the all-consuming moral gangrene o ...more
Lydia
I feel like I'd have enjoyed this book more if I knew more about Indian culture and history, as it was I was a little confused at several aspects. Though not confused enough to not understand the overall plot. It's definitely reminded me just how ignorant I am of so many parts of this world. I felt like it was dragging for the last 40 pages or so, which was a shame because previously it hadn't felt like that.
It is undoubtedly well written, however.
Rucha
Once in a while, you come across a book which will stay with you for a long long time after you are finished reading it.

Mistry writes in a fluid prose,never faltering the pace and gently unravels the life of Gustad Noble. Set in the Bombay of the early 70's and in a time when India was on the brink of war, this book is by turns mesmerizing, heartbreaking and nostalgic. The neighbourhood of Khodadad Building, Gustad's workplace at Flora Fountain, the weekly visits to Crawford Market and ocassion
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Maya Lang
I liked this one more than _Family Matters_ but less than _A Fine Balance_. This one is less Bombay-centered, and more generally about India under Indira Gandhi's rule--but without being heavy-handed about the historical and political aspects. What I like most about Mistry is that he's such a gifted storyteller in a simple, detailed (and totally engrossing) way, without having to resort to any of the acrobatics or stylistic maneuvers of someone like Rushdie. As much as I love Rushdie, it's nice ...more
Leslie
Wish I'd read this before A Fine Balance. Richly written first novel, but tied up too neatly at the end for me. I need something permanent to happen to at least one main character that matters, especially for something well over 250 or 300 pages. It does take place in India, so plenty of interesting things happen but I expected even more. His writing syle is great, but if I recommend this author, I'll do so with another of his books. And, I'll be honest-around page 290 or so, the book was living ...more
Rohit Ainapur
This was the second book i read from Rohinton Mistry after reading A fine Balance.
While there are many books out there which would be providing you an avid description of the charm and lust of Bombay, this in its own manner gives the reader something different to look out for. From the Minute details of a Parsi Household to their idealogy about Mumbai and its political scenarios.
From Apartment conflicts with neighbours, to believing in Black Magic, From Teenage son tensions, to Helping a friend
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Paula Dembeck
The year is 1971. The place Bombay, India. Gustad Noble, a bank clerk and member of the Parsi community, lives a middle class existence with his wife Dilnavaz and his three children, his two sons Sohrab and Darius and his daughter Roshan. He has an interesting group of neighbours in the Khodadad Building where he struggles every day to keep his family out of the clutches of poverty. But his world seems to begin falling apart when his son, who has been admitted to the prestigious Indian Institute ...more
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Rohinton Mistry is considered to be one of the foremost authors of Indian heritage writing in English. Residing in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Mistry belongs to the Parsi Zoroastrian religious minority.

Mistry’s first novel, Such a Long Journey (1991), brought him national and international recognition. Mistry’s subsequent novels have achieved the same level of recognition as his first. His second n
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More about Rohinton Mistry...
A Fine Balance Family Matters Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag The Scream Threebies: Rohinton Mistry

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“He spent long hours meditating on the wisdom of loving living things which invariably ended up dead.” 1 likes
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