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 1950s, 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 exten...more
So I stopped reading and drove several three inch nails into my head, and I've been all right since then.
"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...more
If 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...more
Vikki, baby... Listen to me what I say: Put down that manuscript... you know, the sequel, that "Girl" story... and run, do not walk, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, go directly to Bollywood and write the effing screenplay to this book. This would make such a good mini series, and I mean you've had almost 20 years and everything. What are you waiting for!?!
Think of the possibilities!
The beautiful women.
The handsome men.
The fabulous stories.
The lush costumes.
Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.
In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
This was one of those books where when I finished the book I was completely invested in each of the character's life. The story is set in post-independence India and explores a number of social/political issues of the time (i.e. land reform, muslim-hindu rela...more
While reading this monumental novel of 1535 pages, I was wondering how much of the original offering was edited out to end up with this number of pages as the final result! I also wondered, while ploughing through it, how much of the existing book can be cut out and still leave the essential core. Probably half of it. Compared to Barbara Kingsolver and Yung Chang, Vikram Seth needed twice as much pages to tell similar stories as these two a...more
When I borrowed this book from the library I found it surprisingly huge and scary, everyone who saw me carrying it was equally astounded. I started having my doubts that what if the book becomes a lousy read and I end up wasting my time or leave it half read.. but the book from Page 1 had a smooth pace & never for once lost my interest. SO when Vikram Seth says in his opening lines..
'Buy me before good sense insists,
I don't know what exactly is the reason for loving it so. Maybe its because my life situations are similar to the protagonist Lata in the book. Or because of the tender yet moving way in which the book is written. Or the proper timing of humour in the book, or the interesting plot. Maybe its all of that together.
The book begins with Lata at her sister Savita's wedding, where we come to know of La...more
It is heavy...as in 4 1/2 pounds heavy...and not available in an e-book version.
I built up my forearm muscles and strained my wrists reading all 1,350 pages of this 4 1/2 pound monstrosity.
As to the contents of the book...did I mention it is TOO long. It was interesting, yes, but too detailed for its own good. The novel covers a year in the life of four familes in India in the 1950's. The story of Lata an...more
This is certainly one of the best books I have read and is an astonishing achievement! I found I could empathise more with the Muslim characters in the book than with some of the others but Vikram Seth's superbly detailed accounts ensured that n...more
It is an eno...more
This formidable novel is, surprisingly, highly readable. When I first read its review in a Newsweek (or Time?) column some 6-7 years ago, I decided not to read it at all due to its 1,300 + pages of medium-size pocket book. However, later for some reasons I recalled vaguely on Seth's writing style, I bought a copy to read with delight since the author wrote superbly and wisely by limiting each chaper within some pages long. His...more
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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...more