Shriya's Reviews > A Suitable Boy

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
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Feb 20, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: favourites, tome-travelling, books-i-own
Read from July 22, 2011 to May 06, 2014

A fact : I never ever understood how postpartum depression works or why women suffer from it.

Yet another fact: Having finished A Suitable Boy arouses similar feelings in a reader as postpartum depression in a new Mum.


Well, by the you finish reading one of the longest English novels ever written and the longest English Novel written by an Indian and that Indian is Vikram Seth, you're kind of used to the story, the characters, the way their life goes on. So, when you turn the last page of something that has sprained your wrists for days, you certainly feel the sense of accomplishment which matches in effort if not in pain, to delivering a baby but at the same time you're depressed you'd NEVER be able to read this book again for the first time, that its time with you in that unique one to one bond, though cherished, will never be intimate in the same sense as before.

Having expressed my feelings, thus, I will now proceed to review one of my favourite author's biggest masterpiece.

To all those who wonder and have asked me, "Is there a dull moment or dry spells in the book? : NO! Not one! Not half a page and no, my blind love for Vikram Seth doesn't make me say so. In fact, as I said weeks ago about The Color Purple, it is as complete in every sense as a book could be.

I love how Vikram Seth seems to have a laugh at everyone including himself. I love how his mother's life was the theme for this story. And I love how if you're remotely interested in anything in the world, be in Schubert or Classical Indian Music, Post Independence History or Indian Politics, Religion or Riots, English Lietrature or poems by Urdu/Arabic/Persian poets like Mast, Daagh, Minai or Rumi, you will not fail to love this book!

Vikram Seth's characters are a class apart, supremely hilarious even in the gravest of situations, laughably filmy and over dramatic and yet as close to being real as characters could be. They don't claim to be perfect, they all have flaws, you will probably be angry at one or more of them during the course of the novel but you will not fail to love them despite all their faults!

Should you read it?

Certainly! I don't see why being daunted by the length of the novel, you should miss on something so exquisitely well written as this book.

Will you regret spending a thousand bucks/ a couple of pounds/ a few dollars?

Not at all if you claim to love literature for it is the finest piece of contemporary literature there is!

Any tip for how to go about it?

1.If you're Indian, try and think of Bollywood film stars for every character. That makes the book even more fun and more lucid than it already is but that's entirely optional!

2. Have someone else read it with you, a friend or someone from your book club. You need to keep discussing it and gushing about it with someone. It's like Harry Potter that way!

More than just a good read! Rather, a BRILLIANT read and already my novel of the year!
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Quotes Shriya Liked

Vikram Seth
“But I too hate long books: the better, the worse. If they're bad they merely make me pant with the effort of holding them up for a few minutes. But if they're good, I turn into a social moron for days, refusing to go out of my room, scowling and growling at interruptions, ignoring weddings and funerals, and making enemies out of friends. I still bear the scars of Middlemarch.”
Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy

Vikram Seth
“God save us from people who mean well.”
Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy

Reading Progress

07/23/2011 page 50
4.0% "meh! some progress!"
05/19/2012 page 300
22.0% "Oh, Lalita! Have I missed you! Welcome back!"
04/21/2014 marked as: currently-reading
05/05/2014 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-4)

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message 4: by Sonakshi (new) - added it

Sonakshi how are you finding it?

Shriya I'm afraid, when it comes to Seth, there is no question like how! He's brilliant and one of the BEST authors I've ever laid my hands on!

message 2: by Adarsh (new) - added it

Adarsh Nargundkar I hear so much praise about the book but shudder at the thought of reading 1300 pages. How is it? Does Seth manage to keep it interesting throughout or there are good parts between long dry parts?

Rahul Khanna I gave 5 stars to this just after reading 'A word of thanks' and 'Content' part.

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