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Gora

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  3,585 ratings  ·  250 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
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Sravan Devathi Sucharita did not change Gora but his circumstances did.

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Indrani Sen
Aug 04, 2016 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
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
Ashish Iyer
Damn, this one almost took 12 days.

This book brings out working of human mind when confronted with reality that we are not prepared for. Author basically gave me a vibe of Bengali culture which i like the most. This book show the conflict between orthodox Hinduism and Brahmo Samaj through various characters. You can see how Brahmo Samaj was highly influenced from Britishers(christianity). Brahmo Samaj hate idol worship, rituals and chanting mantras. No wonder why people stop following Brahmo Sam
...more
Dhara Mehta
May 07, 2012 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
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Tim Green
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
Eliza
Mar 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
**Read for class.**
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
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 immersed ...more
Adam
Dec 16, 2007 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
...more
Arul
Apr 22, 2012 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.
Sieben Day
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's the best example of a biblical quote, "the truth will release us" ...more
Utsav Bansal
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Utsav by: Professor Suneja
Nationalism, especially religion based nationalism, is something that we are all forced to ponder over today in our current political environment. Thus, to read a story set in late 19th century Bengal written by Rabindranath Tagore more than a century ago of an India facing the same philosophical dilemma is an experience that generates both awe (for its timelessness) and sadness (for the fact that we are still stuck in the same place).
The story of Gora, an educated but now orthodox Brahman youth
...more
S Ashok
Nov 04, 2013 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
Lindsay ⭐ [TrulyBooked]
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
Simran
Oct 10, 2012 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 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
Ananya Krishnan
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredible reading experience!
Sravan Devathi
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Nath haecceity

From the Nobel prize winner- Rabindranath Tagore. Gora is one of the best novels I have ever read, and probably one of the most underrated and most ignored of all time. His wisdom gleams more than shards of glass and his dexterity in writing is incomparable. This book was written years back, still relevant and will be relevant in the future. The pressing topic of the book is avoided by most in a conversation, antagonized by many and reason of violence for a few, RELIGION. He of
...more
S.Ach
Shoddy translation ruined this book for me. :-(

I find myself drawn to Tagore's ideas on religion, politics and philosophy. I rate Tagore's "The Home and the World" as one of the finest novels to depict the conflict between Nationalism and Rationalism.
"Gora" being considered Tagore's masterpiece, I had expected nothing less than a 5 * book out of it. The blurb on the book said, "The novel is believed to be an expression of Tagore's own transition from Hindu revivalism to universal brotherhood, f
...more
Kanchan Mandanekar
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The initial chapters quite give away the story and the end is quite predictable. So one might think! The way the story actually flows is so beautifully woven that one forgets reading the book to reach it's end and simply gets lost in the characters and the way the plot develops page by page.

The brilliancy of the author to meticulously craft each character, contrasting just right with others in the environment, clubbed with the artistic narrative keeps one on the tenterhooks till the end. And, th
...more
Sravan Devathi
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Nath Haecceity

From the Nobel prize winner- Rabindranath Tagore. Gora is one of the best novels I have ever read, and probably one of the most underrated and most ignored of all time. His wisdom gleams more than shards of glass and his dexterity in writing is incomparable. This book was written years back, still relevant and will be relevant in the future. The pressing topic of the book is avoided by most in a conversation, antagonized by many and reason of violence for a few, RELIGION. He o
...more
Ŧi̾l̷͖̀
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
More things change, more they stay the same. Late 19th century Bengalis seem an awful lot like 21st century people: same motivations, same aspirations, same fears, same pressures, just the setting is different. It is the story of (not so?) regular people and what kind of choices they make, or are available to them. Everyone here is almost fully developed, even Haranbabu who, at first glance, looks to be the ‘bad guy’ of this novel. Gora’s fanaticism is off-putting at first but there seems to be ...more
Rebeca Arădoaie
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Gora" is one of the most beautiful books I ever read because is not ordinary. Others books talks about the characters much more than the ideas, principles etc. This book thought me about what India means, what a religion is in hinduism culture. Tagore is a brilliant author 'cause he put the reader in front of problems of India from 9th-10th centuries. Everything, even the characters, has a purpose, an unknown meaning which you must find. Behind the curtains of the book there is a philosophy tha ...more
Madhupria
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book makes me feel that society has somehow regressed. This book, written almost 110 years ago, deals with issues of caste and women in such a progressive manner, that it makes the present seem stagnated. And yet it also gives enough hope to keep moving towards redress and reconciliation, because these ideas such as feminism, abolition of caste, universality of humanity perhaps don’t seem so new. The language is beautiful; the characters are complex and multi-dimensional. The philos ...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
Prathiksha
May 29, 2014 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" ...more
Meghana
May 09, 2016 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.

...more
Anmol Kathuria
Jul 27, 2008 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.
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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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