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A Suitable Boy (1993)

de Vikram Seth

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
5,3761011,618 (4.18)2 / 580
Vikram Seth's novel is at its core a love story, the tale of Lata - and her mother's attempts to find her a suitable husband, through love or through exacting maternal appraisal. Set in post-Independence India and involving the lives of four large families and those who orbit them, it is also a vast panoramic exploration of a whole continent at a crucial hour as a sixth of the world's population faces its first great General Election and the chance to map its own destiny. 'A SUITABLE BOY may prove to be the most fecund as well as the most prodigious work of the latter half of this century - perhaps even the book to restore the serious reading public's faith in the contemporary novel ... You should make time for it. It will keep you company for the rest of your life' Daniel Johnson, The Times… (més)
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    rebeccanyc: Both these books, which are among my favorites, explore the lives of families, over time and at length. Different countries, different times, but wonderful characterization and development and wonderful depictions of the worlds the families live in.
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Anglès (93)  Neerlandès (4)  Francès (2)  Castellà (1)  Alemany (1)  Totes les llengües (101)
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An easy read but the reader has to be in it for the long haul as the book clocks in at 1400 plus pages. A tale of the birth of modern India to the early 1950s. All the nuances of life in India at this time are represented in this book, religious, cultural, political and economic, a rich tapestry in prose. ( )
  charlie68 | Feb 19, 2022 |
I read somewhere that it is the 17th largest novel in existence and it is a monster of a book. I was initially apprehensive (euphemism for scared!LOL), but it read so smoothly that I quickly became absorbed in the characters and forgot about its length.

I have to admit that the politically themed sections were a bit too much for me, but I really enjoyed the relationships and personality of the characters – I’m jotting some notes to remember later, but they include spoilers, so read at your own risk.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

⚡️Rasheed: I found him so tragic. He took on his brother’s wife and child as his responsibility, could never live up to his family’s expectation, and could not be with the one he loved…his demise was made all the more sadly ironic by a foreshadowing comment made earlier in the story: “This is my life, the only life I will have, thought Rasheed. If only things had been different, we might each have been happy.”

⚡️Nawab Sahib & Makesh Kapoor – Their ability to respect one another and have a friendship while coming from different worlds and when one was actually promoting a law that could hurt the other is not something often seen: P. 751: “..both I and the man who wants to wrest them (talking about land) away from me have been wearied by all this brilliance, and we’re going off for lunch.”

⚡️Just when it would be easy to dismiss Rupa Mehra as too worrisome and meddling and “sensitive,” we get a glimpse of the origin and nature of her anxieties, which added more complexity to her character. P. 1192: She was given a recycled gift by her daughter in law and became sad. She reminisces about wanting to have fun in her life when she was young, but her mother had died and she had to take care of her siblings. Then her young husband died and “life pressed in on her, a widow with too many encumbrances.”

⚡️The relationship between Maan and Firoz, between Maan and Saaeeda Bai, between Maan and Rasheed, between Maan and Maan.lol

⚡️I enjoyed the “family systems” theme and how it was all interconnected.

⚡️There were many book and literature references, which I loved. It was interspersed with humor and I found that when the two (literature and humor) joined, it was hilarious. Like when making fun of poets or when Amit (P. 1371) talked about tearing up a Shakespeare anthology …I laughed at the shock he induced in his audience when he said “He (Shakespeare) only looks big in bulk. And I have my own way of reducing that bulk…Well, what I do is take my pen-knife and slit the whole book up into forty or so fascicles. That way I can roll up Hamlet or Timon – and slip them into my pocket. And when I’m wandering around – in a cemetery, say – I can take them out and read them. It’s easy on my mind and on the wrists. I recommend it to everyone.”

I’ve read some reviews from people who were upset or annoyed that Lata chose more according to tradition than her heart’s bequest. I was ok with her choice. Personally, I believe that Kabir would not have had the strength and maturity to weather a mixed marriage and just did not seem as willing to “fight” for their love enough and his messages were mixed. I believe that marrying Amit would have been a disaster eventually. Whether right or wrong or whether we agree with it or not, Lata made a choice…her own choice. Not to say, I was not annoyed Haresh went to work the day after their marriage.lol ( )
  Eosch1 | Dec 30, 2021 |
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (1994) ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
What a joy this book was to read. It's a miniseries whereas most novels are just movies-- over and done with before you can really get into them. The huge cast of characters, all strangers to me in the beginning, were like close friends by the end. I will miss them. That said the plot is not sweeping in scope and scale as the novel covers only 1 year in the lives of the families who weave together due to love, marriages, politics, and industry. Interestingly, the story seemed very contemporary to me though it takes place in the 1950s. A wonderful lesson in the history and culture of India (both the good and the bad.)

It's long. Very long. But not hard to read if you can read often enough to not forget who is who. It's a worthwhile endeavor. ( )
1 vota technodiabla | Apr 4, 2021 |
"Think of many things. Never place your happiness in one person's power. Be just to yourself."

Firstly I should point that at nearly 1500 pages this is certainly one of the longest if not the longest book that I've ever read.

Taking place roughly over a period of a year in the early 1950's, most of the action takes place in the fictional town of Brahmpur. At the core of it is Mrs Rupa Mehra's attempts to find 'A Suitable Boy' for her daughter Lata to marry and finishes and ends with a wedding. However, this is more than a simple love story. Rather it features four 'modern' families (the Mehras, Chatterjis, Kapoors and Khans) as they all try and find their place in post-colonial and post-partition India and the everyday human emotions of love, jealousy, hope,despair found in every family worldwide. This is a celebration of life.

Although Rupa's attempts to find a husband for Lata is obviously a recurring theme, the novel is also a familial and political drama that explores Hindu and Muslim tensions in the world's largest democracy. The story is at times funny at others sad and, as it should, features many Indian words (some of which I admittedly had to look up) which adds local colour.

I recently finished Paul Scott's Raj quartet which historically finish shortly before this book begins and as this book was written by an Indian rather than a British author it acts as an interesting addendum as well as counterpoint to that particular series of books. Ultimately, I cannot help thinking that this would have been better served if it had been split in some way, perhaps a trilogy with each book featuring one particular family with the fourth acting as the link. There is a myriad of characters, many of them fascinating in their own right, but on more than one occasion I lost track of just who was related to whom and had to look at the family trees at the front of the novel to remind myself.

This book has similarities with some of the great Russian novels in its breadth and scope IMHO and given that I have a soft spot for historically based fiction, in particular social history, I rather enjoyed it but am equally glad that it has now been removed from my 'to be read' bookshelf. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Jan 7, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Vikram Sethautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Perria, LidiaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Werner, HoniAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Wie saai wil zijn moet alles zeggen.
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'You too will marry a boy I choose' said Mrs Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter.
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

Vikram Seth's novel is at its core a love story, the tale of Lata - and her mother's attempts to find her a suitable husband, through love or through exacting maternal appraisal. Set in post-Independence India and involving the lives of four large families and those who orbit them, it is also a vast panoramic exploration of a whole continent at a crucial hour as a sixth of the world's population faces its first great General Election and the chance to map its own destiny. 'A SUITABLE BOY may prove to be the most fecund as well as the most prodigious work of the latter half of this century - perhaps even the book to restore the serious reading public's faith in the contemporary novel ... You should make time for it. It will keep you company for the rest of your life' Daniel Johnson, The Times

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