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A Fine Balance Audiobook

A Fine Balance

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Publisher's Summary

In the India of the mid-1970s, Indira Gandhi's government has just come to power. It institutionalizes corruption and arbitrary force, most oppressive to the poorest and weakest people under its sway. Against this backdrop, in an unnamed city by the sea, four people struggle to survive. Dina, Maneck, and two tailors, the Untouchables Om and Ishvar, who are sewing in Dina's service, undergo a series of reversals, punctuated only by small mocking advances, that start them on a trajectory towards unhappiness and despair. Yet, in choosing what they will do, they exhibit a basic dignity and humanity that belies their mistreatment as part of the underclass. By merely surviving until their load becomes unbearable, and then living on past that point, they have accomplished something.

©1995 Rohinton Mistry; (P)2001 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Mistry...needs no infusion of magic realism to vivify the real. The real world, through his eyes, is magical." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1027 )
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4.5 (692 )
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4.7 (688 )
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Performance
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  •  
    carol 05-16-15
    carol 05-16-15
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    "ASTOUNDING"

    what an amazingly beautifully told story. mistry has a profound gift, both for his use of language, and his insight into the intricacies of the dependencies across the Indian caste system. his clearly grasped and articulated history of the period should have been harrowing. however, I found his ability to constantly balance the subtleties of the human condition, quite breathtaking, i was left with a real sense of what 'a fine balance' there really is, between truly connecting with others and the commitment required to sustain these connections. the over riding emotion I am left with, is, that these connections, are the only truly meaningful ones.
    this book will, I am sure, subtlety alter your perspective on your own and all other lives. I salute you rohinton!
    and thanks to the narrator who 'owned' the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily M. Drutel 04-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "very good picture of life in India, loved it,"

    Could not stop listening. Very real portrait of different casts , their problems, hopes, tragedies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Siporin Eugene, OR USA 04-08-15
    J. Siporin Eugene, OR USA 04-08-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A Fine Balance, Indeed!"

    I like how we got to know different characters. They come and go...we revisit them from time to time. And throughout the book so many nuances about balance and finding meaning in the midst of chaos provide the reader with an opportunity to ponder what balance means in their own life and what keeps them going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Fields Merida, Mexico 03-28-15
    Ellen Fields Merida, Mexico 03-28-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Beautifully difficult"

    This author might be the Charles Dickens of India. I found this book difficult to listen to at times... Painful. But it was beautifully written and read! I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good long novel they can sink their teeth into.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Harris 03-01-15
    S. Harris 03-01-15
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    "Buy this. Listen to this."

    This journey should be part of your journey. Excellent narrator. Characters are complex, compelling and need hugs/slaps/or a hand to hold.
    Having listened to Shantaram a couple of years ago, the neighboorhoods are slightly familiar and I was eager to revisit familiar places I've never been.
    Last scenes will never leave me.
    Thank you,Rohinton Mistry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 02-20-15
    Elizabeth 02-20-15
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    "Wonderful wordsmith!"

    The characters are so finely drawn and expressed so well the ups and downs of life. I loved to hear their words. And the narrator made them come alive-rising 3 D off the pages.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Smalley Berkeley, CA United States 07-23-14
    G. Smalley Berkeley, CA United States 07-23-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Bummer Dude"
    If you could sum up A Fine Balance in three words, what would they be?

    Life Sucks


    What other book might you compare A Fine Balance to and why?

    The Woman of Brewster's Place Why? I guess the tone.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not possible, 24 hrs long. After the first 7hrs I needed to break it into 3-4 hr. sections.


    Any additional comments?

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" is not a true statement from the charters in this book. I was shocked by some of the brutality but I also felt joy when some of the people had a victory. Like all great books this one took me on an emotional ride, meaning I got to touch base will all my emotions. The end did feel a little contrived, but still a great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Knight Napa, CA 02-28-14
    Jennifer Knight Napa, CA 02-28-14 Member Since 2013
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    "So good. John Lee's Narration is exquisite"
    What did you love best about A Fine Balance?

    The narrator brought these characters and locations vividly to life. Fantastic performance.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story, great acting. Swept me away to another world. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Englert 04-19-13
    R. Englert 04-19-13
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    "An immersive experience"

    I would never had been able to stick through the print version of this novel, but as an audiobook, I was blown away. The narrator does an amazing job of bringing the characters to life and infusing them with personality. The story itself is intense but enjoyable, nonetheless.

    I would suggest this book to anyone ready to step out of their comfort zone. Truly an amazing listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carol 03-18-13
    carol 03-18-13 Member Since 2016
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    "India's poor and the caste system"

    I found this book hard to put down. It is a dark story and seems like there is no happiness or very little in this book. It is raw and dangerous-not for everybody. Beggars, people who are dirt poor, and evil people in authority; that is who you will meet in this book. BUT there are people who try to rise above their circumstances and are beaten down. I liked reading it but it was disturbing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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