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A Suitable Boy (Dramatised) Performance

A Suitable Boy (Dramatised)

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, 1993.
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, 1994.
Winner of the WH Smith Literary Award, 1994.

A Suitable Boy is 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 married. But not to just anyone she happens to fall in love with. There are standards to be met and finding a husband for Lata becomes a family affair in which all the members are to play a part. The characters struggle, they try to buck the system, to break free of restraint, of interference - but ultimately their strength and sense of being comes from their family and friends. It is a celebration of ordinariness; a beautifully composed story that is an affirmation of family and friendship.

In his sweeping epic, Vikram Seth has created an entire world filled with warmth, humour, pathos, tragedy - in short, life. Recorded on location in India, A Suitable Boy is made by the production team behind the award-winning Bleak House and The Handmaid's Tale.

2018 will be the 25th anniversary of the first publication of this classic story.

Dramatised and directed by John Dryden. A Goldhawk Production.

© and (P)2002, 2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (154 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (14)
Overall
4.0 (114 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.1 (117 )
5 star
 (72)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Althea Guildford, NSW, Australia 03-10-09
    Althea Guildford, NSW, Australia 03-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    32
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not my cup of tea..."

    As a radio play it felt more like listening to the soundtrack of a film (of course, without being able to see what's going on.) From listening to a lot of radioplays, I found that the best ones have scripts written specifically for radio... it felt like this one didn't. And I don't know but I feel like I've heard this kind of story a hundred times before. Not my cup of tea. I get the feeling I'd enjoy reading the book more.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Virgin, UT, United States 12-16-12
    Teresa Virgin, UT, United States 12-16-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "what an annoying radio drama"
    Would you try another book from Vikram Seth and/or Full Cast?

    I was really looking forward to this great read. One of Seth's greatest talents is the way he talks about music. The producers of this drama decided to include the music he talks about, mixed way too loud, rather than include the descriptions of the music. If you try to listen to this in a car it is nearly impossible to make out the dialogue. This might be fine with headphones but I found it quite annoying.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Los Angeles, CA, USA 08-17-08
    Judy Los Angeles, CA, USA 08-17-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    36
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Suitable Boy"

    I could not listen to it. When I downloaded, I didn't realize it was a PERFORMANCE. I don't mind listening to more than one narrator, but I'm put off by a performance of a play when I want to hear the book as if I were reading it. My rating is not based on content, as I only listen for a short time. I didn't like the format.

    7 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasleen lamba Washington 03-05-17
    Jasleen lamba Washington 03-05-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    Great read And book. Testing a review from audible app and the public name used

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn J Allen 08-27-16 Member Since 2014
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    "meh"

    Not worth the time and price. An unabridged reading of the book would have been much more enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aruna 05-06-16
    Aruna 05-06-16 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fairly enjoyable listen"

    However it felt more like listening to the soundtrack of a film rather than a book. I guess the songs in the background are designed to transport you back into 1950's India. Having grown up in India in the seventies and eighties, I was able to relate to the characters and it did help that I had read the book some years ago. I suspect it will be hard to completely appreciate the performance otherwise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yoshizoe 04-22-14
    Yoshizoe 04-22-14
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely performance!"

    I'm a great fan of Vikram Seth's big novel, and have read it a couple of times. I have often wished there were a movie of the book. This dramatization brings the novel to life wonderfully, and so far (I'm only an hour in) the radioplay's selection of scenes and dialogue from the novel seems really good. The talented actors, the music, the sounds, all create a vibrant atmosphere. I recommend it highly, especially for people who have read the book. As the several disappointed reviews suggest, it may be difficult to comprehend for a listener who hasn't read Seth's novel, but I wouldn't think it would be impossible to enjoy. The actors fill their readings with sparkle and passion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ursula 01-21-13
    Ursula 01-21-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    9
    8
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unfortunately, dramatised"

    I have reservations writing this review. I could not listen to this book for very long so I can not comment on the story or the writing craft of Vikram Seth (although I believe both are said to be very good). But for those fellow listeners who would not like a dramatised book, do not choose this version of this story to listen to. It is more like a movie without the screen, music and background noise, various people narrating the parts of the different characters. Although the idea is promising it did not work for me, I was so distracted by all the background sounds that I could not hear the character's speech properly, and their acting out of the characters rather than narration of the story made it hard to follow. I had to give up sadly. I shall look out for an undramatised version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devi Boston, MA, USA 05-10-08
    Devi Boston, MA, USA 05-10-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    FOLLOWERS
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    1
    0
    Overall
    "A wonderful drama"

    I read this book as a teenager after it was nominated for the Booker prize. This book is one of my all time favourites but is enormous and took me a few months to finish. This adaptation greatly shortens the original but really captures the story of Lata and her journey to finding a husband. The actors and actresses were all excellent and I thoroughly recommend this audiodrama.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Young Berlin, NJ USA 07-05-15
    Nancy Young Berlin, NJ USA 07-05-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    16
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very entertaining and authentic"

    Well worth the time and money.
    The characterization put me right back in India with my aunties.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mrs. A. Howard
    Northants UK
    4/15/09
    Overall
    "Dramatised mystery?"

    As it is dramatised version, the storyline was hard to follow. Unless you have a good memory for voices - which actor's voice was who, talking to whom? I got somewhat confused so might have to read it as well?

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    BristolUnited Kingdom
    5/6/08
    Overall
    "Atrmospheric production"

    Very good production, and sound effects give this atmospheric feel. Best listened to with both headphones!!!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom
    8/11/11
    Overall
    "Good and not so good"

    I really wanted an unabridged (or maybe a slightly abridged, given the scale of this book!) listen but this was the best I could find. I have the book and tried to read it but maybe because of its vastness, gave up.

    This is very atmospheric, the music and background noises add, though they are a little loud at times. It was well acted and I figured out the characters quite readily. But the dramatisation must have removed some of the books 'heart' I feel as it didn't evoke the writing skill that Seth has so much of, and which in the 1/3rd of the book I DID read myself, added so much to the charm (and length!)

    So, when it ended, it was abrupt - so much so that I assumed there was another section and my iPod had mis-filed it! But no, it ends sharply and suddenly, with nothing much explained.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mr L A TUCKER
    1/21/09
    Overall
    "Delightful !"

    Wonderfully entertaining dramatisation, the voices and the music are faultless. Only drawback is it's brevity. Should send you scuttling to the original text.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Pen
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    1/25/09
    Overall
    "beautiful sound"

    I enjoyed the book although on the first listen, found it a bit difficult to follow the different characters perhaps because my ear is not attuned to indian accents, yet it did not matter. The sound quality and production was faultless and even without following the story, it was a pleasure to listen to and i have done so more than once, becoming totally immersed in the picture it was painting. The sound gave a context and created a sense of space and place. The music was carefully woven into the rhythms of the actor's voices and enhanced what they were saying. I wish more audio books were so carefully produced and i would listen to almost any book with the same audio production team, i think their achievements and names should be more prominently displayed alongside the reader/actors.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lesley Sherborne
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "What a relief!"

    Having struggled to read this epic novel in paperback due to the tiny print, it was fantastic to hear this dramatised version of Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy. The characters are finely drawn and the cast and music bring to life the mood and pressures on the young Indian girl whose mother is seeking a suitable boy for her to marry despite her attraction to another unsuitable character.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    6/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magical performance"

    This is so much more than an audio book. It's a full cast performance complete with atmospheric sounds and wonderful music. I was completely captivated and transported to 1950s India. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    3/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Interesting narrative"

    This is a dramatised version of the book - the narration and sound effects kept me captivated. The story being narrated is also very pleasant, set in the 1950s, it carries the essence of dominance of societal norms in choices while youth is emerging with its very own value system. The story keeps you hooked and curious till the very end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ayesha
    4/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great production. Abrupt ending."

    Masterfully put together (voices, music, sound) but falls flat at the end due to an abrupt ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bookworm
    UK
    2/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dramatised? You betcha"

    For fans of Lata as an emancipated independent (as much as you could be in 1950s India) - be prepared. Dramatised is the word. Without giving too much away, you might be surprised by the ending,

    An enjoyable listen if you are not too devoted to Vikram Seth's masterpiece.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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