A Suitable Boy

A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth s novel is at its core a love story Lata and her mother Mrs Rupa Mehra are both trying to find through love or through exacting maternal appraisal a suitable boy for Lata to marry Set

  • Title: A Suitable Boy
  • Author: Vikram Seth
  • ISBN: 9780060786526
  • Page: 122
  • Format: Paperback
  • Vikram Seth s novel is, at its core, a love story Lata and her mother, Mrs Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find through love or through exacting maternal appraisal a suitable boy for Lata to marry Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extendVikram Seth s novel is, at its core, a love story Lata and her mother, Mrs Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find through love or through exacting maternal appraisal a suitable boy for Lata to marry Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multi ethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.

    • ✓ A Suitable Boy ✓ Vikram Seth
      Vikram Seth

    About "Vikram Seth"

    1. Vikram Seth

      Vikram Seth is an Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children s writer, biographer and memoirist During the course of his doctorate studies at Stanford, he did his field work in China and translated Hindi and Chinese poetry into English He returned to Delhi via Xinjiang and Tibet which led to a travel narrative From Heaven Lake Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet 1983 which won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.The Golden Gate A Novel in Verse 1986 was his first novel describing the experiences of a group of friends who live in California A Suitable Boy 1993 , an epic of Indian life set in the 1950s, got him the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize His poetry includes The Humble Administrator s Garden 1985 and All You Who Sleep Tonight 1990 His Beastly Tales from Here and There 1992 is children s book consisting of ten stories in verse about animals.In 2005, he published Two Lives, a family memoir written at the suggestion of his mother, which focuses on the lives of his great uncle Shanti Behari Seth and German Jewish great aunt Henny Caro who met in Berlin in the early 1930s while Shanti was a student there and with whom Seth stayed extensively on going to England at age 17 for school As with From Heaven Lake, Two Lives contains much autobiography.An unusually forthcoming writer whose published material is replete with un or thinly disguised details as to the personal lives of himself and his intimates related in a highly engaging narrative voice, Seth has said that he is somewhat perplexed that his readers often in consequence presume to an unwelcome degree of personal familiarity with him.

    196 thoughts on “A Suitable Boy”

    1. After about page 200 I realised this was like eating Turkish Delight morning noon and night and my spiritual teeth were beginning to dissolve under a tide of sickliness which didn t ever let up All these characters are so unbearably cute, even the less nice ones If post independent India was crossed with Bambi, it would be Vikram Seth s endless gurgling prose So I stopped reading and drove several three inch nails into my head, and I ve been all right since then.


    2. This is a magnificent saga, which left me breathless and awaiting the next word, set in India at the beginning of the fifties Suitable Boy by 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 [...]


    3. I know some GR ers didn t really cotton on to the style of this book And maybe it was because I read this while on vacation in India itself, but wow Just W.O.W It s a fucking long book 1,500 pages And every single page was worth the time I spent on it and If Midnight s Children is India s One Hundred Years of Solitude, then A Suitable Boy must be its War and Peace It s got the same melding of personal lives seen in amidst great national events Instead of the romance of Natasha and Pierre, it s [...]


    4. Spoiler alert I finally finished reading A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth For some reason, I used to avoid picking it up and kept putting it off I suppose it was mainly the size it s one thick book approximately 1500 pages but I also think it had to do with this misconception I had that it would be a tough read, that Seth s writing would be pompous and saturated with flowery descriptions of rivers winding through the green and yellow village of GraamNagar Imagine my surprise when I find that the la [...]


    5. I finished Vikram Seth s tome A Suitable Boy this Sunday morning while enjoying my coffee and a white chocolate, coconut Christmas cookie that my daughter had baked just last night All right, all right, I confess it was actually two white chocolate, coconut Christmas cookies But who can blame me really They were so good Not too sweet, she had gone ahead and reduced the suggested amount of sugar, resulting in a perfect blend of sweet with just a hint of salt and a nice moist and chewy texture And [...]


    6. A Suitable Boy describes a year in the life of the fledgling Indian democracy, indirectly told through the experiences of four connected families and a litany of supporting characters, who, due to the diversity of their occupations and social positions, are able to explore various facets political, legal, social, cultural, religious, artistic of the India of this period, and the clash of its opposing cultural forces traditional versus modern values, religion versus secularism, Hinduism versus Is [...]


    7. Remek delo Vikrama Seta MUST READ Odli an prevod Brane Radevi Jo jedna indijska pri a koja je postala savremeni klasik


    8. I was never entirely sure who belonged to what family in this book, but it never really bothered me I mean, after we switched back to a different group of characters, I was able to reconstruct who they were related to fairly easily, but I never could hold the genealogies in my mind.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook


    9. I don t even know where to begin gushing about this one, so panoramic is its scope and so delightful its literary charms Vikram Seth s 800,000 word magnum opus is lengthier than War and Peace and compulsively readable than a well paced soap opera It is an event in one s life I call it a soap opera, because fundamentally, the plot is a family drama, revolving around the wooers of its principal character, Lata Mehra Set in the early 1950s and written with a forceful simplicity akin to R K Narayan [...]


    10. Vikram Seth s A Suitable Boy is one of the best books I ve ever read in my entire life It s a long book But it is very engaging I managed to read it in one stretch, with a break to sleep, while I awaited the movers to take me and my belongings across the country To my chagrin I had completed it before my flight, and when it finished I didn t want the book to be over, I wanted to go back and re read it from the beginning It is one of the best books about life in India I ve ever read, it is the an [...]


    11. This is one of my five all time favorite books along with the Handmaid s Tale, On Beauty, the Red Tent, Corelli s Mandolin It is a patch work story of many characters lives by the end of the story, you see how they all intersect This was one of those books where when I finished the book I was completely invested in each of the character s life The story is set in post independence India and explores a number of social political issues of the time i.e land reform, muslim hindu relations, women s [...]


    12. A Suitable Boy takes place over the course of a year in an India which is adjusting not only to independence but to partition Through the stories of some of the major families of Brahmpur, we observe and participate in not only the day to day activities of individuals but the workings of government, developing industry some quite primitive, the existence of caste though outlawed, religious hatred, and the search for love and marriage There are beauty and violence, squalor and humor, festivals an [...]


    13. Dynasty in India is what this book really is, for all its allusions to Victorian novels But sure, yes, it s longer than War Peace, ensuring its place on the Books Your Friends Didn t Finish list The Hawking Index according to me Brief History of Time Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell Suitable Boy Every book published before 1940 The BibleAnd it shares with War Peace a panoramic, many charactered view of an entire society, against the backdrop of real events here, the 1951 abolition of the feudal Zamin [...]


    14. The book blurb says it all I will only add my comments.While reading this monumental novel of 1535 pages, I was wondering how much of the original offering was edited out to end up with this number of pages as the final result I also wondered, while ploughing through it, how much of the existing book can be cut out and still leave the essential core Probably half of it Compared to Barbara Kingsolver and Yung Chang, Vikram Seth needed twice as much pages to tell similar stories as these two autho [...]


    15. By the time I got to the end, I wanted to throw this book across the room, but by then I was exhausted The book was too heavy to lift and heave properly, so I slapped the paperback covers with as much derision as I could manage.This is the longest book I ve ever read It s the world s 17th longest novel Longer than Infinite Jest Longer than War and Peace.You d think they d give me some sort of prize for reading all that But what do I get instead view spoiler I get THAT ending Some reviewers congr [...]


    16. For Thanksgiving 2010 I spent the day finishing up Infinite Jest For a while there I thought maybe I d always try to finish up some sort of behemoth on Thanksgiving day, since the day to me means staying in my jammies and watching The Godfather on TV while I read The food involved can easily be made while reading or the Boyfriend steps up and makes the yummies But then last year I went with a a shorter book choice which I was able to read all on Thanksgiving Boy, was that a mistake.But then it s [...]


    17. Have to remove this one I know I liked it, but at over 1300 pages, and occupying almost 2 inches of shelf space, it must go.I have to admit I remember little about the novel, except enjoying the story very much when I read it Given that, it could be argued that a 3 rating would make sense But no .Previous review Song of SolomonRandom review Inventing the Middle AgesNext review The Sweet Forever George PelecanosPrevious library review The God of Small ThingsNext library review The First Man in R [...]


    18. This is a novel of India set in the early 1950s just after the partition, Vikram Seth s A Suitable Boy provides a window into the culture and history of India at that juncture in its history through a romance about a young girl, Lata, whose mother, Mrs Rupa Mehra, is searching for a suitable boy for her to marry The novel s opening section succeeded in immediately arresting my attention Some of the most notable aspects of the novel include the subtle ways that the author suggests the continuing [...]


    19. I have always been impressed and awed by writers mainly because of the research and effort they put in to write the perfect tale and their imagination in bringing together characters and the details that govern each characters featuresVikram Seth has to be applauded for his effort which seems to be such a petty word when we talk about this Herculean book Extremely Mild Spoilers The Basic plot is about Mrs Rupa Mehra wanting to find a Suitable Boy for her youngest daughter, Lata but the story dwe [...]


    20. A fact I never ever understood how postpartum depression works or why women suffer from it Yet another fact Having finishedA Suitable Boy arouses similar feelings in a reader as postpartum depression in a new Mum.Why 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 [...]


    21. This is like a buffet of Indian food Everything seems to be here, in this monster of a book, all 1349 pages and 3 kilos of it law, politics, business, history, tradition, superstitions, deities, romance, suspense, tragedy, humor, festivals, marriages, infidelities, friendship, betrayal, family, deaths, births, suicide,court trials, land reform, poetry, the Chatterji s couplets, amusing characters, etc Even my mother is here I mean, a character who, in some ways, resembles my mother There s somet [...]


    22. Game, set, match Cannot control my tears not literal ones from streaming down on my dust covered face and leaving a track as it slides down Reading this book felt like lifting the Wimbledon trophy, the most coveted prize in tennis Ever single person who turns a professional, wants to win nothing , than Wimbledon, at least once Else there is no inner peace I too, was like a tennis player, in the sense that ever since I picked up a novel, ever since I became an avid reader, Suitable Boy was was my [...]


    23. I admit without a semblance of ignominy that my convent bred education never allowed me to enjoy my own clan Indian authors But recently, as my brother would say, I have developed a taste for it When this book was released and made such a mayhem in the readers world, the size of the book and the language put me off It has been sitting on my shelf and quietly staring at me until I couldn t ignore it any longer I finally read it and now at 37 years old and 13 years plus married life, I thoroughly [...]



    24. I have an in built horror of books that stray on longer than 300 pages Anything longer and I always find the story sagging somewhere towards the middle and losing me by the end Except with A Suitable Boy It s over 1000 tightly written pages and I only wish it could have gone on and on This sprawling saga takes you all over India in the 50s, into the lives of a dozen or so interconnected characters And yet Seth masterfully manages to keep each story bubbling on the stove with delicious results


    25. I m feeling this great sense of accomplishment right now after finishing this gargantuan book this morning The crazy thing is that I almost wish it wasn t done I want to know so many things about the characters view spoiler did Varun get it together now that he finally made it through his civil service exams, did anything come of him and Kalpana Is Malati wedging in between that relationship So many unanswered questions sigh hide spoiler However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, cover to cover an [...]


    26. I had been waiting for over two years to read this book and I only managed to find a copy now Vikram Seth is par excellence in the way that he sketches his characters each character is deep, layered and volatile in his her unique way He manages, in his 1400 pages, to capture every single human emotion possible Another feather in the author s cap is the mind boggling level of research undertaken while dealing with larger than life erstwhile political and national leaders, one has to be careful no [...]


    27. A Suitable boy is a very sutiable book for both boys girls When I borrowed this book from the library I found it surprisingly huge and scary, everyone who saw me carrying it was equally astounded I started having my doubts that what if the book becomes a lousy read and I end up wasting my time or leave it half read but the book from Page 1 had a smooth pace never for once lost my interest SO when Vikram Seth says in his opening lines Buy me before good sense insists,You ll strain your purse and [...]


    28. Weighing in at almost 1,500 pages, this is one of those novels that requires commitment, even if it does come with a formidable reputation.But the time I spent reading A Suitable Boy was repaid in spades as its narrative drive and fantastic characterisation soon made me forget how many pages are still ahead The novel s central conceit could be straight out of Austen as Lata she considers the merits and demerits of a series of suitors in the search for that suitable boy.But the book also has hint [...]


    29. This was my third attempt at reading this monster On two previous occasions I had made it about halfway through it and then stopped for reasons that I no longer recall It wasn t because I wasn t enjoying it, because that I do know that I was I think it might simply have been that despite its excellence this was a book that was very easy to put down There are a lot of characters and their lives just tend to move along the great river of life in a fairly steady and semi predictable way so if you a [...]


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