A Suitable Boy (A Suitable Boy, #1) by Vikram Seth

A Suitable Boy (A Suitable Boy, #1)

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 extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. ...

Details A Suitable Boy (A Suitable Boy, #1)

TitleA Suitable Boy (A Suitable Boy, #1)
Release DateOct 4th, 2005
PublisherHarper Perennial Modern Classics
GenreFiction, Cultural, India, Historical, Historical Fiction, Asian Literature, Indian Literature, Classics, Novels, Literature, Literary Fiction, Romance

Reviews A Suitable Boy (A Suitable Boy, #1)

  • Paul Bryant
    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 a...
  • Lynne King
    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 stud...
  • Whitaker
    I know some GRers didnt 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! Its a fucking long book1,500 pages. And every single page was worth the time I spent on it and more. If Midnights Children is Indias One Hundred Years of Solitude, then A Suitable Boy must be its War and Peace. Its got the same melding of personal lives seen in amidst great national event...
  • Sim
    *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 (its 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 Seths writing would be pompous and saturated with flowery descriptions of rivers winding through the green and yellow village o...
  • Rajat Ubhaykar
    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 more 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 ...
  • Arah-Lynda
    I finished Vikram Seths 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 ...
  • Edward
    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 v...
  • Sarah
    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...
  • Megan Baxter
    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 Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime...
  • Rebecca
    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 Ive ever read. Its the worlds 17th longest novel. Longer than Infinite Jest. Longer than War and Peace.Youd think theyd give me some sort of prize for reading all that. But what do I get instead? ...
  • Sue
    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 ar...
  • Danielle Franco-Malone
    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...
  • Alex
    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 backd...
  • Emilia
    a wonderful book, the most beautiful I've ever read. I love it!
  • Margitte
    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...
  • El
    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 ...
  • Ted
    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 more sense? But no.). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Previous review: Song of SolomonNext review: The Sweet Forever George PelecanosLater review: Inventing t...
  • James
    This is a novel of India set in the early 1950s just after the partition. In it, Vikram Seth provides a window into the culture and history of India at an early critical juncture in its history: the political and cultural climate five years after the country gained its independence from Great Britain in 1947. At the center of the novel is a romance about a young girl, Lata, whose mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, is searching for a "suitable boy" for her ...
  • Faroukh Naseem
    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 features...Vikram 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 Sui...
  • Onaiza Khan
    Finishing this book feels like a milestone in life. First of all, because it is enormous and secondly because I've learnt a lot from it. I think the plot design is impressive. Everything happens just when it should in the story. And although there are multiple storylines at work, they do not create any confusion. The story is well laid out, especially the political scenario of Post-Independence India. The end is satisfying and justified. But ther...
  • Shriya
    A fact : I never ever understood how postpartum depression works or why women suffer from it. Yet another fact: Having finished A 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 t...
  • Anoop Pai B
    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 more, 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 nov...
  • Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
    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 characte...
  • Bramha Raju
    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 couldnt ignore it any longer. I finally read it and now at 37 y...
  • John
    I cant believe that Ive finished reading this almost 1500 pages of it. Ive been daunted by this 3 of book for years but finally I can now look the paper doorstep in the eye/spine and smile. But my life now seems so flat, so quiet, so dull (and cold!) after being in India for so long. Time there certainly didnt drag!The British have been gone 3 or 4 years at the outset of the book. The continent has been partitioned and the resulting fledgeling i...
  • Quirine
    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 e...
  • Marieke
    I miss this book already. i'm having trouble deciding what to read with my morning coffee. (i might be back to write a real review)
  • Judy
    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 spo...
  • Nicola
    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 i...