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Such a Long Journey

Such a Long Journey [Kindle Edition]

Rohinton Mistry
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Amazon Review

Mistry does something that only the really natural writers can do: without apparent effort, manipulation or contrivance, he creates characters you like instantly and will gladly follow for as long as the novel leads. The book is about an Indian family during the years of Indira Ghandi's rule; it's also a study of the times, its politics and corruption, and was especially interesting for me, knowing so little about life in the rest of the world. It had to be a good book: after I read Such a Long Journey, I wanted to go right out and buy a plane ticket and see India for myself.


"'One of India's finest living novelists.' Observer"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 578 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0771060572
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction; New edition edition (20 Nov 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571165257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571165254
  • ASIN: B002RI91P8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,203 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Rohinton Mistry was born in 1952 and grew up in Bombay, India, where he also attended university. In 1975 he emigrated to Canada, where he began a course in English and Philosophy at the University of Toronto.He is the author of three novels and one collection of short stories. His debut novel, Such a Long Journey (1991), won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book and the Governor General's Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was made into an acclaimed feature film in 1998. His second novel, A Fine Balance (1995), won many prestigious awards, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the Giller Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. His collection of short stories, Tales from Firozsha Baag, was published in 1987.In 2002 Faber published Mistry's third novel, Family Matters, which was longlisted for the 2002 Man Booker Prize.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Familiar human nature in an unfamiliar setting 15 April 2005
This is the second Rohinton Mistry novel I have read ( also Family Matters) and I cannot recommend them too highly. In this novel ( which is about a bank clerk and his family; the doctor mentioned in the above synopsis is a minor character.)Mistry creates a group of characters and describes their interaction in an absorbing and convincing way. In some ways this is like a traditional 19th century English novel of family life, though set in India in the 1970s. When I read 'Family Matters', I had never been to India, but Mistry's descriptions enabled me to visualise it in a way few previous 'Indian' novels I had read had succeeded in doing. 'Such a long journey' I read during my first visit to India and I can now vouch for its authenticity and humour. The novel however is no travelogue; the characters are interesting because of their human nature. The ending was genuinely moving. A great writer.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Luck is the spit of gods and goddesses." 2 Jan 2006
Sometimes compared to Dickens or Victor Hugo for the strength of his descriptions, Rohinton Mistry uses "ordinary" men and women as his protagonists and fills his novels with the sights, sounds, smells, and color of India. Depicting his characters as neither saints nor sinners, he involves the reader in their lives as they try to survive the complexities of their culture.
In this novel, Gustad Noble and his wife Dilnavaz, living in a congested apartment building in Bombay, try to lead good lives and inspire their children during Indira Gandhi's rule in the 1970s, with all its political, professional, and social upheaval. India is on the verge of war with the Muslims of Pakistan, and though Gustad, a Parsi, is aware of political chicanery, he is far more pre-occupied with having his son accepted at a school of technology, doing his job as a bank supervisor, and supporting his family. Constant blackouts and continually deteriorating conditions on the street add to the frustrations of Gustad's life.
Then Jimmy Bilimoria, an old friend, asks Gustad for help, claiming that he is training freedom fighters in Bangladesh to act on behalf of the Indian government against Pakistani "butchers." Gustad reluctantly agrees to use his position at the bank to deposit money to a secret account, but he soon finds himself enmeshed in a spiral from which he cannot break out, his life turned upside down.
Throughout the novel, the wall outside Gustad's apartment building symbolizes the larger world of Bombay and parallels some aspects of Gustad's own life. At the outset, it is used as a latrine, breeding illness in the neighborhood but keeping the noise and tumult of the street out of the apartment house.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderfully human 13 Nov 2002
By A Customer
Though lacking the dramatic power and the pessimistic philosophy of his later masterpiece 'A fine balance', 'Such a long journey' is a wonderful, extremely compassionate account of a family's struggle to maintain unity and moral integrity in the face of extraordinary circumstances: both external (the Emergency) and internal (father-son conflicts, disease etc.).
The political agenda in this novel is much reduced compared to Mistry's later work, and that perhaps renders 'Such a long journey' a less pressing and controversial book, removing some of the urgency and the vigour to concentrate instead on a very human (and universal) 'journey', which eventually leads to a very human (and universal) catharsis.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I rate it as highly as 'A fine balance' and perhaps higher that the latest, somewhat disappointing (to me!) 'Family matters'.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ!! 22 April 2004
By A Customer
Such a Long Journey is the first book I have had the pleasure of readingby Mistry and it has been a wonderful experience from start to finish! The culture and traditions are so alive in the book that they seem to jumpout at you and teach you something about life in India as a whole. A mostcaptivating book that I will definitely be reading again and again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - fantastic characterisation 25 April 2009
By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Rohinton Mistry is a wonderful writer and 'Such a Long Journey' is another great example of his skill. Mistry creates characters that the reader can truly love and empathise with - we can see ourselves and those we know in all of his characters, and as a result we care about them and believe in them. I'd go as far as to say he is the best author around when it comes to characterisation.

The hero of 'Such a Long Journey' is Gustad Noble, a hardworking family man trying to make ends meet. In trying to help an old friend, he finds himself caught up in frightening events far beyond his normal unremarkable existence, whilst simultaneously his peaceful home life is shattered by a quarrel with his son and illness in his daughter.

Mistry relates the minutae of daily domestic life in a way that is absorbing and fascinating. The reader shares in every concern of the family and longs to participate actively in their lives. It's perfectly paced and surprisingly gripping, without ever being unrealistic. Even though it is set in a country I have never visited, in an era before I was born, and the characters are from a different faith to me, it honestly doesn't matter at all. Mistry finds the humanity that is common to us and as such writes in a way that truly transcends all cultural, temporal and geographical divides.

A superb book by a writer who deserves wider recognition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SUCH A LONG JOURNEY
LIKE THIS AUTHOR'S WRITING.have read all his books, they are sensitive and humourous.Delivery was quick,book well and securely packed.. Good all round..
Published 1 month ago by Lesley Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
I had read another of Rohintom Mistrys books and I was hooked from beginning to end,and I can honestly say this one is the same. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mariam
5.0 out of 5 stars Another really good story by Rohinton Mistry
This was Rohinton Mistry's first novel, I believe. I had already read "A Fine Line" which was brilliant and "Such a Long Journey" didn't disappoint at all. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Demeter10
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a long Journey
Good read. I was shocked by the poverty and corruption described in India at the time of Indira Ghandi. The book prompted me to research the political situation at the time. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ian keightley
5.0 out of 5 stars A real flavour of Indian Life
A wonderful atmosphere capturing the heart of Indian Life. I love books with a taste of India and this did not disappoint.
Published 11 months ago by Iris Lesley Murdoch
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok , but not overly gripping
This is the first book I have read by RM,

I must say I was not overly impressed , there are lot of positives but overall I did not find it very gripping. Read more
Published 13 months ago by S Dube
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read by this author
All Mistry's books depict the different trials, hopes and expectations of life after partition but despite failure and corruption os people in authority the characters struggle on... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Julie Sellwood
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Rohinton Mistry's style of writing
Novels about life in Asia and particuarly India usually keep my interest and this one is no exception. I couldn't put it down.
Published 14 months ago by Philippa Cronin
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece nothing less.
Not quite as gripping as 'A Fine Balance ' but a masterpiece none the less.
A great read and of course beautifully written. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Dohey
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the others
"Tales from Firozabag" was entertaining and a plausible story. I have read a fine balance and another one too. This book did not compare. Read more
Published 15 months ago by n shah
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