10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Not a fine balance,
This review is from: A Fine Balance (Paperback)
On the whole, I enjoyed the first thirteen chapters of this book. Mistry is a talented writer who can bring the characters alive. This was one of those books where I really felt like the characters were real people that I knew. Furthermore, Mistry achieved this without interrupting the flow of the story and didn't resort to using twenty pages to describe the wrinkle of a man's brow, like some authors do.
About one third of the way through chapter 14, 'Return of Solitude', the character Dina Dilal says, "Don't confuse me with your quiltmaker God." Up until that point, A Fine Balance was going somewhere. It had the makings of a classic. What went wrong? It's as if Mistry simply didn't know how to finish the story! It had so much potential and it was all thrown away. The last 120 pages were largely empty of any story-making talent and instead of writing them Mistry may as well have just written a single line such as, "But it was all just a dream. The end," or, "Then there was a huge explosion and everyone was killed. The end."
I agree with the other reviewer who wrote, "I felt as if the author had this list of human rights breaches that he wanted to bring to people's attention, and he just wove them (very skilfully and readably, I agree) into a book." I don't like sickly sweet stories where everything sudddenly falls implausibly in to place for all the 'good guys'. What I like in a story is a fine balance between hope and despair. Instead, all the story offered was despair.