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Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum Paperback – 7 Jun 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846274494
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846274497
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 1.9 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 352,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

A bravura work of non-fiction that goes beyond clichéd, patronising depictions of poverty to raise uncomfortable questions about justice and opportunity for India s urban poor in the age of global market capitalism ... Thanks to the transcendent quality of Boo s prose, this sumpy plug of slum springs to life with all the drama and vividness of great fiction ... Boo s great achievement is to have overcome barriers of language, culture and ethnicity to get inside the minds of her subjects to decode their innermost thoughts. And because she has written about the everyday experiences of real people, using real names, we get to rub our noses in the dirt of Annawadi, see the world through their eyes --Financial Times

Katherine Boo has prised open the world of people on the lowest echelon of Indian society ... The picture that emerges of the exploitation of the weak by the less weak is so astonishing in its detail, crosshatching and depth that one s first reaction is disbelief followed by stunned silence ... Boo takes us into the very engine room of the undercity and shines a light on each of the cogs and ratchets, its unique catenation of cause and effect, its dynamics and webbed dependencies ... Before prescription there should be knowledge: Boo s book provides the adamantine, unignorable, truthful kind. And yet all this never descends into horrorism. Boo is unsentimental, unjudgmental, uncondescending, yet brimful of compassion brought by what I can only call fellowship or a kind of commonality with her subjects --The Times

An extraordinary, intimate and gripping book, which it is no exaggeration to describe as a milestone in writing about poverty, and already one of this year s most memorable reads ... Boo s seamlessly structured narrative allows these stories to unfold alongside the personal dramas of the characters. Her tone is admirably restrained, and never patronising or mawkish ... The close focus of Behind the Beautiful Forevers is what gives it its clarity, and makes it so affecting -- --Evening Standard

--Evening Standard

Katherine Boo has prised open the world of people on the lowest echelon of Indian society ... The picture that emerges of the exploitation of the weak by the less weak is so astonishing in its detail, crosshatching and depth that one s first reaction is disbelief followed by stunned silence ... Boo takes us into the very engine room of the undercity and shines a light on each of the cogs and ratchets, its unique catenation of cause and effect, its dynamics and webbed dependencies ... Before prescription there should be knowledge: Boo s book provides the adamantine, unignorable, truthful kind. And yet all this never descends into horrorism. Boo is unsentimental, unjudgmental, uncondescending, yet brimful of compassion brought by what I can only call fellowship or a kind of commonality with her subjects --The Times

An extraordinary, intimate and gripping book, which it is no exaggeration to describe as a milestone in writing about poverty, and already one of this year s most memorable reads ... Boo s seamlessly structured narrative allows these stories to unfold alongside the personal dramas of the characters. Her tone is admirably restrained, and never patronising or mawkish ... The close focus of Behind the Beautiful Forevers is what gives it its clarity, and makes it so affecting --Evening Standard

About the Author

Katherine Boo is an investigative journalist focusing on matters of poverty and opportunity. A staff writer at the New Yorker magazine since 2001, she was previously a writer and editor at the Washington Post. Among the honours her work has received are a MacArthur Foundation 'Genius' Grant, a National Magazine Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She is married to Sunil Khilnani, political historian and director of the King's India Institute in London. This is her first book.



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