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on 18 November 2017
This great work of fiction never dates. I read it 20 years ago, and am enjoying it every bit as much again. A fabulous cast of characters, in a wonderful Indian setting, and a theme that keeps you hanging on through all the twists and turns of all the lives of the people involved. If you love literature, give yourself a treat, and read this .. it will keep you going for weeks!
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on 20 October 2017
Fantastic to find this on offer for my EBook reader for 99p. It's an excellent book.
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on 22 September 2017
A truly amazing book covering the lives of so many people shortly after partition. Vikram Seth has the ability to hold his reader's attention, through the varying families and complex situations within his narrative. It is a book full of magical descriptive prose that highlights the massive range of emotions within complex family situations. Be prepared to give up many hours of time reading A Suitable Boy, it will not be time lost but in fact time gained with knowledge and descriptions of life in India. An exceptional book.
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on 2 December 2012
I first read this book when it was originally published and have revisited it many times since. It won't suit everyone's taste as it is long, meandering and covers the day to day lives of it's protagonists in detail. But it is worth perservering with as it provides an insight into India, into people's thoughts and responses to the culture they live in and the difficulties of living up to parental and societal expectations. The characters are well developed, and become part of your world for the duration of the book. Don't expect to read it in a rush, but if you want something to savour then this is the book for you.

Without doubt - for me - this is one of my favourite books; it's a modern classic.
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on 26 August 2010
Please be careful when reading this book..
It's not a beautiful poignant love story, it's not a blockbuster, and it's not a treaty on life (dostoevsky he ain't) This is something way more
I read the one star reviews and I sort of see their point. They're saying there are too many characters (true), not a lot happens with the protagonist (true), so many conversations seem meaningless (true)..
So why is it still good? All these meaningless things and characters seem so much like life. It IS a sort of life and the reader feels part of it. This book is a magic carpet to a sort of parralel universe where we can laugh, or be a bit angry or feel whatever at any of the characters.
I kept stopping at page 1000 to go back to pg 200 and read again because i didn't wanna finish it. It's THAT good!

N.B - don't worry if you can't remember the character names.. it's not that important.
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on 30 August 2011
This audio version of 'A Suitable Boy' is beautifully told by the author. If nothing else it does let us know how to pronounce the many Indian names. I have found it very useful in that it gives one an overall account of the main story line i.e. finding 'A Suitable Boy' for Lata. However, do not let anyone be misled into thinking that the story on tape will act as a substitute to actually READING this amazing book. The depth of the background history so beautifully related, without pressure in the original book, of necessity is omitted in the abridged audio version. The audio does compliment the reading of the book, but PLEASE do read the book. IT REALLY IS WORTH IT.
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on 20 September 2011
A Suitable Boy is, if nothing else, an epic accomplishment. Seth has created and populated a world in such detail, astutely developed numerous characters and maintained a written style of rich eloquence throughout. The vastness of his purview results in the plot having a disjointed flow (no more evident than in the slightly brusque ending). But in the attempt to encompass so many factors of life and society - quite rightly demonstrating how in reality they pervade the daily life of a family - it would be incredibly harsh to criticise the book for a lack of an adequate crescendo. The quote by Voltaire, Seth includes at the beginning of the book ('the superfluous, that very necessary thing') adroitly highlights his belief that it was indeed imperative to include so much - I would in fact argue that he didn't include enough as there was a palpable sense of abruptness in the ending almost like he couldn't take it anymore or that he was increasingly worried about the word count. This by no means takes anything away from the enjoyment had by reading this book. Take your mind through the romanticism of India proffered by Seth in his gargantuan novel/substitute pillow!
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on 18 February 2015
Loved this book so much.....if you want an insight into life in India of the 50's. Culture, Politics and family life it's all here woven around 4 families.
It's quite a page turner all 1500(approx) of them.
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on 19 February 2003
One could say that "A Suitable Boy" is the perfect title for this work by Vikram Seth as it is indeed the tale of Lata's search for an ideal husband, according both to Lata's own and her family's definitions of "suitable"; be they social, religious, political or personal. Alongside her and her family, we are lead to antagonise over how much she should value love? How much she may be willing to sacrifice for it and where following intense love might lead? We share these and many other quandries with her.
However, around Lata there are many other lives, all connecting with her own, and yet heading in their own directions too. As is the case in real life, there is never just one story, and I am tempted to say that to read "A Suitable Boy" is like living in the heart of India and, more particularly, in the heart of the world Seth created, with all your soul.
So much are we drawn into the characters' lives by the rich nature of Seth's descriptions and dialogues, that it is very tedious to have to do anything else but read and be with them all. I am not sure what I will do without them now that I have sadly reached the end and discovered who the suitable boy actually was.........
This is a very special book indeed, perhaps the best I have ever read.
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on 26 February 2014
I thought this was a wonderful book. From the very start you are drawn into the story of four interlocking families in India set just after the partition of Pakistan and India. The story is very well written - with much humourous insight. It tells of aof a mother's search to find a suitable boy for marriage to her youngest daughter - and all the possible suitors who are suitable - and their family connections. It shows how religion plays such a major part in Indian families daily life - and how religion used un-wisely - can keep people apart and cause violence and brutality. This book covers almost the whole spectrum of Indian society from the poverty of the hopeless poor to the arrogance of the nouveau riche. Their are no loose ends left to be tied - which usually frustrate an avid reader - nothing is forgotten and each little story is ended to complete satisfaction. Vikram Seth is a genius - and a poet too. It may be one of the longest novels ever written but once the reader begins to read it is impossible to put down. I cannot wait for the sequel.
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