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Publisher's Summary

With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers - a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village - will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future. 

As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.

©1995 Rohinton Mistry (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

This shows a society at its worst.

This is a awfully long story that is really rather sad and makes you wonder how a society can do things to its own. I was always surprised how the author could find ways to sink us lower.

Although the main protagonists try to be genuinely positive, some actions don't surprise you at all in the end.

It left me dumbfounded.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant

I loved it. It's so sad and terrible that it's a true story. A brilliant reading very enjoyable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • laineya
  • 20-10-2018

Perfect!

What can I say? I’ve been waiting for the audio version of this book for what seems like years. This version was well worth the wait.

This is such a wonderful tale, full of characters who you come to love with their stories woven together like Dina Dalal’s patchwork quilt. If you enjoyed the book you’ll love the audio version and if you haven’t read the book then don’t wait!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane Showering
  • 16-10-2018

My favourite book ever

Sadly this book was such a compulsive read/listen that it lasted just a few days!
I loved the plot, the narration, the characters, alongside giving such a detailed insight into life in India in those days.
I cried and I laughed, laughing alot more than crying tho the story is tragic, there were so very many light and kind touches throughout.
I am bereft to have finished it and more so that no more substantial reads by this master storyteller are available on audio

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • bookaddict
  • 18-09-2018

this is ok...

Interesting, but not gripping I'd say. it is a bit sprawling in places.
The performance is superb though.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-08-2018

Wonderful mix of history and story!

I loved this book but found it hard to deal with the cruelty and the fact there was little redemption or any happy endings. Couldn't stop listening.
Loved the history of India in this period and the wonderful noble and tragic characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lotika Singha
  • 29-07-2018

A must listen

A nuanced account of how ‘democracy’ fails the the common people, the heart of any society