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A Fine Balance

Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 25 hrs and 49 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (86 ratings)

Non-member price: $69.59

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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.

What listeners say about A Fine Balance

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  • T
  • 25-04-2019

Brilliant story of humanity really well told

I love this book. Read it 20 years ago and am so impressed with the audio version. Extraordinary depth of characters and perspectives. Each person truly came to life to share their view on reality, a multitude of realities.

2 people found this helpful

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Uplifting and heartbreaking. This beautiful book is a must read before traveling to India!

I listened to this book before traveling to India and it opened my eyes to the lives of everyday people and the impact of the caste system. The novel tells the story of many seemingly different characters who are all victims of the society they live in. A beautiful book that will leave you speechless for days to come!

2 people found this helpful

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India

This book showed me a history of an India I hadn't been able to grasp as a tourist. I've told all my friends who have been to india, are going to india or are Indian, to read it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bkr
  • 15-03-2019

More than a Novel an Experience

This is a wonderful book, educational, entertaining, very funny at times, but also a harrowing story of the injustice, brutality and greed in India at a particular time. I wanted it to never end.

1 person found this helpful

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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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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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A classic.

This is a fantastic tale, with wonderful characters. Narrated brilliantly. Be warned, this is not a fairy tale. I cried.

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A dark and beautiful insight

What sort of dark insights Rohinton Mistry has tapped into in this sweeping all-encompassing tale of woe about man's struggle to make sense of life. I am equally disturbed as I am in love with this book. Congratulations to the author for somehow weaving a collection of stories together to show such black truths. And the performance of Vikas Adam is perect

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Dark but fascinating. HAD to find out how it ended

This book was pretty harrowing in parts and somewhat bleak. The moments of joy though were amazing. Made me really think about the tragedy that befalls so many yet they persevere. Learned a lot about India also particularly the "emergency" in the 70s- just unfathomable. I had to google it to see how much was true and distressingly so much of it was. A really moving and thoughtful book. Would recommend. Also great voice work here.

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please credit

I could not get into the book. it appeared very elementary. please credit.many thanks Martin

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-06-2020

Magnificent!

loved every moment if this complex intriguing account of the tragic lives of ordinary citizens and how their lives were woven together. victims of circumstances. wonderful narration brings the characters and scenes to life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ros
  • 31-10-2019

What a book!

A funny, sad, heartwarming, heartbreaking triumph! I loved the pictures, the sounds and the smells and emotions Rohinton’s writing brings to his readers.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Carla
  • 19-04-2019

Life is SUCH a fine balance

But these characters experience the full measure of the balance or imbalance... it is a moving tale of what life in India was for most middle /lower class citizens during the turbulent ‘70’s ... well told, well developed characters and a full circle story. It is WELL WORTH your time and credit!!!

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  • jaspal singh
  • 14-01-2019

wow

loved it...will miss all the character after finish. awesome story ...a nice book to listen

1 person found this helpful

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  • Liz G.
  • 11-10-2020

I came to this book blind. But loved it.

I have not to my shame heard of the book or the author. But I just loved it. It made me laugh a lot and almost cry. But as others have said despite the setting, the subject and the characters this book is of hope, friendship and family ties. Listening to it has enriched my life and understanding of a place I have never visited but now understand a little better.

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  • Sarah
  • 14-07-2020

Magnificent book

Simply wonderful. The narrator is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. No more words needed. Just listen, you won’t regret it.

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  • 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

30 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Hegan
  • 26-03-2019

Picaresque, epic scale, a Mahabharata for modern times.

This is one of the most extraordinary works to come my way in some time. The odyssey of two simple (very simple) tailors who step out of their caste, their destiny and into a poignant journey through India’s painful post-partum emergence. And Emergency. It is also an excoriating indictment of the Gandhi family’s grip on the country for two generations. Horror, brutality and corruption abound. And yet... Mistry’s vision is more complex than some black and white morality tale. I was reminded of the old aphorism that desperate times call for desperate measures. No simple answers emerge. At its heart however this is no political rant, but the interwoven stories of simple people who, if you have a heart, you will end up loving. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Neil Bottle
  • 09-02-2019

Outstanding

This is one of the best audio books I have ever read. I have traveled widely in India and it strikes such a cord with my experiences. The writing is wonderfully rich and the language so well observed. As the story unfolds you find yourself immersed in the lives of these rich characters. It was so moving it’s hard to describe. The narrator was excellent and his clever characterisation of each person was so amazing. I have a photo of a very young beggar child I took when I visited Delhi. He sleeps on the road side clutching his day’s wares. A few cheap biros for sale. The back drop is the array of luxury hotels off Connaught place. It reminds me to give thanks for my very privileged life in the west. read and enjoy

13 people found this helpful

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  • Lotika Singha
  • 29-07-2018

A must listen

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

11 people found this helpful

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  • Hayley M
  • 04-01-2019

Gripping and Tragic - Must read!

A beautiful piece full of heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. Wonderful narration, listened to the whole thing in three days!

8 people found this helpful

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  • GarthK
  • 24-09-2019

The Least of These.

I am astounded by the level and quality of this narration! A story that unwinds as it reels you in. I felt that I walked with the characters, understood them and experienced their lives intimately. The story is simple but the levels of complexity embedded in human societal structures and consequent behaviour left me exhilarated and at times hollowed out. If this book speaks to your sense of humanity, follow it up with the film, Article 15. I highly recommend this book!

7 people found this helpful

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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.

14 people found this helpful

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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!!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-10-2019

So Real So Sad

Lived the book - love/hate India. Ah India the place of colour. An amazing people an amazing diverse country. Excellentky narrated. Probably the best so far!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-2019

Re-listen and well worth it

I loved this just as much the second time around. Epic story, so beautifully written.

5 people found this helpful