22 Books for the Armchair Traveler
By Rohinton Mistry
With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recalls masters from Balzac to Dickens, this novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism of India. Set in 1975 at a time when the government has declared a state of internal emergency, the story focuses on the lives of four unlikely people who find themselves living in the same humble flat in the city. Through the dramatic and often shocking turns their lives take, we get an intimate view, not only of their world, but also of India itself in all its extraordinary variety. 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.
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