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A Fine Balance

Written by: Rohinton Mistry
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 25 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (170 ratings)
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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Could not be better!

Amazing, deep story with perfect, flawed and very human characters. The narrator has a wonderful voice which pulls you in to the ebb and flow of this beautiful book. I have read the paperback and listened to this Audible version and gained in admiration for the tale. One of the best Audible books I have listened to over the years.

9 people found this helpful

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Poignant, difficult

Hard to listen to how difficult and terrible life was (is?) for many in India. Extremely well written. Had to finish it.

3 people found this helpful

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A genius work of fiction

How sad I was for this beautiful reading to end. I’ve read it before, but having this soft Indian accented voice whisper this gorgeous writing to me as I worked away in my studio during snowstorms and cold spells was just what needed to keep me at my work. An absolute 10 out of 10 on every level.

3 people found this helpful

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Hope and Despair

A beautiful novel that rings with the sound of truth. Possibly the best narration I have heard. Vikas Adam captures the listener with his voice and seamlessly depicts each character with subtlety and nuance. Fabulous from start to end.

3 people found this helpful

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Research before you buy #Audible1

This is a well read story. Vikas has done a great job. With regards to the story on the other hand, great story in depicting the life in rural India in the 70s, but this is a story of sadness getting worst as the story progresses. Eventually when the story took a turn to happiness, i stopped as I could not take the sadness anymore. You may argue that it is the slice of life (which is probably true) but I just could not take it anymore. Do your research about the book, the author, before you buy

9 people found this helpful

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A captivating, but a bit overdramatized story

I was happy to see that this book has finally became available on the Canadian site of #Audible1
I really enjoyed the first part of the book, when you got to know the individual stories of the characters. I still liked the second part of it and it kept me interested the whole time, but towards the end I started to feel that it became over-dramatized. Almost every possible misfortune you can think of had happened to one of the characters. I would still recommend it, just be prepared that it won't leave you with good feelings.

2 people found this helpful

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Not a light commitment

There was something almost sadistic about this story of horrible suffering. When there light hearted moments, one couldn’t help but steel oneself for an upcoming assault on the conscience. It was a little too much for me.

The narrator was great because he was able pronounce Hindi words without being a hawker of exoticism, which others might be. Unfortunately he read so patiently and deliberately that I ended up listening to the second half of the story at time-and-a-half speed.

2 people found this helpful

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Great narration

I loved listening to A Fine Balance. The author’s authentic accent enhanced the story. I didn’t expect a history and geography lesson. I looked forward to getting in my car to learn how the characters would develop.

1 person found this helpful

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This excellent book is now an excellent audiobook

This is one of the best books that I have ever read. I was so excited that it was coming out in an audiobook. I had been waiting for a long time for this.
The narration was everything I hoped for. I felt like I was right there with the characters. One of my favourite books, a modern day classic is now one of my favourite audiobooks.
#audible1

3 people found this helpful

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Wow. Wow. Outstanding.

I almost stopped listening a few pages in because I was uncertain about listening to the narrator’s accent for so many hours. I’m so glad I kept listening. The narration is incredible and absolutely necessary for the story. The story is unlike anything I’ve ever come across. I had initially been hoping for a happy ending... that’s what we’re used to being fed, isn’t it? This story was brutally honest and brutally real. Each one of us has a unique story but all of our stories end the same. Thank you for this humbling story.

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  • ros
  • 2019-10-31

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.

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  • Carla
  • 2019-04-19

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
  • 2019-01-14

wow

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