Evan’s ESS = 6 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = (Adult Content, Violence, Language, Excessive Paper Cuts)
Why: The one thing we can say about A Suitable Boy with absolute certainty is that the novel contains a lot of words. Weighing in at a generous 591,552 words this novel has only ever been surpassed by a handful of English language competitors. Who hasn’t wanted to brag to their friends that they’ve read one of the longest English novels ever published in a signal volume? As an added benefit, by reading the hardcover version you will experience a significant improvement in your bicep and forearm definition, although some lower back pain is expected (pregnant or nursing mothers should consult their family doctor before making a trip to the library).
On the not so negative side, Vikram Seth has provided a compelling glimpse into post-independent India, which if you’re following along at home, happens to be a couple decades before the events described in A Fine Balance. We found the story both emotional and real, as each family experiences hardships and victories. Definitely make a point to read this novel, just make sure your calendar is blocked out for two or three months.
Editor’s Note: We are eagerly anticipating Seth’s follow-up novel, titled with skillful originality: A Suitable Girl.