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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Noble Journey
Rohinton Mistry's novel, Such a Long Journey, is an engrossing and provocative tale. The main character Gustad Noble is aptly named, for here is a man of true nobility--not by birth, but by his being, his determination, and his goodness. This novel is truly a journey, and Mistry takes us by the hand, guiding us into the unfamiliar cultural landscape of India, taking us...
Published on Nov. 2 2001 by ben white

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3.0 out of 5 stars A good debut
I read this book after I read "A Fine Balance", and it goes to show (happily) that Mistry's writing style has developed and become much more interesting. Journey is the story of one man, Gustad Noble, facing a set of challenges in Bombay in 1971 (the year of the war with Pakistan.) Mistry also tells several different stories as the characters weave in and out of...
Published on March 9 2002 by Edward Aycock


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Noble Journey, Nov. 2 2001
By 
ben white (louisville, tn United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
Rohinton Mistry's novel, Such a Long Journey, is an engrossing and provocative tale. The main character Gustad Noble is aptly named, for here is a man of true nobility--not by birth, but by his being, his determination, and his goodness. This novel is truly a journey, and Mistry takes us by the hand, guiding us into the unfamiliar cultural landscape of India, taking us along with Gustad and his family as they struggle with all the assaults of being human, as they strive to sustain their way of life on the verge of a changing, evolving society.
Mistry's characters are real; they're developed as individuals and they stand seperatly--from the main character Gustad Noble to his upstairs neighbor who barks, literally, at the moon. When one of many of Mistry's characters dances their way onto this carefully wrought stage, he or she envelopes the reader--we don't wait for this scene to finish in order to get to the meat of the matter--we relax, we sift slowly with the writing as we're there with each of the characters' struggles.
This is a book of enormity. This is a book that when finished, regret sets in. The last few pages dangle themselves out, and when the last word is read and the book closed, the reader has a sense that this one is special, that there aren't many like this one, and that it's too bad, really, that it's over.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mistry Creates Realistic, Compelling Characters, April 10 2000
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
The characters in this novel are so realistic and captivating, you will feel to compelled follow their daily lives in this excellent, heart-warming story. Mistry provides insight into the thoughts and actions of a middle-class,hard-working Indian family man with such depth, and the descriptions of the settings are so accurate and detailed. Every character, minor or major, has a story of their own and we see both sides of each conflict. Truly a must-read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A delight, July 31 2001
By 
MR G. Rodgers (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
I was told that Mistry's other novel, "A Fine Balance" is a far better book than "Such A Long Journey". If so, I'm looking foward to reading that one, because I thoroughly enjoyed "Such A Long Journey".
I novel centres on the Mumbai Parsi, Gustad Noble. He and his family have seen better days and are now struggling to get by in 1970s Mumbai. Gustad becomes involved with a scheme run by the mysterious Jimmy Bilimoria - what is the meaning of this, and how will it turn out?
Apart from this mystery, the main delight of the novel is how Mistry weaves the central plot into a kaleidoscope of descriptions of life in Mumbai. I have Parsi friends, so I was not completely at sea with the descriptions Mistry uses. Yet, his account of the Parsi funeral ceremony culminating at the Tower of Silence was both moving and intriguing (for those not familiar with Parsi funeral rights, it's scarcely believable, but nonetheless true).
It was Sartre, I think, who said that "hell is other people". Mistry doesn't go as far as that, but he does give the impression of an India teeming with life, full of people invading each others' space. As such, coping with this becomes a daily chore - others are both invasive of privacy and frequently unreliable when you depend on them. And yet, that is only part of being human - for all their faults, most if not all people have redeeming characteristics.
Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A long jouney, but pleasant, Oct. 10 2000
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
Rohinton Mistry's first novel provides a door through which to step into the lives of a Parsi community in early 1970's Bombay. The world of Khodadad building turns out to be not so alien to a western reader: the same jealousies, petty grudges and gossip one might expect from one's own neighbors. The religious conflict and overwhelming poverty that always loom large in western media portrayals of India are here relegated to the background, and the success and tribulations of the Noble family come to the fore in what is essentially the story of an ordinary man living in what he perceives to be an ordianry world.
While Gustad Noble's home life seems to be spiralling out of control, one son refusing to attend the right college, his daughter enduring never-ending bouts of sickness, and his wife feverishly invoking traditional treatments on all sides, he becomes anonymously embroiled in a scandal that reaches to the heart of Indira Ghandi's corrupt power structure, claims his best friend, and shakes his faith in his country to its core.
Gustad's efforts to clean up the wall of the Khodadad compound, for years an impromptu lavatory, yield results beyond expectation - transforming a cesspool into a shrine. The problems facing India in the 70's, religious intolerance and the aftereffects of partition, are reflected in miniature as the wall and the Noble's are caught between municipal corruption and the mob.
All in all, very much worth the read. I'm looking forward to tackling "A Fine Balance", Mistry's second (and longer) novel, also shortlisted for the Booker. Cheers
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good debut, March 9 2002
By 
Edward Aycock (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
I read this book after I read "A Fine Balance", and it goes to show (happily) that Mistry's writing style has developed and become much more interesting. Journey is the story of one man, Gustad Noble, facing a set of challenges in Bombay in 1971 (the year of the war with Pakistan.) Mistry also tells several different stories as the characters weave in and out of Gustad's life. Some of it works, some of it doesn't. You can predict some of the fates of the characters right from the beginning. But Mistry has written a solid book, and shows the promise that he fulfilled quite nicely in a Fine Balance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of my new favorites, Dec 11 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
I picked up this book after hearing about A Fine Balance. Being a Parsi myself, I am always interested in seeing how they are characterized in novels or movies. Mistry writes with an honest perspective, neither hypercritical or hyper-adulatory. His sense of detail creates wonderfully layered characters; and his knowledge of the customs and even the crazy idiosyncrasies of the Parsi community made me feel like we were in on a private joke. Of course, non-Parsis will like the book also--they just won't appreciate Mistry's dry wit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for our Deekra !, March 14 2000
By 
Aninda Mitra (Philadelphia, USA (bombayite by heart)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
Superb story-telling. Engrossing, intricate, humorous, ironic, and more. Takes one back to older, gentler, days in Bombay - when the very character of Bombay began to change. A citywide-character defined primarily by the pioneering Parsi influence that played such an immense role in Bombay's, growth and development. Mistry gives us some sense of these cataclysmic changes in mores, values, outlook - all in the microcosm of the Khodadad building (a residential apt. complex of middle-class Parsi families)
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for our Deekra !, March 14 2000
By 
Aninda Mitra (Philadelphia, USA (bombayite by heart)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
Superb story-telling. Engrossing, intricate, humorous, ironic, and more. Takes one back to older, gentler, days in Bombay - when the very character of Bombay began to change. A citywide-character defined primarily by the pioneering Parsi influence that played such an immense role in Bombay's, growth and development. Mistry gives us some sense of these cataclysmic changes in mores, values, outlook - all in the microcosm of the Khodadad building (a residential apt. complex of middle-class Parsi families)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fans of R.K.Narayan have one more author to look forward to, July 17 1999
By 
Ravi Aranke (Hyderabad, India) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
This is storytelling at its best. Gentle humour, and empathy with all characters. Mistry develops his characters and surroundings in great details. I can visualize the 'Khodadad Building' in front of my eyes.
I read this book after reading 'A Fine Balance' and was kind of dreading the end because I was expecting it would all end horribly. (Ofcourse, that does not take anything away from that book - a very moving tale). So it was an added bonus when the end was a softer landing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, Dec 20 2001
By 
Robert E. Olsen (McLean, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Such a Long Journey (Paperback)
This interesting first novel tackles several long journeys -- India's transformation from the raj to a brawling, corrupt, mismanaged, constantly at-war democracy under Indira Gandhi; Bombay resident Gustad Noble's economic decline from a kind of family prominence and prosperity under the Brits; and, most directly, Noble's rise in understanding, breadth of spirit, friendship, and accommodation to what India has become, warts and all.
Readers who delight in plot development may be disappointed. There are plots and subplots of sorts in this book -- will Noble's son reject a shot at an engineering degree? will his daughter regain her health? will a former neighbor, now in New Delhi, be found out as a good guy or a bad guy? will a prized homage to spirituality survive the wrecker's ball? will the bank manager learn the truth about some misguided deposits and spill the beans? will the simpleton get the, uh, girl? -- but, to me at least, these stories appear and drift away without careful crafting or much urgency in the telling. Rather, Mistry uses his plot lines more as opportunities to describe modern Indian society, in its complexity, and Noble's passage through it.
Mistry's central characters are full, interesting, and idiosyncratic. His minor characters -- the politically active prostitutes, the apartment dweller practicing the black arts, the bureaucrats and politicians, the speedtalking simpleton -- are persons we have seen before. Excellent political satire sometimes veers toward cartoons. Still, sentence by sentence, Mistry writes well and with sensitivity to his characters' inner lives.
This is not world-class fiction, but it is a good read, especially for persons with an international bent who are not put off by detail.
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Such a Long Journey
Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry (Paperback - May 3 1997)
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