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A Noble Journey
on November 2, 2001
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.