Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity

by Katherine Boo
Read by Sunil Malhotra

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group | February 7, 2012 | Audio Book (CD)

Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity is rated 4 out of 5 by 5.
In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.
 
Winner of the National Book Award | The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award | The Los Angeles Times Book Prize | The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award | The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award
 
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times • The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • USA Today • New York • The Miami Herald • San Francisco Chronicle • Newsday
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New Yorker • People • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • The Boston Globe • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Foreign Policy • The Seattle Times • The Nation • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Denver Post • Minneapolis Star Tribune • Salon • The Plain Dealer • The Week • Kansas City Star • Slate • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
“A book of extraordinary intelligence [and] humanity . . . beyond groundbreaking.”—Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Reported like Watergate, written like Great Expectations, and handily the best international nonfiction in years.”New York

“This book is both a tour de force of social justice reportage and a literary masterpiece.”—Judges’ Citation for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award
 
“[A] landmark book.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“A triumph of a book.”—Amartya Sen
 
“There are books that change the way you feel and see; this is one of them.”—Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
 
“[A] stunning piece of narrative nonfiction . . . [Katherine] Boo’s prose is electric.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“Inspiring, and irresistible . . . Boo’s extraordinary achievement is twofold. She shows us how people in the most desperate circumstances can find the resilience to hang on to their humanity. Just as important, she makes us care.”—People


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 5.9 × 5.1 × 1.1 in

Published: February 7, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307934055

ISBN - 13: 9780307934055

save 37%

  • In stock online

$27.06  ea

Online Price

$41.00 List Price

or, Used from $12.33

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

Rated out of 5 by from Outstanding Book...I am an avid reader and I would list this as one of my all time favourites. I loved that it was a true story, and it took this author years to research and live in the horrid conditions that these people survived. A deserving book of all the many awards it has gathered. A MUST READ.
Date published: 2013-05-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible! This book dragged on forever. A book of 230 pages seemed more like 1000 pages. I would not recommend this book to anyone. I decided to buy this book because it was on the Indigo recommends list.
Date published: 2013-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Painful and Difficult Read Story Description: Random House Publishing Group|February 7, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-4000-6755-8 From the Pulitzer Prize-winner, Katherine Book, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities. In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, see “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Aha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter – Annawadi’s “most everything girl” – will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians like, Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.” But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget. My Review: Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a work of nonfiction that is hard to believe. Realizing that the people in this story are real, the incidents that took place are real, and the fact that such a horrible slum as this even exists in Mumbai is hard to swallow. What a sad and depressing way to be forced to live. I was utterly astonished and truly affected upon the realization that entire families live, literally, in ‘cardboard’ huts. There is no real protection from the elements or the rats that chew on the children’s faces as they sleep. As a mother, it would pain me deeply to be forced to raise my children under such dire circumstances. When the storms come, the huts are flooded with raw sewage and the smell is overpowering. Sickness is prevalent and the medical care is atrocious as the hospitals are filthy dirty. The condition and health of the women and girls was especially distressing to me. These poor souls live in a very harsh and unforgiving environment and one of the poorest of the poor. There is no escape for these people, no upward mobility, and no way to advance to get themselves out of living in this horrible tragic life. The extreme level of poverty is truly sickening and I’ve been so affected by this story that it has propelled me into looking at a donation of some sort to an organization that might be able to help these people. Katherine Boo has written a remarkable, thoroughly researched, engaging, insightful, educational, and informative ethnography of slum life on the outskirts of Mumbai in Annwadi. Boo’s ability to capture the devastating toll this type of living has on its inhabitants is truly phenomenal. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a must read in order to fully understand the degrading and indignant conditions in which some of our fellow human beings are forced to live. It has been quite a while where I have personally been so affected by a piece of writing. As I finish this review my shock factor is still at its height.
Date published: 2012-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unforgettable Due to grim situation that unfolds in the beginning of this book I was hesitant to continue reading. Not because I haven't read about difficult circumstances before, but because I find myself needing to be in a particular mindset before beginning a tough read. Pushing my reluctance aside, I read through a few more pages and was hooked. "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" is the result of three years of tough, investigative reporting by Katherine Boo in India. As a journalist and emerging novelist, Boo weaves her experiences and knowledge of India into a heart-breaking tale of life in modern-day Mumbai. "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" shares the stories of the residents of Annawadi, a temporary settlement built in the shadow of the Mumbai Airport. The residents of Annawadi come from all over India in search of a better life. In Annawadi ingenuity is a familiar commodity. Abdul makes a living by sorting and selling garbage. Kalu is one of the many youths who supply Abdul with his "valuable" garbage. Asha, an ambitious women, searches for a better life through her controversial role in local politics. The poverty, inequality and hardship in this book are difficult to fathom, as well as the intense competition required in order to eke out a living. In contrast, the strength and resilience of the Annawadians is heartwarming and I was interested to learn how each of the residents lives' would unfold. Regardless of the bleakness of the story, "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" is an eye-opening read that will keep you interested until the end.
Date published: 2012-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Non fiction writen like fiction. A must read. This is a story about people living in the Mumbai slums. (The ones you saw in Slumdog Millionaire) It reads like fiction with many figures and families involved in their everyday actions and struggles for survival. I had to keep looking to see if it was fiction or non fiction and I believe the author made this book come to life with her insights and writing. Not necessarily a happy story, of course, but it show us that we are all struggling for the same things (under different circumstances, thank goodness) Another good book club selection.
Date published: 2012-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning! Having been to Mumbai twice and witnessed the extremes there, "Behind The Beautiful Forevers" led me to understand, to a degree, the reasons for the slums, why they are there and why they will remain. It is an honest and insightful look at lives within this inner city slum.
Date published: 2012-07-02

– More About This Product –

Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity

by Katherine Boo
Read by Sunil Malhotra

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 5.9 × 5.1 × 1.1 in

Published: February 7, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307934055

ISBN - 13: 9780307934055

About the Book

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Boo comes a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the 21st century's great, unequal cities.

Read from the Book

1. Annawadi LET IT KEEP, the moment when Officer Fish Lips met Abdul in the police station. Rewind, see Abdul running backward, away from the station and the airport, shirt buttons opening as he flies back toward his home. See the flames engulfing a disabled woman in a pink- flowered tunic shrink to nothing but a matchbook on the floor. See Fatima minutes earlier, dancing on crutches to a raucous love song, her delicate features unscathed. Keep rewinding, back seven more months, and stop at an ordinary day in January 2008. It was about as hopeful a season as there had ever been in the years since a bitty slum popped up in the biggest city of a country that holds one-third of the planet''s poor. A country dizzy now with development and circulating money. Dawn came gusty, as it often did in January, the month of treed kites and head colds. Because his family lacked the floor space for all of its members to lie down, Abdul was asleep on the gritty maidan, which for years had passed as his bed. His mother stepped carefully over one of his younger brothers, and then another, bending low to Abdul''s ear. "Wake up, fool!" she said exuberantly. "You think your work is dreaming?" Superstitious, Zehrunisa had noticed that some of the family''s most profitable days occurred after she had showered abuses on her eldest son. January''s income being pivotal to the family''s latest plan of escape from Annawadi, she had decided to make the curses routine. Abdul rose with minimal whining, sinc
read more read less

From the Publisher

In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.
 
Winner of the National Book Award | The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award | The Los Angeles Times Book Prize | The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award | The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award
 
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times • The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • USA Today • New York • The Miami Herald • San Francisco Chronicle • Newsday
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New Yorker • People • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • The Boston Globe • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Foreign Policy • The Seattle Times • The Nation • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Denver Post • Minneapolis Star Tribune • Salon • The Plain Dealer • The Week • Kansas City Star • Slate • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
“A book of extraordinary intelligence [and] humanity . . . beyond groundbreaking.”—Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Reported like Watergate, written like Great Expectations, and handily the best international nonfiction in years.”—New York

“This book is both a tour de force of social justice reportage and a literary masterpiece.”—Judges’ Citation for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award
 
“[A] landmark book.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“A triumph of a book.”—Amartya Sen
 
“There are books that change the way you feel and see; this is one of them.”—Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
 
“[A] stunning piece of narrative nonfiction . . . [Katherine] Boo’s prose is electric.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“Inspiring, and irresistible . . . Boo’s extraordinary achievement is twofold. She shows us how people in the most desperate circumstances can find the resilience to hang on to their humanity. Just as important, she makes us care.”—People


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Katherine Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. Her reporting has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India. This is her first book.

Editorial Reviews

“A book of extraordinary intelligence [and] humanity . . . beyond groundbreaking.” —Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review “Reported like Watergate, written like Great Expectations, and handily the best international nonfiction in years.” — New York “This book is both a tour de force of social justice reportage and a literary masterpiece.” —Judges’ Citation for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award “Incandescent writing and excruciatingly good storytelling.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer   “Outstanding.” —USA Today   “A richly detailed tapestry of tragedy and triumph told by a seemingly omniscient narrator with an attention to detail that reads like fiction while in possession of the urgent humanity of nonfiction.” —Los Angeles Times   “Rends the heart, thrills the mind, pricks the conscience, and burns the pages.” — Washingtonian “[An] exquisitely accomplished first book. Novelists dream of defining characters this swiftly and beautifully, but Ms. Boo is not a novelist. She is one of those rare, deep-digging journalists who can make truth surpass fiction, a documentarian with a superb sense of human drama. She makes it very easy to forget that this book is the work of a reporter. . . . Comparison to Dickens is not unwarranted.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times   “A jaw-dropping achievement, an
read more read less
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart