Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity: Life, death, and hope…

by Katherine Boo

Random House Publishing Group | February 7, 2012 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity is rated 4.1667 out of 5 by 6.
From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, 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, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, 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 of Annawadi.
 
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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: February 7, 2012

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679643958

ISBN - 13: 9780679643951

Found in: Current Events

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Still feeling it! This is such a powerful book. It's not fiction though it reads like a rare and elegant novel. I could hardly put it down, the old cliche. I'll never forget the people here. It brings the 3rd room into your own home and makes you care for it. Simply wow! I'm not an Indiaphile . . . liked A Fine Balance a lot, but good as it was, this is that much truer. No fat on it and it rings so true. And you'll learn a lot about India and human nature too. Katherine Boo, who wrote it . . . thanks. A beautiful act of love in this writing.
Date published: 2013-08-12
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: Life, death, and hope…

by Katherine Boo

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: February 7, 2012

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679643958

ISBN - 13: 9780679643951

From the Publisher

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, 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, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, 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 of Annawadi.
 
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.


From the Hardcover edition.