Such A Long Journey

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Such A Long Journey

by Rohinton Mistry

McClelland & Stewart | March 26, 1999 | Trade Paperback

Such A Long Journey is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 8.
It is Bombay in 1971, the year India went to war over what was to become Bangladesh. A hard-working bank clerk, Gustad Noble is a devoted family man who gradually sees his modest life unravelling. His young daughter falls ill; his promising son defies his father’s ambitions for him. He is the one reasonable voice amidst the ongoing dramas of his neighbours. One day, he receives a letter from an old friend, asking him to help in what at first seems like an heroic mission. But he soon finds himself unwittingly drawn into a dangerous network of deception. Compassionate, and rich in details of character and place, this unforgettable novel charts the journey of a moral heart in a turbulent world of change.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.36 × 5.37 × 0.97 in

Published: March 26, 1999

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771060572

ISBN - 13: 9780771060571

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Neither Pretentious nor Formulaic Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey is one of those remarkable confluences of astonishingly beautiful writing, tightly crafted plot, and fully-developed characterization. The work is neither pretentious nor formulaic. And although there is no major crisis that takes place, no earth-shattering destruction of place or person, there is a sustained tension throughout the novel that keeps you reading, that draws you into the life of the main protagonist, Gustad Noble. The novel is set during the rule of Indira Gandhi, and is a damning indictment of both her government and American foreign policy of the time. The journey is both a physical and metaphorical one, of Gustad’s bedside visitation of a friend he thought had betrayed him, and of Gustad’s eventual realization that there are few absolutes in life beyond that of death, that for every face there are a myriad of facets. There are several subtle but poignant metaphors woven throughout this narrative, the most memorable being the character of Tehmul, who is a physically and mentally disabled man with the character of a boy, and it is this pull of the innocent versus the carnal that mirrors much of the political and social turmoil of the novel. Although short-listed for the 1991 Booker Prize, Such a Long Journey was pulled from the University of Mumbai’s English curriculum because of protests from the family of Hindu nationalist, Bal Thackeray – yet one more example in the world of unenlightened people nurturing fear-mongering. I’d urge you to read Such a Long Journey. It is a story that will nestle in your psyche and remain.
Date published: 2011-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding This is the first book that I have read from Rohinton Mistry and I could not put it down finished reading it just an hour ago. The storyline is amazing how one man is so loving and caring about not only his family but others around the building complex. I was moved by this book and certainly it should be read by all book lovers.
Date published: 2011-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful What a great book! A history lesson as well as a great read. A wonderfully intertwined novel about life. A father's hope for his son's future as well as the family's belief in the "old ways". A struggle between indepenence, freedom, and belonging. About friendship and loyalty. About a modern life and belief in rituals and magic. Amazing!
Date published: 2010-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Story I enoyed this book. Once again, it tells of the hard times that the people of India have to live through on a daily basis, just to make ends meet. Rohinton Mistry is a great story writter. I don't think there is a single book I've read of his that I haven't liked. You'll enjoy this one too if you liked all his other books.
Date published: 2008-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from complex novel this is a great book on many levels, kind of shows the complexity in india that is still there to this day. there is a multilevel story of family dynamics, work dynamics, friends, politics, and religion all moving in and out. it's kind of timely now what with all the turmoil in pakistan
Date published: 2008-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Mistry is a great storyteller. I was instantly transported to the world he created and firmly believed the emotions illicited by the characters during a very turbulent time in Indian history. I was happily surprised by the way he depicted the pressures and experiences faced by family and how we are all inextricably linked (regardless of culture) by these same pressures and responsibilities. I will definately read his other books.
Date published: 2007-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such A Long Journey Mistry brings us the journey of Gustad Noble, a father struggling with the disappointments, failings, and inadequacies he finds in others and within himself. The journey of his experience is portrayed through the changes in his environment of political and social turmoil, and through his personal life. Noble must accept his lack of control over his own destiny and over the destination towards which he intended to travel. Mistry's capacity to change and to effect through words is powerful; the feelings of helplessness, of resignation, of disappoitment, and of fear of change and unexpectedness face us all. Mistry brings them back to us, reflected in his words about Gustad Noble and the journey itself.
Date published: 1999-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reading in Toronto The book titled Such a Long Journey was yet another fine example of the absolutely brilliant writing talents of Rohinton Mistry. He is able to absorb the reader completely into the time period and lives of the characters in the novel, whereby you can experience what life was like in the turmoil of India in the 1950's. The book allows you to be a part of a father's life and his dissappointment that his son is not following the career he had hoped for. His whole world is changing and he has no control. All the things he had come to expect from life, his family are changing. He realizes that you cannot control your destiny, and must somehow adapt to the twists and turns that life throws our way. But he also allows us to see that change is sometimes beneficial in that it allows us to see that we can be adaptable and our lives can change for the better. Sometimes it makes us examine what is within ourselves, why we do the things we do and that sometimes what we learn about ourselves is not always pleasant.
Date published: 1999-04-19

– More About This Product –

Such A Long Journey

by Rohinton Mistry

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.36 × 5.37 × 0.97 in

Published: March 26, 1999

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771060572

ISBN - 13: 9780771060571

Read from the Book

The first light of morning barely illumined the sky as Gustad Noble faced eastward to offer his orisons to Ahura Mazda. The hour was approaching six, and up in the compound’s solitary tree the sparrows began to call. Gustad listened to their chirping every morning while reciting his kusti prayers. There was something reassuring about it. Always, the sparrows were first; the cawing of crows came later. From a few flats away, the metallic clatter of pots and pans began nibbling at the edges of stillness. The bhaiya sat on his haunches beside the tall aluminium can and dispensed milk into the vessels of housewives. His little measure with its long, hooked handle dipped into the container and emerged, dipped and emerged, rapidly, with scarcely a drip. After each customer was served, he let the dipper hang in the milk can, adjusted his dhoti, and rubbed his bare knees while waiting to be paid. Flakes of dry dead skin fell from his fingers. The women blenched with disgust, but the tranquil hour and early light preserved the peace. Gustad Noble eased his prayer cap slightly, away from the wide forehead with its numerous lines, until it settled comfortably on his grey-­white hair. The black velvet of the cap contrasted starkly with his cinereous sideburns, but his thick, groomed moustache was just as black and velvety. Tall and broad-­shouldered, Gustad was the envy and admiration of friends and relatives whenever health or sickness was being discussed. For a man swim
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From the Publisher

It is Bombay in 1971, the year India went to war over what was to become Bangladesh. A hard-working bank clerk, Gustad Noble is a devoted family man who gradually sees his modest life unravelling. His young daughter falls ill; his promising son defies his father’s ambitions for him. He is the one reasonable voice amidst the ongoing dramas of his neighbours. One day, he receives a letter from an old friend, asking him to help in what at first seems like an heroic mission. But he soon finds himself unwittingly drawn into a dangerous network of deception. Compassionate, and rich in details of character and place, this unforgettable novel charts the journey of a moral heart in a turbulent world of change.

About the Author

Rohinton Mistry is the author of three novels, all of which have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and a collection of short stories, Tales from Firozsha Baag.
 
His first novel, Such a Long Journey, won the Governor General''s Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, and the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award. It was made into an acclaimed feature film in 1998.
 
A Fine Balance was winner of the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize, the Royal Society of Literature''s Winifred Holtby Award, and Denmark''s ALOA Prize. It was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and the Prix Femina. In 2002, A Fine Balance was selected for Oprah’s Book Club.
 
Family Matters won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize for Fiction and the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award. It was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
 
Born in Bombay, Rohinton Mistry has lived in Canada since 1975. He was awarded the Trudeau Fellows Prize in 2004, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009, he was a finalist for the 2011 Man Booker International Prize, and winner of the 2012 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. In translation, his work has been published in more than thirty languages.

From Our Editors

Gustad Noble is a bank clerk whose life gets swept up in the turmoil of 1971 Bombay. When his son rejects filial piety, his best friend gets him involved with political escapades and he starts questioning his own morality and rationality, he realizes the world - and his world - is changing forever. Such a Long Journey is one of the most acclaimed first novels in the English language. Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Governor General's Award for Fiction and short listed for the prestigious Booker, Rohinton Mistry is one of Canada's most gifted writers.

Editorial Reviews

“Mistry is a writer of considerable achievement.…Patiently and with loving humour, [he] develops a portrait and draws his people with such care and understanding that their trials become our tragedies.”
–Time

“A seamless, gracefully written trek through a rocky period in one man’s life.…A rewarding literary excursion.”
–Maclean’s

“This fine first novel demonstrates the bright-hard reality of India’s middle class.…Mistry is a singular pleasure to read, and his description of India is a lucid, living account.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

“A passionate embracing of life in all its manifestations.”
–Books in Canada

“A rich, humane work, undoubtedly one of the best novels about India in recent years.”
–The Spectator (U.K.)

“The world of Such a Long Journey is vivid, lively, and comic – a rich and richly recreated setting.”
–Winnipeg Free Press

“Fascinating.…Mistry manages to convey a vivid picture of India through sharp affectionate sketches of Indian family life and a gift for erotic satire.”
–New York Times Book Review

“A highly poised and accomplished work.”
–The Observer (U.K.)