Germany ranks only 22nd in the category ‘life satisfaction’ . It’s been a distressful morning. The crisis of the book, where Fatima immolates herself to implicate her neighbour Zehrunisa's son Abdul, an absurd act of vengeance that goes badly wrong, is recounted at the beginning. Book review: ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers,’ by Katherine Boo. Culture Books Reviews. Well, here’s a nice irony, to be reading this in the week that the results of a UNICEF survey reveal that one in seven German children and young people are unhappy, dissatisfied with their life or situation. The breaking of the old floor by Abdul and his brother frays Fatima's nerves: '"You're all hammering too loud! It's all right for Spark's schoolgirl Sandy, a native of Edinburgh, to feel estranged when she's in a little-visited part of the city; but Boo, an American, must give the impression of complete familiarity in a Mumbai slum. I even called the company. As Katherine Boo states in her Author's Note, This book leaves you feeling devastated. Reviewed Nov. 18, 2014. National Theatre. by Katherine Boo (Random House, 2012) Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity at Amazon.com. For Katherine Boo, working on this intimate account of life in Annawadi was slow, uncertain and painful in a variety of ways. There's a lot to say about this book and a lot to think about. Can anyone compare it with The City of Joy? Based on the best-selling book by Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a dynamic, vibrant depiction of the dark side of India's rapid economic success. Behind the Beautiful Forevers Review 2014 Forbidden Broadway used to have a great line about Les Miserables and its merchandising opportunities: ""Rich folks pay fifty bucks a shirt / that has a starving pauper on it. I had read that this book was well-written and would probably win some awards, which is why I picked it up. The second time, having completed the book, you can better judge the author's conclusions. of examples of governments that dissolve under the weight of their own corruption - severe inequality being a big part of that. A former professor of mine once related to me a story of the time he escorted Brazilian educator and activist Paulo Freire, author of, Stare. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Behind the Beautiful Forevers paints a vivid picture of the corrupted slums of Annawadi. Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool/AP, a large slum close to Sahar International Airport in Mumbai, Muriel Spark's account of Miss Brodie's excursion with the "Brodie set" into the old town in Edinburgh. Behind The Beautiful Forevers: An Introduction Katherine Boo’s first book, Behind The Beautiful Forevers, details the lives of the citizens of Annawadi, a small slum in Mumbai, India. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India, the birthplace of her husband, Sunil Khilnani. Nikhil Kumar. After the crisis, the lives of her subjects begin to unravel and the writing becomes more essayistic. February 7th 2012 Her Favorite Books About Inequality: The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist reports on poverty in Behind the Beautiful Forevers and offers her top... 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. Order Essay. I found myself brokenhearted by the recurrent police and governmental corruption they must wade through in order to just exist. Wow! When resources are scarce to non-existent, humans generally resort to whatever means necessary to ensure their survival. I first listened to an abridged version of this book and was intrigued. I was excited about reading this book after reading the reviews; however, it did not live up to the kudos. What is also striking is seeing how the people Boo writes about have hope in circumstances, that from the outside, seem so wholly hopeless, so impossible to overcome. I am absolutely amazed at the way she was able to get into the hearts and minds of those she studied. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. What a wretched day it is!! We’d love your help. Among the works on this subject is the book entitled Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, which focuses on the life of the residents of Mumbai, namely the poorest of them, who are forced to live in the slums. I've not read a ton of narrative nonfiction, but Katherine Boo's account of the Annawadi slum in Mumbai and the people who inhabit it makes for a thrilling and moving audiobook. I KEPT ON ASKING HOW THIS COULD NOT BE FICTION. What does she suggest be done to improve the situation? However, I reckon shifting the spa-medic detoxification an hour later could comfortably ease the tea-garden brunch. This book is quite an achievement. You simply cannot walk away untouched. Yes, we have gross inequalities in our own society, but I doubt anything can touch what you will read in these pages. Friends recommended that I listen to that first, which I did, but I listened to it again after completing the book. For a long time and four months Boo chronicled the ordinary battles of a few people unlawfully squatting inside the cramped quarters possessed by the Mumbai Airport Authority. Though this book is set in a Mumbai slum, it could be about nearly any place in the Third World. It’s a great adaptation of a true story, pulsing with theatricality and human spirit. Yes, I am glad I listened to it. This book leaves you feeling devastated. Fiction. The author is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered social inequalities in the past. The author herself narrates the afterword which explains the author's methodology. I saw specials on TV, which showed beautiful new apartment complexes. Stare straight. The shrill women voices are really spot on! Friends recommended that I listen to that first, which I did, but I listened to it again after completing the book. According to Lonely Planet, there was a company that did it right, a "sensitive" tour. Rambling: A scene from Behind the Beautiful Forevers . Apparently, it isn't enough that most are ill from their habitats and scorned by society. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. For three years and four months goo chronicled the everyday struggles of indiuiduals illegally squatting within the cramped quarters owned by the Mumbai Airport Authority. Flannery O' Connor's constricted universes, full of grotesques and buoyant improvisers, come to mind; Boo has the same concentrated vision, but more empathy. According to Lonely Planet, there was a company that did it right, a "sensitive" tour. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a magnificent achievement, one that could not happen in the Commercial Theatre sector. The writing, here, comes sharply alive; the madness of these scenes (a drunk man with TB helping Abdul with the work, falling from the weight of a stone he has to lift) shows Boo at her most economical – horror and comedy become inextricable. My question is actually one the author herself asked in the Author's Note; on page 248, she queries "After all, there are more poor people than rich people in the world's Mumbais. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. She gradually renounces the novelistic mode partly because she realises that, unlike the novelist, she can't possess her characters, not least because many of them – in particular, a constellation of children – end up dead; as a narrator, she must share with the residents of Annawadi the loss of control, of mastery, this entails. To get the latest news, reviews, interviews, new show alerts and ticket offers, sign up to our weekly newsletter In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of … Saturday 02 June 2012 17:13. It's certainly refreshing to see so … Behind the Beautiful Forever’s Review. I listened to the audiobook narrated perfectly by Sunil Malhorta. Oh! That’s the first thing I did after finishing reading it, and for quite a long time. I was raised in great poverty, and have a first-hand understanding of its effects. Stare straight. Extreme poverty usually strips "civilized" behavior from individuals and groups. In America and Europe, it was said, people know what is going to happen when they turn on the water tap or flick the light switch. Since she doesn't know any Indian languages, she had translators throughout, one of whom must have helped her understand the sort of rejoinder that Asha made to Robert, ex-slumlord and one of her tormentors. I was greatly moved, and mostly uplifted, by this narrative account of the daily life and careers of real individuals and families in a slum near Mumbai’s airport called Annawadi. The Emilia Romagna Region and Its 3 Famous P's - Prosciutto, Parmigiano and Pavarotti! I started this book yesterday -- finished it this morning. I live in Brazil, a country of great social inequality, but even so the misery and cruelty shown in Behind the Beautiful Forevers is impressive. Refresh and try again. That’s the first thing I did after finishing reading it, and for quite a long time. Yet , I read about the growing middle and professional classes. For most of us, an image or a vignette would be enough to. In … While the book deconstructs this romance, Boo is concerned not only with the crisis and its aftermath, but with the period before Annawadi will be destroyed by the airport authorities. "Every country has its myths," she says, "and one that successful Indians liked to indulge was a romance of instability and adaptation – the idea that India's rapid rise derived in part from the chaotic unpredictability of daily life." An Introduction Katherine Boo’s first book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”, points of interest the lives of the nationals of Annawadi, a little slum in Mumbai, India. After this, Boo goes back in time, describing life in Annawadi until, one third of our way into the book, we witness the events that led to Fatima's act of self-destruction. His tardiness has got me a bit worried on missing my blow-dry appointment. 'We try so many things', as one Annawadi girl put it, 'but the world doesn't move in our favor.' I was raised in great poverty, and have a first-hand understanding of its effects. For all those vicious thrashings and numerous marital abuses she stomached for a decade, she truly deserved the so-called posthumous alimony; although a pitiful sum. Sadly, the rich vs poor scenario has existed for thousands of years and can be found everywhere in the world. The crisp writing aims to punch you in the guts as the unrelenting sequence of misery and death unfolds page after page. For most of us, an image or a vignette would be enough to make us feel a bit of pity and turn away. Selfishness (for oneself or one's family) is often the only thing standing between survival and death. Somehow, seeing pictures of it doesn't lessen the shock of seeing it in real life, the row on row of monochromatic dun-coloured ragged shacks ringing Mumbai's glitziest highrise hotels. (I bought this book the first week it was released --hoping and waiting for my book club to 'choose' it). As others have said, it reads like a novel, the characterizations are so finely-drawn. Favorite quote from the author: Mumbai is one of the world’s biggest and most complicated cities. I knew that Mumbai was impoverished, in the past. In a Flaubertian irony, Manju studies Congreve's The Way of the World, a sleazy tale about "first-class people", without fully comprehending the text. When resources are scarce to non-existent, humans generally resort to whatever means necessary to ensure their survival. Reading this part twice is what I advise. Behind the Beautiful Forevers review – a triumph for David Hare and Meera Syal. In the prologue we meet Abdul Hussain, a teenager who scratches a living for his family by sorting scrap scavenged by his neighbours and selling it for recycling. She learned to report at the alternative weekly, Washington City Paper, after which she worked as a writer and co-editor of The Washington Monthly magazine. A much hyped book - I had heard and read a lot about it including high praise from some usually trusty sources. Sadly, the rich vs poor scenario has existed for thousands of years and can be found everywhere in th. It is precisely what the National Theatre is for. I'd seen the slums from the air, as we d. It's too easy to criticize this book. I hated Slumdog Millionaire and I didn't like this book. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is the story of life in Annawadi, a slum situated close to Mumbai Airport. The author describes a wide array of hardships these people have to deal … 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. It's too easy to criticize this book. Behind The Beautiful Forevers tickets are not currently available. Behind the Beautiful Forever’s. Her own absence from the encounters with her biographees, the complete and unflagging access to their thoughts and speech, the decision to adopt the novelistic approach – perhaps these, and not the depressing nature of writing about a microcosm of abject poverty within a booming India, are the greatest risks Boo takes. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. A much hyped book - I had heard and read a lot about it including high praise from some usually trusty sources. I was suspicious, at first, of this familiarity, her meticulous scene-setting, her blurring the line between interviewees and "characters" in a story. The shadow of a mighty passenger jet flies low over the Olivier stalls, the nearness of its deafening roar making the scalp tighten. It has also been adapted into a play by David Hare in 2014, shown on National Theatre Live in 2015. Words are exchanged, then insults, in public; this relatively minor occurrence of fractiousness leads to life-changing decisions. But I had to ask myself who had what to gain by it. It is here that I wanted a bit more from the book. 1-Sentence-Summary:Behind The Beautiful Foreverswill make you more grateful for what you have, look for ways to tear down corruption in the world, and help the poor by sharing the experiences of people living in the Annawadi slum in India. Very good question. But I wanted a more detailed look into a world I knew existed from films and other books so although the audio version wasn't a 5 star, my interest was kindled. This is one compelling read, and the truly stunning thing about it is that it is all true. This work, winner of the 2012’s National Book Award and written by Pulitzer winner Katherine Boo, is the result of three years she spent in Annawadi, a slum in Mumbai, India. I am an Indian National and a lot of this is already heard of, and still the insight is profoundly beautiful along with a courageous display of hopes. The reason why I say so is the way author has put across the irony of our existences is quite shatterring! It won the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize among many others. 10,915 reviews. Behind a wall emblazoned with an ad for tiles that will be “beautiful forever”, about 3,000 people live in 335 huts out of site from users of the modern airport and its luxury hotels. --Yet--I waited long enough! An Indian man I met had also recommended it. The book often reads like a novel, although it may not be the kind of novel you'd want to read. And I couldn't go through with it because it was a question I couldn't answer. I was reminded that, though Boo was a foreigner in Annawadi, she is no foreigner to the poor, and has written much about the American poor as a journalist; the echoes of O'Connor confirm what Boo points out later, that there are revealing overlaps between the world's deprived areas. So instead of me telling you what the book is about (there's a synopsis) or acting like an expert on poverty (which I am n, I've not read a ton of narrative nonfiction, but Katherine Boo's account of the Annawadi slum in Mumbai and the people who inhabit it makes for a thrilling and moving audiobook. This is her first book, in which she chronicles several years (from late 2007 to early 2011) in the lives of select families living in a slum near the Mumbai International Airport. He … I wish I had a happy answer. The latter, a cripple, is also known as One Leg, and is famous in the slum for a sexual appetite her ageing husband can't satisfy. Boo took home the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2012 for this novel about the injustice and cyclical nature of poverty in India, so I imagine it is rather well read by my fellow Goodreadians. I was greatly moved, and mostly uplifted, by this narrative account of the daily life and careers of real individuals and families in a slum near Mumbai’s airport called Annawadi. The corruption Boo details, corruption so deeply embedded at all levels of Indian society, is almost unbearable to read about but this information is shared without judgment and revealed, particularly for the residents of the Mumbai slum where Boo was embedded, as the only potential way out, however dim that potential might be. It's a fascinating look at how the underclass tries to survive and get ahead in a 21st-century economy. The book describes a present-day slum of Mumbai, India, named … To see what your friends thought of this book, This book is not easy to read, let me be clear. Opened Nov. 18, 2014. This is how Asha, an ambitious woman who has set her sights on being slumlord in Annawadi, a large slum close to Sahar International Airport in Mumbai, replies to men who'd take advantage of her for her "large breasts and her small, drunken husband". The first time allows you to listen to the details of the individuals and j. Over the years, her reporting from disadvantaged communities has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. What disturbed Me most about this book is that it didn't disturb Me more. The family of six has to do with a makeshift shanty to prevent them from drowning in the dense showers of late night rains. Her first book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity" was published in 2012. 2 stars for the abridged version. None of the strategies employed for betterment by these people – the use of your natural gifts in your given environment (Abdul); insinuating yourself into a incorrigibly corrupt status quo of policemen and politicians (Asha); education (Manju) – really work. Katherine (Kate) J. Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. Reviews. Zehrunisa is impatient to put the money her family saved to use: a new window in the hut to "let out the cooking smoke", new tiles on the floor. Futile visits to the local political corporator and pleading to a rigid money-lender for a loan is what his weekly schedule looks like. The author herself narrates the afterword which explains the author's methodology. Wow! by Random House, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. An Indian man I met had also recommended it. As an ethnology of Indian slum life, Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a masterpiece that ranks with Sonia Faleiro’s study of Mumbai’s red-light district, Beautiful Thing. Behind The Beautiful Forevers is a commendable attempt to dramatize a topical non-fiction story on a grand, Dickensian scale. February 10, 2012. The author is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered social inequalities in the past. Troublesome as it is for a detour to the supermarket for packaged milk, my domestic help decided to call it a day as it is the last day to confirm her receipt for a governmental pension of her deceased alcoholic husband. The story focuses, principally, on three families. Dear Lord! The milkman won’t be delivering the daily liter of milk; his house was razed by the local municipality. I know it's a Pulitzer Prize winner, and I really tried. So let me first say that Katherine Boo is an excellent writer and a dedicated observer. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published "(p.219) I have a feeling I will be thinking about this book for a long time to come. Among the poor, there was no doubt that instability fostered ingenuity, but over time the lack of a link between effort and result could become debilitating. The reportage is thorough and passionate and careful and what it does best is reveal both the simplicity and complexity of absolute poverty. Poverty without hope destroys humanity. Bethany Schumacher, 128 TCCS. I get it - life in a Mumbai sluim is brutish but the writing style tries too hard to shock and quickly left me jaded. Katherine Boo’s first book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”, points of interest the lives of the nationals of Annawadi, a little slum in Mumbai, India. A review of the 2012 book Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo in which she talks about life and dreams in a Mumbai Slum. Mystery/Thriller. • Amit Chaudhuri's Calcutta: Two Years in the City will be published next year. Welcome back. I wish I had a happy answer. I get it - life in a Mumbai sluim is brutish but the writing style tries too hard to shock and quickly left. So much of the book echoed with what I know about the slums of Port au Prince, for example. Just from $10/Page. Behind the Beautiful Forevers (with Katherine Boo and Meera Syal) Hare has adapted decisively, skilfully cutting a swath of narrative from a myriad competing tales. You simply cannot walk away untouched. Only her intelligence – a novelist's intelligence, with a shrewd eye for vanity, and an understanding that everything is informed by compromise – keeps her tale from losing its grounding in reality. Start by marking “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” as Want to Read: Error rating book. This is an amazing story about families who live and work in a Mumbai slum. Personally, I suspect ALL unequal society eventually impload - they are just replaced with another slightly less unequal society until that replacement imploads...and so on. Though this book is set in a Mumbai slum, it could be about nearly any place in the Third World. ... Why don't more of our unequal societies implode? by Katherine Boo ... Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2011. London Theater Review: ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ National Theatre, London; 1,160 seats; £35, $110 top. Good Minds Suggest—Katherine Boo's Favorite Books About Inequality. Extreme poverty usually strips "civilized" behavior from individuals and groups. The slum they don't want anyone to see. I had three days to spend in Mumbai this February, and, reading my Lonely Planet guidebook, I considered undertaking a "slum tour." For middle-class people like me who grew up in Bombay, forays into slums were infrequent. The shrill women voices are really spot on! But I had to ask myself who had what to gain by it. For this, her first book, Boo, a Pulitzer prize-winning staff writer on the New Yorker, spent much of her life between November 2007 and March 2011 in Annawadi, documenting events with "written notes, video recordings, audiotapes and photographs". The family of six has to do with a makeshift shanty to prevent them from drowning in the dense showers of late night rains. Behind a wall emblazoned with an ad for tiles that will be “beautiful forever”, about 3,000 people live in 335 huts out of site from users of the modern airport and its luxury hotels. Another voyeuristic tour of Slumbai, another rap … This American view of a Mumbai slum is impressive, Slum life … 'Boo's intelligence keeps her tale from losing its grounding in reality.' All those poor little rich kids. “Much of what was said did not matter, and that much of what mattered could not be said.”, “What you don't want is always going to be with you, http://www.behindthebeautifulforevers.com/, Pulitzer Prize Nominee for General Nonfiction (2013), National Book Award for Nonfiction (2012), PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction (2013), Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism (2013), Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest (2012), Dayton Literary Peace Prize Nominee for Nonfiction (2013), National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for General Nonfiction (2012), NAIBA Book of the Year for Nonfiction (2012), Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction Nominee (2012), Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Nonfiction (2013), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction (2012). That's partly because Boo writes so damn well. ", See all 11 questions about Behind the Beautiful Forevers…, New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 (fiction and nonfiction), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation. BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS LIFE, DEATH, AND HOPE IN A MUMBAI UNDERCITY. [Behind the Beautiful Forevers] plays out like a swift, richly plotted novel. I was left hanging and this was extremely unsatisfying. I read through practically in one gulp, hardly coming up for air. Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo Katherine Boo should be an honorary Peace Corps Volunteer. Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011. The rising global economy of India will eventually float all boats, why! To the supermarket for packaged milk, my chauffeur seems to have escaped any! - severe inequality being a big part of that suggest be done to improve the situation in... 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