Editorial Reviews: Review:
"This is a work of genius. I cannot begin to review it without saying so. It should be read by everyone who loves books, win every prize, make its author a millionaire, and displace once and for all the idea that MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN is a good book about India. Only in fairy tales is such virtue rewarded, and given that Rohinton Mistry wrote SUCH A LONG JOURNEY and saw the 1991 Booker go to Ben Okri, I don't expect justice this time either. But A FINE BALANCE is THE India novel, the novel readers have been waiting for ever since E. M. Forster and J. G. Farrell first attempted to render that vast subcontinent into prose: a novel in which all the suffering and absurdity, terror and beauty, charity and destitution of India are incarnated in two poor tailors, a student and a middle-aged woman."
Amanda Craig, Literary Review, March 1996
"It is a measure of Mistry's skill as a storyteller that the cameo appearances of minor characters are often as gripping as the tales of the central characters: the 'Beggarmaster' who has an odd compassion for his charges, despite his willingness to mutilate them to make them more effective mendicants; the hair-collector who becomes a fortunetelling 'godman'; and the rent collector whose conscience troubles him despite his willingness to carry out the landlord's orders....In A FINE BALANCE, [Mistry] paints an affectionate but unsparing picture of an India where human life and limbs are cheap. Yet Mistry's celebration of courage, generosity, self-sacrifice, and hope in the face of pervasive misery creates a moving testament to his suffering homeland."
Tess Lewis, Washington Post Book World, 04/21/1996