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Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Life, Death, and Hope in A Mumbai Undercity
Boo, Katherine (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers


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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. nbsp; 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 nbsp; 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 nbsp; NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker * People * Entertainment Weekly * The Wall Street Journal *nbsp;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 *nbsp; Slate nbsp;*nbsp;Time Out New York *nbsp;Publishers Weekly nbsp; NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER nbsp; "A book of extraordinary intelligence [and] humanity . . . beyond groundbreaking." --Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review nbsp; "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 nbsp; "[A] landmark book." -- The Wall Street Journal nbsp; "A triumph of a book." --Amartya Sen nbsp; "There are books that change the way you feel and see; this is one of them." --Adrian Nicole LeBlanc nbsp; "[A] stunning piece of narrative nonfiction . . . [Katherine] Boo's prose is electric." --O: The Oprah Magazine nbsp; "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
Authors: Boo, Katherine
Title: Behind the beautiful forevers
life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xxii, 256 p. ; 25 cm
Notes: Subtitle from jacket
Awards & Distinctions: 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
ISBN: 9781400067558
1400067553
9780812979329
081297932X
Branch Call Number: 305.569 B644b 2012
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Report This Jan 28, 2014
  • ncinnb rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was heartbreading to read. The poverty and corruption the author describes seem insurmountable, but the human spirit shines through and the will to live is strong. I love the book's title - so mundane yet so deep!

Report This Oct 28, 2013
  • madison382 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Could not enjoy this book, because the subject matter was so sad, however I am glad I read this book, so that I can be more appreciative of what I have, and of the country I live in.

Report This Aug 29, 2013
  • gracindaisy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book was not an easy read; however, I came away with a vivid glimpse of life in an Indian slum and the insurmountable poverty plaguing each character, so much that it drove some to suicide. Even though it is non-fiction work, at times it read like fiction because of the great contrast to my own life experience. The unpredictability of life in an Indian slum makes one appreciate some of the things we take for granted in the US – the rule of law, healthcare, basic housing, city water and sewage systems.

Report This Jul 13, 2013
  • icujock rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Whoa! A KO. Having lived in Mumbai, I can say that Ms Boo has portrayed the conditions accurately. Grinding poverty, unknown to us in America, makes for some great Dickinsonian story-but the not so hidden message is about human nature and the ability to prevail under subhuman conditions.

Report This Jun 24, 2013
  • AKTimmerman rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I really did not care for this book. I understand the author was trying to help us understand the life of the very poorest in India. It is just that I was already aware of this via other books and news outlets. But, I do appreciate the author's commitment to telling the story.

Report This Jun 17, 2013
  • patienceandfortitude rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a hard book to read, about poverty in the slums of India -- a world completely different than the one I know. The lives of those portrayed are complex in their misery and their hopes. There are no easy answers to solve their desperate poverty and corruption is just part of the system. I'm glad I read this book as it is eye-opening, although very disturbing.

Report This Jun 04, 2013
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

“What was unfolding in Mumbai was unfolding elsewhere, too. In the age of global market capitalism, hopes and grievances were narrowly conceived, which blunted a sense of common predicament. Poor people didn’t unite; they competed ferociously amongst themselves for gains as slender as they were provisional.” Katherine Boo gives an intimate look at life in a Bombay slum.

Loved this book, but was shocked when I read that it was a true story well researched by Ms. Boo. That made it all the more moving and poignant.

Report This Apr 07, 2013
  • d2013 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Engaging. Sad. A story about the poorest of the poor in the slums of India and their daily hardships. It is also a book of dreams/hope where sometimes there is none. Sure makes you appreciate the comforts of home.

Report This Apr 07, 2013
  • mclarjh rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

More fiction than fact in this reporter-written "narrative nonfiction" book.

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