Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Such a Long Journey” is a story based in Mumbai around the time of war.
The main character is Gustad Noble, a temperamental family man with his wife Dilnavaz and three children. He is from the middle class and just about manages a decent living with his job. He has differences with his son Sohrab – he is totally disappointed he does not want to join the IIT despite getting through. Added to his problems are the poor health of his daughter Roshan, also causing Gustad’s wife to seek some psychic help in secrecy.
This is a colony of various colourful people who quarrel at times and yet lead a satisfying life. There is this interesting mentally challenged character Tehmul, Gustad has a soft corner for. Gustad has a close friend in Dinshawji at work, who has a wild temperament. There are stray political remarks made by the characters in the book (explaining the controversy surrounding the book).
A serious complication arises in the life of Gustad Noble when he receives a letter from Major Billimoria who earlier resided in the same colony and suddenly disappeared. What follows is a tale of political conspiracy with large sums of money involved.
The rich sketch of the book’s characters form the story line, and there is not much of a plot otherwise. For it’s colourful and many times eccentric characters, this book is well worth a read. I do wish Mistry had toned down the elaborate descriptions of the eating habits of the family.
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