Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Boo, Katherine

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
The dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities. In this fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees fortune in the recyclable garbage of richer people. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a rural childhood, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to good times. But then, as the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed.--From publisher description.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400067558
Branch Call Number: 305.569 B
Characteristics: xxii, 256 p. ; 25 cm.


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Jan 02, 2015
  • brangwinn rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The first time I tried reading the book, I had to put it down. Reading about people living in a Mumbai slum was just too depressing. Then I visited India, and the story became much more personal. I'd seen examples and hear so much about graft. I'd see that some people were better off in the slums than they had been previously. I understood the difference between legal and illegal slums. The story became much more personal. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has spent some time in India.

Jul 10, 2014

This amazing book explores the lives of the poor underclass in a rapidly modernizing India. Living in the shadows of the beautiful Mumbai airport the Annawadi slum residents make their way as well as they can, living, loving and trying to make a living as best they can.

Jun 14, 2014
  • IPL_Mandy rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book tells the story of multiple people living in a Mumbai slum and how their lives are intertwined. It switches between their different voices, giving varied perspectives on the same situations while still advancing the story. As with most books about India, it is a sad story, but one well worth reading. This is the kind of book that grows compassion.

Serving suggestion: chapatis with dal

Jun 12, 2014

I read the book and how unfortunate for the slum dwellers to live that way. Oprah did a show of the Mumbai slums and it hardly even comes close to what is the real reality behind what its really like. Katherine Boo takes you on a deep journey into true character and the real core characteristics the mind sets of real people and real lives. This is a must read, a definate page turner.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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