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Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Life, Death, and Hope in A Mumbai Undercity

Boo, Katherine

(Downloadable Audiobook - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Print
Random House, Inc.
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.
 
In this brilliantly written, 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 “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl”—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”
 
But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.
 
With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.


From the Hardcover edition.

Baker & Taylor
Profiles everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother, and a young scrap metal thief, illuminating how their efforts to build better lives are challenged by religious, caste, and economic tensions.

Random House Digital
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.  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  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  NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • People • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • 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 • Slate • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  "A book of extraordinary intelligence [and] humanity . . . beyond groundbreaking."--Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review  "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  "[A] landmark book."--The Wall Street Journal  "A triumph of a book."--Amartya Sen  "There are books that change the way you feel and see; this is one of them."--Adrian Nicole LeBlanc  "[A] stunning piece of narrative nonfiction . . . [Katherine] Boo's prose is electric."--O: The Oprah Magazine  "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."

Findaway World Llc
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. In this brilliantly written, 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 a fortune beyond counting in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi's most-everything girl—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call the full enjoy. But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2012
ISBN: 9780307934086
030793408X
Branch Call Number: eNYPL Audio
Characteristics: 1 sound file (8 hr., 15 min., 59 sec.) : digital.
Additional Contributors: Malhotra, Sunil
OverDrive, Inc

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Apr 09, 2014
  • brookchambers rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A beautifully written book that vividly depicts life in a Mumbai slum. I would definitely recommend the audiobook- the narrator is excellent and the author speaks at the end about her incredible experience in researching for the book.

Dec 03, 2013
  • 22950004980520 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I listened to the audiobook and the reader is very, very good. This is beautifully written. However, it was so sad at times that I had to take several breaks during the narration.

This is a sobering read about poverty and humanity in Annawadi, a slum in Mumbai. This book is part of the required reading in many Johnson County Community College Composition classes. Sunil Malhotra does an excellent job narrating this audiobook.

Mar 18, 2013
  • mogie rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A very good book. I think it would have been better to read than listen to as an audiobook

Jun 01, 2012
  • christyspencer rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A painful but accurate portrayal of slum-life. This book is an excellent window into the culture, reality and needs of the people. She makes no attempt to provide solutions, sway the audience or romanticize anything. Her epilogue is insightful and I appreciate her integrity in careful and unbiased research.

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Jun 01, 2012
  • christyspencer rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

christyspencer thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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