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Read Along

A Suitable Time for A Suitable Boy

I definitely need help to read A Suitable Boy. At 1474 pages, it requires willpower to stay on it till the end. My non-blogger colleague has good things to say about the book, and all I read in blogosphere about the book is that it is a must read.

I conducted a quick poll in 2 January 2011 and asked readers to vote for the next book they wish to feature on the read-along and guess what? A Suitable Boy got the most vote!

A big fan of Vikram Seth, Tony of Tony’s Reading List wrote a superb review of the book and here’s one from Tony that summarise the experience:

For such a long novel, ‘A Suitable Boy’ is very easy to read. The story comes together as a whole so well, its structure so masterly, that the reader is compelled to press on as quickly as possible, desperate to find out what happens next. Like life itself, long sections seem to move on slowly with no real drama, only to be interrupted suddenly by chilling, unforeseen events.

At last, the time has finally come that I will read the book. Together with SamAths. and Ana, I would be in good company. My edition is a 3-volume collection (see the pic above). It would make my read for the book seems a little palatable now that it is a manageable 3 books rather than one single tome! It is psychological, I think, I am more inclined to give up reading if I have to lug a big tomb around for weeks…

The schedule is broken down in three parts, a duration of one month for each book:

Book 1 : 1.1 to 7.46 (July to August)
Book 2 : 8.1 to 13.38 (August to September)
Book 3 : 14.1 to 19.16 (September to October)

This is going to be a very relaxing read-along, at 450 to 500 pages a month, you will have plenty of time to read the book. We aim to post at the end of each book but for those who are interested you can post as many reviews as you want, just link back to any of our blogs.

Won’t you come along with me on the bandwagon to read this gargantuan book?! ;)

Promotion posts from my fellow bloggers (and big thanks for Sam for designing such an elegant button):

Aths@reading on a rainy day The Sunday Salon on Re-Reading (and read along)

Sam@Tiny Library : Group read Suitable Boy

About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


32 thoughts on “A Suitable Time for A Suitable Boy

  1. Yay! So excited about the readalong! The first paragraph of the book felt readable, so hopefully the rest of the book is too. 🙂

    Posted by Athira | July 16, 2012, 2:44 am
    • Aths,
      I read the first 15 pages on the train and I thought it’s interesting. A lot of characters introduced, I get confused easily, but fingers crossed it will get better!


      Posted by JoV | July 16, 2012, 7:50 am
  2. This book has been languishing on my TBR shelf for over 15 years simply because of it’s size. I have read and loved other Vikram Seth books so your post has given me the inspiration to dive into this one. My copy is one complete book so if nothing else, I should have improved arm muscles by the end of the readalong!

    Posted by Alison P | July 16, 2012, 6:31 am
    • Alison P,
      I am so happy that you are joining us! 15 years, wow that’s a long time. I sure hope you have improved arm muscles by the end of it, lets take the baseline measurement now! A very warm welcome to you Alison.

      Posted by JoV | July 16, 2012, 7:52 am
  3. I have always been a little intimidated by A Suitable Boy, I would love to read along with you guys! Can I join?

    Posted by Amritorupa Kanjilal | July 16, 2012, 8:39 am
  4. I read this in three volumes too, much easier on the arms and the mind, enjoy!

    Posted by Claire 'Word by Word' | July 16, 2012, 11:19 am
  5. I’m tempted….I really want to read it and I own a copy….will see if I can squeeze it in. Wish I had it in 3 volumes though – my copy is going to hurt my wrists.

    Posted by farmlanebooks | July 16, 2012, 1:19 pm
    • Jackie,
      It will be great if you could join us.. Plenty of time to finish and we will encourage each other to hang on to the book until the very end…!

      I know how it feels, I am holding the first book and wondering if it gets any confusing with all the characters coming from multiple family trees… fingers crossed it will get better.

      Posted by JoV | July 16, 2012, 8:56 pm
  6. I gave this one 200 pages when I read it last year and then put it down. It just didn’t wow me or hold my interest. I hope you like it better.

    Posted by Ti | July 16, 2012, 6:02 pm
    • Ti,
      Sorry to hear that Jill and yourself didn’t finish this book. I admit it is a bit hard going now at the beginning for me, but I will persevere. I hope it will get better.

      Posted by JoV | July 16, 2012, 8:57 pm
  7. So excited to start! 🙂
    And I’m a bit jealous of your three volume edition, mine is so heavy/bulky I could use it as a murder weapon! 😛

    Posted by Sam (Tiny Library) | July 16, 2012, 7:47 pm
    • Sam,
      Instead of murder weapon, or as I always say, use it as a foot stool. This use was inspired when I look at the copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand on my shelf which I have yet to read. 😀

      Posted by JoV | July 16, 2012, 9:00 pm
  8. Good luck – it’s an excellent book, and I wish I had time at the moment to reread it. I’m sure you’ll love it 🙂

    Posted by Tony | July 17, 2012, 9:13 am
  9. sure you’ll love it I read it years ago when it first came out ,I loved the way it brought India alive to me and the different clases there ,all the best stu ,like Tony I ve not time to reread it

    Posted by winstonsdad | July 17, 2012, 12:08 pm
  10. Wow. Like I told Sam, I don’t remember anything about the book at all! Which I am not sure is such a good thing or a bad thing – but while reading it, I did enjoy it. Interesting to see how you fare. Would it take a month or so to finish?

    Posted by Soulmuser | July 17, 2012, 3:50 pm
    • Soul,
      Not with my current snail pace. We allocate 3 months to finish the book. Plenty of time. Casual schedule. No pressure! lol
      It’s amazing that you finish it. 🙂

      Posted by JoV | July 17, 2012, 8:00 pm
  11. Almost 1500 page x___X What a daunting prospect! Although sharing the gargantuan read with read-along friends and spreading it over several months does help somewhat, I expect 😉 I’d love to join in, but I’ll restrain myself for now. I’ve got 1Q84 and Catch-22 lined up for July and August, for my book club, and a few other must-reads as well. I wish you the best of luck reading A Suitable Boy and I will be looking forward to your updates and thoughts on it!

    Posted by Chinoiseries | July 19, 2012, 6:54 pm
    • Chinoiseries,
      Thanks. I enjoy 1Q84 but abandon Catch-22. I really would like to hear what you think of Catch-22. is your book club idea to read book titles with numbers? lol 🙂

      Posted by JoV | July 19, 2012, 9:17 pm
      • xD That’s entirely coincidental. We voted on certain books that we wanted to read this summer. So far we’ve completed the relatively short novels: And There Were None by Agatha Christie and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? And now we have to get through these o__O

        Posted by Chinoiseries | July 19, 2012, 9:24 pm
        • Chinoiseries,
          hmmm… one of the reasons I don’t join book club, weird titles and compulsory read! I look forward to hear what you think about 1Q84. It was an easy read.

          Posted by JoV | July 19, 2012, 9:27 pm
  12. I hope you enjoy it. I read it the year it came out and finished it in ten days. I absolutely love it.

    Posted by neer | July 23, 2012, 1:26 pm
  13. I read this one more than 10 years back and this book has stayed with me since, I still remember the characters and their colors. Undoubtedly one of the finest Indian reads

    Posted by Pesto Sauce | August 23, 2012, 12:23 pm
    • Pesto Sauce,
      I agree Pesto sauce, it is one of the “promising” finest Indian reads as I just finished 450 pages of it but I trust it will get better! Thanks for the first comment.

      Posted by JoV | August 23, 2012, 7:52 pm
  14. Started reading the book last weekend and I’m at about 300 pages already..I can identify myself in the cultural milieu set our by Seth in the book thanks to having grown up in the relatively (still) conservative southern part of India lol 🙂 Seth has a languid style of writing which makes it an easy read..I finished War and Peace a while back and it needed a lot of will power on my end to keep up with it until the end..though this book is long, it’s not hard on the reader!

    Posted by Vishnu | October 10, 2012, 3:02 pm


  1. Pingback: Read-Along: A Suitable Boy « What I have been reading… - July 16, 2012

  2. Pingback: It’s a wrap : July 2012 « JoV's Book Pyramid - August 7, 2012

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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