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Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

1 rating: 3.0
A book

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2012: Katherine Boo spent three years among the residents of the Annawadi slum, a sprawling, cockeyed settlement of more than 300 tin-roof huts and shacks in the shadow of Mumbai’s International Airport. … see full wiki

Tags: Nonfiction, India, Poverty, Katherine Boo
Author: Katherine Boo
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Random House
Date Published: 2012
1 review about Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death,...

Harrowing Account of a Mumbai Slum

  • Jun 23, 2012
Behind the Beautiful Forevers is narrative of several family's lives in a Mumbai slum. The author takes and ethnographic approach to the research and as weaved as story that is harrowing and starkly realistic.

While overall this was a well written and exemplary effort, I think it is wildly overrated and I suspect the subject matter, not the end result of the work, is what makes it so popular.

Two things that I do applaud the book for, however, and in some ways could have been even more hard hitting on both. First, the rampant corruption of the Indian government from the highest offices to lowest, including the police, has a boot on the neck of India as a country. And the poorest of its citizens suffer the most from it. The level of corruption is horrific and the author details it here. Second, the sorry state of the judicial system and the disregard for the lowest classes is frightening. It's a sad, dysfunctional system.

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
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