Comparing covers: A suitable boy

Today I’m having a look at a book I liked very much when I first read it. However, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth is a bit, um, lengthy (about 1400 pages) and I don’t think I will re-read it any time soon. Here is the description from Goodreads:

Vikram Seth’s novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find — through love or through exacting maternal appraisal — a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.


partie1 partie2 partie3

partie4 partie5

Again I can’t say I am too fussed on the German covers. I have the second one and I think we also have the English issue with the second cover as well, but I very much prefer the first English one. This is what, to me, a book about India must look like (possibly quite prejudiced, but there you have it).

The German title “Eine gute Partie” would probably be “An eligible bachelor” or something along that line, so for me it is close enough, even though the German seems to focus more on the money than the English does. Or does a suitable boy always come loaded? I am not sure.

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  2. I don't like any of these covers. Wouldn't read the book on the basis of those covers! I don't think I read it, or it's been a very, very long time. In the Netherlands we had a better cover, I think. One that I actually would like to read the book of.
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    • Oh, you didn't like any of them? I wonder what the Dutch cover looked like. Do you remember the title of it in Dutch?


  3. I like the cover with the feet best. It sounds like an interesting book. I haven't heard of it before. I will have to look it up and put it on my TBR! Could the title also be translated as, "A Good Match", or "A Good Catch"? Just wondering. I'm no German expert of course! 😛


    • Great minds think alike, at least sometimes, :). The one with the feet is my favourite as well. This should be a book for you, a REAL chunkster. No using it for the crazy book swap, lol.

      Yes, A good Catch would be a good translation as well. Getting better, you are. I just realized I again forgot the German lesson. Maybe I should make t a regular separate feature – German for the bookish tourist or something, mainly aimed at going to the bookstore….I kinda like that idea.


      • I had to look up "Partie", but from my two years of German class, that's the way I would have read the first two words (A Good _____). I wonder if things get lost in translation a lot. I know when my mom and her sisters got together and were talking little bits of Japanese, I asked them to translate for me and they just laughed and said it would get lost in translation. :-/

        Haha…I'm going to send Shogun as my Crazy Book Swap….no, I won't, but it's a fantastic book nonetheless! I have a few in mind that are under 400 pages.

        I do like the idea of a bookish tourist German lesson! I think it would be cool for all the non-native English speaking blogs to do stuff like that. I like to learn little bits of everything!

        Oh, and great minds do think alike! 🙂


        • I'll think something up, actually the more I think about it the more I like the idea. Just I'm afraid you will be the only reader, lol. But it would be fun doing it, so I'll do it. It's going to be our private classroom, lol.


  4. I like that cover as well Judith! I still think my favorite is the cover with the feet though, but I like the one you posted second best. 🙂


  5. I agree Rikki – the cover with the feet is the best and as you said probably stereotypical of us – but with the carpet and mandala style font and design on the front it just seem the best cover to me…

    I am sure I would read it – I read enough non-fiction about the arrange marriage and all it's pittfalls to want to read it in fiction…

    Thanks for the introduction to a new book…


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  6. Oh, yes, I know that cover. I didn't include it because it is the second part of the book, so I would have had two more covers to add. I don't know why they split the book up in that edition, probably because of the volume. Those would be my second most fav covers as well.


  7. E.H. I highly recommend it. It is much more than just the story of an arranged marriage, it covers a lot of the Indian society at the time. Sometimes a bit boring (to me anyway, I'm not much into politics), but very interesting. I liked it very much.


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