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Gora Paperback – July 5, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rabindranath Tagore (1861 1941), is to the Indian subcontinent what Shakespeare is to the English-speaking world. A poet, playwright, painter, and educator, Tagore was also a mystic of great complexity and depth. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 630 pages
  • Publisher: Tara Press; 1st edition (July 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8183860788
  • ISBN-13: 978-8183860789
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,282,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Gora is inteligent, energetic and a strong believer. He believes in believing and acting for those beliefs. He is strong he is aggressive. He thinks that the strong belief can bring in all the good. Strong belief in God, Culture, country, ... will automatically make them self confident and will lead to progress. Which will eliminate the problems for the society. He subscribes to the beliefs, that he thinks are birth right to him. He is strong Hindu, He is strong Indian, Strong __, ... At the end he comes to know that his all the beliefs are baseless. He is devastated! The meaning of his existence was closely bound to his beliefs, but there is nothing to believe. What can he survive on? He gains new insights and so do we.
All the women characters are simply great!! Which is very characteristic of Tagore and Sharad Chandra.
This book changed me!
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To truly appreciate this book one needs to have some fair idea of the social, religious and political situation of India during the late nineteenth-early twentieth century. This book revolutionised the thinking and beliefs of the then contemporary modern thinkers and intellectuals, laying the foundation of the idea of a secular Indian society. The underlying theme is the essence of being a human, and very few in the history of mankind could find words that brings this out so beautifully (more so in the original Bengali, much of it is lost in the English translation). The reader undergoes the journey of self discovery along with the main protagonist, Gora. The beauty of Tagore's writing is that the unpredicatability and the vulnerability of the characters make them so natural and real, bringing out the inherent self-contradictions of human beings until they discover their true self and then all the cunfusions and the contradictions in one's own faith vanish. One finds one's place in this cosmos, realises the implication of being a human, experiences the beauty of life. And this makes the appeal of the book timeless.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In a seminal work on the backdrop of the Bengal Renaissance, Tagore takes a couple of intelligent & slightly dreamy young men, two erudite & purposeful young women & plunges them neck deep in social disruption. This isn't much of a love story. This is a story of individuals on crusades of their own making, battling traditions & reform at the same time, fighting reason & romance in simultaneous duels, & coming up short time & again.

At the heart of it though is the old battle of individuals against the collective, or many collectives. The Hindu society & Brahmo society - the latter, more rational, spiritual, even westernized - constantly battle for the hearts & minds of our protagonists. A hundred & fifty years earlier, Tagore was prescient enough to show that religions - whether palpitating with dogma or resplendent in their philosophical construct - are simply a us versus them after all. They define themselves by how they differ from other religions & they hold you down as a collective with scant regard to your individuality. Add to this, the complexity of nationalism at battle with cronyism, visions & beliefs constantly at odd with experience, & you get a tapestry of undercurrents that swept through the late 19th century Calcutta.

Brilliant, complex & compelling.
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Don't buy this kindle edition. The book is a classic in Indian literature, but this edition has the worst translation. The author has translated bengali into english word to word, with no semblance of grammar, sentence structure or meaning. Better get the penguin paperback edition, and not this mess.
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This was my first non-Western novel and was it worth it. Tagore is a master of language and character portrayal, drawing the reader in with every new chapter.

I will say however, that without some knowledge of India and Indian history the rich meanings and tensions in this book would be lost on the reader. This doesn't mean that you wouldn't enjoy it, just not to its fullest. Tagore is truly one of the greatest Indian writers of all time and this is one of his finest works.
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Still, there are some small flaws at the level of the narrative composition. Namely: some important events are left aside, when this should not have been the case. Also, some parts (among which the ending, imho) are a bit abrupt. But, nonetheless, this book is a wonderful read and I would highly recommend it.
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