A Long Way Home ('Lion')

by Saroo Brierley | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 9780425291764 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 10/8/2019
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Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 08, 2019
(03/10/19) I can’t remember how, but I acquired this ‘Young Readers’ edition from a charity shop before it was chosen for the book group. So, this review, is based on a shorter/simplified(?) version of the story we know from the award-winning film ‘Lion’.

Oddly - see above - the cinematic story finished far too early. Saroo/Sheru found the key locations from when he was lost as a five-year old and met met his long-lost Indian family after about 150 pages. The rest felt a bit like ‘filler’, reconnecting with his old/new family, some Australian family history, retracing his train journey (maybe) to Delhi and visiting the orphanage worker, but not the orphanage, who helped to place him with the Brierley’s in Tasmania. I loved the descriptions of the familiar sights and smells of rural India, Howrah station in Calcutta/Kolkata and the press of human life and sensual assault that is the India that I know.

However, the book felt oddly low key and contrived compared to the film - and its not often that I prefer the latter to the former - maybe due to Saroo’s lack of writing talent or the intended audience? That said the ‘scene’ when he meets his mother and surviving sister and brother is very emotional.

In summary, a great life-affirming story, but not a great book IMHO … I recommend you watch the film instead!

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