BOOK REVIEWS

Lion: A Long Way Home Young Readers' Edition Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-24 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0425291766
LANGUAGE:English

"-I think both the book and the movie were very good, but the book touched me much more because it contains more details.
-The main story of the book is maintained in the movie, but some details concerning events, places and characters were changed.
for example,In the book <> but in the movie <-For me , I gave the book four stars and the movie only three stars out of five!
-Many important details from the book were ignored in the movie, especially the period before the author gets lost. This period is crucial to the story because without it, we can’t understand the harsh conditions where Saroo’s family was living, how they suffered under grinding poverty, how they spent days and days without food and how they had to learn to survive in an early age, but most importantly, how much they loved each other and remained united and cohesive despite their challenging life.
-The author describes all the periods of his story with the same sense of details. He let us feel all what he had gone through; he made us smile when he is safe or happy, cry when he is sad, lonely and lost, panic when he is scared or in danger, he made us live every moment with him and let us unconsciously pray for him to survive when he was a child and to find home when he was grown-up.
" said.

"La lunga strada per arrivare a casa è una storia vera, sceneggiata recentemente dal film Lion, candidato agli Oscar.

E’ la storia di Saroo un bambino nato in un villaggio dell’India situato in una zona non identificata del subcontinente dove Saroo vive in condizioni di estrema povertà, con la madre e i fratelli.
All’età di cinque anni Saroo si smarrisce a Calcutta la metropoli più popolosa, più inquinata e povera dell’India; viene adottato da una coppia australiana, si amalgama nel nuovo contesto occidentale e cresce armoniosamente senza subire più di tanto la lacerazione della sua esperienza d’infanzia.

Ma Saroo non dimentica: venticinque anni dopo avere lasciato l’India su un volo diretto da Bombay in Australia, il pensiero di rintracciare la famiglia d’origine comincia a ingombrare la sua mente in maniera sempre più preponderante.
Adesso so che durante il volo da Calcutta a Bombay passammo molto vicino alla mia città, 9.000 metri sotto di noi. Chissà se mia madre alzò gli occhi al cielo proprio in quell’istante e vide il mio aereo e la sua bianca scia vaporosa. E chissà cosa avrebbe pensato se le avessero detto che io ero lassù, in viaggio verso un altro mondo.
Probabilmente non ci avrebbe creduto
E’ un’impresa disperata, quasi folle quella che Saroo tenta, come cercare un ago in un pagliaio quando il pagliaio si trova però a migliaia e migliaia e migliaia di chilometri lontano da lui.

Ma c’è uno strumento tecnologico che può annullare le distanze e mettere in comunicazione in tempo reale emisferi opposti del pianeta: Internet.

Saroo comincia un lavoro metodico, scrupoloso, costante, quasi claustrofobico di ricerca, utilizza i viaggi virtuali di Google Heart e per alcuni anni, sera dopo sera, scandaglia con il mouse metro per metro la rete ferroviaria di una porzione dell’India che ha circoscritto sulla mappa nella speranza di ritrovare quei binari familiari che trent’anni prima lo separarono dalla sua vita portandolo alla stazione di Calcutta, in un viaggio senza ritorno.

Saroo cerca di visualizzare sullo schermo del suo computer un’enorme cisterna d’acqua, un piccolo ponte, un fiume in cui andava a giocare e fare il bagno con gli amichetti, quella stazione del suo villaggio con la passerella per attraversare i binari, frammenti di memoria che costituiscono i ricordi rimasti vividi dei suoi luoghi natali, pensati e ripensati nei lunghi anni australiani.
Saroo narra in prima persona e già nella prima pagina del libro esplicita l’esito della sua ricerca, quindi non farò spoiler né mi si accuserà di farlo ;)
E’ un libro bellissimo che ho letto compulsivamente in due giorni, una narrazione che non indulge mai in quei facili sentimentalismi che questo tipo di storia per sua natura potrebbe facilmente suscitare, anche se in alcuni punti la commozione erompe, in maniera dolcissima.

E’ un libro che parla di adozioni e dell’India, dove centinaia di bambini ogni giorno vengono abbandonati o si smarriscono, spesso senza che le famiglie inoltrino denuncia di scomparsa perché quelli stessi bambini scomparsi, oggetto di abuso sessuale o di traffico di organi o ridotti in schiavitù o, semplicemente persi come succede a Saroo, a volte non possiedono nemmeno una identità anagrafica.

Un libro che parla di come sarebbe stata diversa l’esistenza di un ragazzino se solo il destino un giorno non avesse fatto uno scarto così brusco nella sua esistenza, che parla di ricongiungimenti familiari e di culture aliene tra loro ma che imparano a guardarsi per la prima volta negli occhi e a riconoscersi forti perché sicure di un vincolo biologico e di una memoria comune che lega e avvicina.

Ho due famiglie, non due identità. Io sono Saroo Brierley
Forse il legame tra le mie famiglie diventerà più forte in futuro, e mi domando a quale delle due il mondo dell’altra sembrerà più estraneo

La storia di Saroo avrebbe potuto essere una storia inventata e sarebbe stata comunque una storia bellissima è invece una storia vera, e la realtà talvolta è ancora più stupefacente della finzione.
" said.

"In January I saw the movie Lion. I had no idea what the movie was about, my parents wanted to go see it and I thought great, I'll go! The movie was really good!!! It was terribly sad, I cried numerous times! I found the whole story to be so moving, and I think I was extra sensitive because I have a friend going through a similar type adoption.

As we walked out of the theatre we all commented that the movie was so good - BUT, the movie told the story of Saroo until he was adopted and then did an immediate jump to him in college and his quest to find his home. We all wondered what it was like in his growing up years - so this was my quest to find out if the book told any different!

I listened to the audio of this book and I loved it!!! Highly recommend the audio! As for a straightforward book review, I feel like my view is a little skewed since going into the book I already knew the story, so no part of the book for me was slow, or boring. I thought the writing was great and the story very vivid - again I already had all the pictures in my mind, did that make a difference?

My biggest surprise, although should I really be that shocked?!?!? was how different the movie was from the book. Knowing the book is the actual real story from Saroo - you can identify the numerous times the movie story was changed to hollywood-ify it. too much in my opinion! Which is too bad - I think the movie could have been equally successful without certain implications they focused on. I was thankful to get the real story, since I was particularly interested in the psychology of it all!!

So if you have seen the movie, and you want to know the real story - definitely check this out!!! And if you haven't read it, maybe see the movie first...and then read it. Or just read it!!
" said.

"I really liked the first quarter of the book when he recollected his experiences as a boy in India. I love memoirs and this was right up my alley. The rest of the book was about his doubts and feelings of depression and his confusion and blah blah blah. It drove me crazy. He grew up in a beautiful, good family in Australia and the story of his adoption as a 5 yr. old was fascinating. But reading about his obsessive search for his family for over 100 pages was awful--he did all of his searching on google maps. So he told about how he spent hours every evening scouring all of India for a familiar landmark. Over. And Over. And Over. Then reading about how he felt about everything for another 50 pages was not fun, so I eventually stopped. :) Also, it wasn't very well written.

So: Really cool story, but it could have been told with just as much content and umph in about 60 pages.
" said.

"I began reading this ebook at a cafe this morning and finished on the front veranda at home this afternoon, bathed in sunshine. I feel Saroo Brierley has opened his mind honestly and thoughtfully, and taken me on his early childhood journey, from loss, fear, resignation, hope, belonging, love, wonder and fulfilment. I love that Saroo shared his whole life, his insights into important members of family, friends, and acquaintances. I read with sunglasses on, not to shield the bright sunlight, rather to camouflage the tears of empathy and joy that often welled and rolled across my cheeks throughout.

Beautifully written, the openness reflects a grateful young man, blessed with a loving adoptive family, brother, girlfriend and friends. I haven't been so affected or felt such love through empathy from reading a novel since Rohinton Mistry's 'A Fine Balance', and Khaled Hosseini's 'The Kite Runner'.

Exceeded my expectations from a first time novelist... I imagine the multitude and magnitude of the mental journey that accompanied the physical one made it such a clearly told autobiographical story. Have recommended it to my friends. Well done Saroo.
" said.

"This book tells an amazing story. There is simply no other way to describe it. It is the real-life story of Saroo, a five-year-old child in a village in central India, who gets lost and finds himself transported all the way east to Calcutta, some 1800 kms away. Young Saroo, all of five, penniless and illiterate, does not even know the name of his village and knows little else about where he was from. He gets off at the bustling, crowded Howrah train station and survives for six weeks in the intimidating bad and mean streets of Calcutta by his instincts and luck. He ends up at a benevolent orphanage called ISSA, where the kindly Ms.Saroj Sood - tries to find his family and re-unite him. But all Saroo can tell was that he was from Ginestlay, which is what he remembered as his village's name. He also mistakenly says that he travelled just overnight by train when in reality he had travelled almost 24 hours to get to Calcutta. After a couple of moths' futile effort, Mrs.Sood pronounces him 'lost' and organizes him to be adopted by Sue and John Brierley, a young couple from Tasmania, Australia.

Saroo is lovingly brought up by the Brierleys and he grows up into a happy and well-integrated Aussie over the next 20 years. However Saroo always wonders about his origins, with clear memories of his birth mother Kamala, his kid sister Shekila and elder brothers Kallu and Guddu, whom he looked up to as a child two decades before. He starts working on trying to find where he was from by using the feeble memories of his childhood. All he had to go by was that there was a train station whose name was something like 'Berampur' , that it had a water tower, an overpass across the tracks and that the town had a fountain near a cinema. His village 'Ginestlay' was somewhere nearby and that they were all reachable overnight by train from Calcutta. Gradually, over five years, with incredible patience and perseverance , Saroo, at age 30, using Google Earth's satellite images and Facebook, miraculously locates the train station with the identifying features of his childhood. He notes that a nearby town is called Khandwa and that there is a Facebook group belonging to people from Khandwa. He contacts them and gets the key info that there is a nearby village called Ganesh Talai - the 'Ginestlay' of 5-year-old Saroo! Saroo soon goes to India and reconnects with his birth family to the great delight of his elderly mother Kamala and his siblings Shekila and Kallu, who are now married with children. Sadly, Guddu, his eldest brother whom he adored as a child, was killed in an accident just on the same day that Saroo got lost 25 years before. Otherwise, it is a happy resolution for Saroo.

Not only Saroo, but his Aussie parents, Sue and John as well, come off as wonderful, loving and caring parents and individuals. Sue herself was a WWII refugee from Hungary and her story is also inspring as told it in the book. Saroo's birth mother Kamala is another remarkable woman, who never gave up hope that her son Sheru (which is his correct name!) would return one day. Hence she never moved from the shack where she lived so that she will be there when Saroo comes back! The other heroes in the book are the internet, Google Earth and Facebook! It is a great tribute to these wonderful technologies which make it possible for the adult Saroo to sit ten thousand miles away in Hobart, Australia and exactly locate the water tower and overpass of his childhood memory and find out the correct name of his village. Let no one denounce technology again!

I found the book moving, inspirational and one of hope and the indomitable spirit of the humankind. It is a story of triumph against great odds. Going through the early chapters where Saroo survives for six weeks as a five-year-old in Calcutta, I had palpitations as I felt anxious that nothing terrible should befall young Saroo! The book also has a special appeal for me since I grew up in India and lived for 13 years in wonderful Australia.
" said.

"Getting excited about the movie's imminent release, it was only when I watched an extended interview with Saroo and his mum on TV last week that I decided I needed to read the book before I see the Hollywood version of Saroo's story. I wanted to make sure I was clear on what really happened.

Because this is a truly remarkable story, and you have to think that the universe really was working hard to look after this little boy - the 5yo Sheru - and deliver him safely to a new life. It's so remarkable that it really doesn't need any embellishment, but we will wait and see what happens on the big screen. As for the book itself, I thought it was a detailed and competent account, giving us all the (known) facts and some insight to the emotions and private thoughts of Saroo and other close relatives. What I feel it lacked was a bit of 'colour' (i.e. of the landscape), considering Saroo's story plays out in India and Tasmania. I guess that's what I'll most look forward to in the movie.

Overall I thought this was a satisfying memoir.
" said.

"A Long Way Home - I am so pleased that I finally read this book, and that I did so before watching the movie.
What an amazing story of not only survival, resilience and the will to stay safe set amidst the poverty and havoc of everyday life in India, but also a beautiful tale of the love given to both a small boy and then a grown man by both Saroo’s Australian parents and that of his family in India.
It is incredible to follow Saroo’s journey and you can only believe that his destiny was indeed in the hands of fate and the gods. His travels, survival, help from some good people resulting in his adoption by such a loving Australian family and then re-uniting with his family after so many years, left me sometimes in tears and often shaking my head at how events played out over his lifetime.
I loved the way he wrote about both his parents’ love and unbending support here in Australia complemented by his Indian mother’s strong belief that he would one day return to her.
The story of Saroo’s 'Long Way Home’ will stay with me and I feel uplifted by reading such a sad but beautiful and ultimately joyous story.

" said.

December 2017 New Book:

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