Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley

2 Stars

A Long Way Home will probably end up as a selection on all the lists featuring inspirational stories and here I go giving it a 2 Star. What can I say?????

The first sign that this isn’t a great book is the fact that the blurb isn’t a blurb, but rather the opening pages of the story. That should have served as my warning, but I was all about reading errrrrry book that went from “Read to Reel” and I didn’t even bother looking into this one at all before requesting it. Plus, the movie has received about eleventy Oscar nominations so it had to be decent, right? Wellllllllllllllllllllllll, the story was . . . . it was just terribly written and could have easily been an article in a Newsweek or Time type of publication rather than a nearly 300 page book.

The story is of a boy named Saroo, who at five years old becomes lost from his family and winds up on the other side of India. Not knowing his last name and only that the he lived in a place that sounds like “Berampur,” Saroo is labeled lost by the Indian government and winds up adopted by an Australian family. As an adult Saroo becomes a bit obsessed and uses Google maps to walk the various train tracks in hopes of spotting something familiar that will reconnect him with his past . . . .

There you have it. It’s quite clear immediately that Saroo Brierley is no writer (and if I’m calling it out, you know it must be bad) and the fact that he was only five years old when he became lost meant hardly any details of his story were remembered. This could have been a much more detailed tale if it wasn’t so one-dimensional and used contributions from his families (in both Australia and India) as well as the juvenile detention facility and orphanage to help make it feel more complete.

I have a feeling this is one of the rare occasions where the movie will surpass the book. I mean, just look at this child . . . .

I hate kids and I even kind of want to kidnap that one.

Book #9 (????? I’m starting to lose track) on the Library’s Winter Reading Challenge

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