A Long Way Home

A Long Way Home

Book - 2014
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Soon to be a major motion picture starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, this #1 international best-seller tells the miraculous and triumphant story of a young man who rediscovers not only his childhood life and home...but an identity long-since left behind.

"Amazing stuff." -The New York Post

"So incredible that sometimes it reads like a work of fiction." -Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)


At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.

Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.
 
A Long Way Home is a moving, poignant, and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.

Publisher: Toronto : Viking, 2014, c2013.
ISBN: 9780670068203
Characteristics: 255 pages, [16] p, of plates :,color illustrations, map ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Buttrose, Larry 1952-

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Inspiring, poignant and heartwarming – both the book and the film adaptation (Lion). A must read and a must see!

lt_bibliosara Mar 19, 2018

Saroo Brierley's unusual journey - from one family to another and back again - is one that deserves to be memorialized in book form.
I enjoyed the story and found it to be interesting, enlightening, and heartwarming. The most emotional part of the story, for me, was reading about his childhood in India. Even before finding himself lost in Calcutta, almost a thousand miles from home, Saroo and his birth family dealt with unimaginable conditions and odds (at least for us in first world countries/conditions: for many others, his descriptions are of daily life). I liked hearing about how he became a part of his new family, but my frustration began when he began to discuss his life as an adult.
For me, it quickly became irritating how self-absorbed he was. I can never claim to fully understand the uncertainty an adopted child might feel of his place in life and home as he grows up. However, becoming obsessed with a search and making no attempts to compromise your goals with the people in your life you supposedly care about is, quite simply, self absorbed. I got tired of his complaints throughout the explanation of this 6 year tine period. His adoptive parents seem like great folks, but I found that by the end he sounded like a spoiled brat. Complaining about the media attention (because he is getting forced into those talk show interviews ya know), complaining about the toll it took on him (really? did you forget about all the children who die everyday on the streets you were saved from?), etc.
He has done little to use his fame and fortune to support organizations that make a difference in poverty stricken areas throughout India.
So, although the story itself was fascinating and hopeful, I wouldn't quite call it inspiring simply because I don't care for the character of the man Saroo has become.

h
humbleworm
Feb 07, 2018

I highly recommend both the powerful film and this book it was based on. Although the film is remarkably faithful to the book, there's even more detail here. It is an easy but compelling read.

p
pokano
Dec 30, 2017

The story in this memoir is what the wonderful 2016 film Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, and Sunny Pawar, is all about. Saroo, a 5-yr old Indian boy, born into abject poverty, boards a train, thinking his older brother is on board. He falls asleep and the next thing he knows, the train is moving and he can't get out of the empty car he's in. Unbeknownst to him, the train takes him across India to Calcutta, where he leaves the train for a life in the streets. Because he speaks only Hindi, (and doesn't speak it well) and is illiterate, he cannot communicate well with Calcutta locals to explain his plight. Nor can he adequately tell anyone where his family--his mother who makes a living carrying rocks at construction sites, two older brothers, and a younger sister--lives. He knows only that the train station where he boarded the train had a name that started with a "B" and that his home is somehow connected with "Ginestaly." After several months navigating the dangers of the Calcutta streets, he finally ends up in an orphanage, which unsuccessfully attempts to find his family, unaware that the family is located on the other side of the country. Saroo is eventually adopted by wonderful parents in Tasmania, Australia, where he gets an education and lives a happy, comfortable life. Twenty-five years later, he manages to do the impossible: with the help of Google Earth, Facebook, his childhood memories, and luck, he tracks down the train station (Burhanpur), his home village (Ganesh Talai) ,and his family. This amazing improbable story is well worth the quick read it is. The humanity of both families and the author shines from every page. And be sure to see the movie, which closely, but not completely, tracks the true story.

l
LindaMarion
Oct 30, 2017

Amazing Book! Without technology he would be longing for his family forever. Highly recommend! Enjoyed book from cover to cover!

s
Starpoem
Oct 24, 2017

Wow, I really got caught up in this story. It reminds me of lines from "Amazing Grace"--"I once was lost, but now am found." The book makes you see just how vast the world is, and how easy it is to get lost in that vastness. And it also makes you appreciate the modern technology that makes the world a little easier to navigate.

w
writermala
Sep 28, 2017

This is the story of little Saroo who gets lost in the streets of crowded Kolkata. How he got to Kolkata is in itself a story. Saroo is fortunate to be adopted by Sue and John Brierley and moves to Australia. He grows up in idyllic surroundings in Hobart, Tasmania. In a coming of age account Saroo feels the angst of missing his birth mother and siblings. He sets out on a technological search and almost miraculously ends up in the village he grew up in. A very well told true novel.

m
mclarjh
Sep 24, 2017

An extra ordinary story told in an ordinary way.

r
robandlaurine
Aug 01, 2017

Loved everything about this book.

a
abe28
Jul 16, 2017

I too saw the movie before reading the book. I loved them both. Such a heartwarming story of resilience, love and perseverance. One of the best books read this year.

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MLK94
Jun 21, 2017

MLK94 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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