Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Set in the time of turn of the century China, is about the fifty year fraction of the life span of the main character, Wang Lung, and how his life and his ever-growing family drastically changes through out the years. The story starts out with Wang Lung on his wedding day with his arranged marriage to a slave in a Great House. The slave's name is O-Lan and she was a very hard worker. Wang Lung starts off as a poor farmer and gradually evolves into a rich dynasty with money coming from every angle. This wonderful book shows irony in a way I thought not possible, how money can change a person, and how sometimes the ". . .rich become too rich." This book captures the soul of the people of China and is told so beautifully.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Lindsay escapes from a New Zealand jail and arrives in Bombay with little money, an assumed name, false papers, an untellable past, and no plans for the future. Fortunately, he meets Prabaker right away, a sweet, smiling man who is a street guide. He takes to Lin immediately, eventually introducing him to his home village, where they end up living for six months. He also meets Karla, an enigmatic Swiss-American woman, with whom he falls in love. Theirs is a complicated relationship, and Karla’s connections are murky from the outset.
Lin is a tough guy with a tender heart, one capable of what is judged criminal behavior, but a basically decent, intelligent man who would never intentionally hurt anyone, especially anyone he knew. He is a magnet for trouble, a soldier of fortune, a picaresque hero: the rascal who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. His story is irresistible. Shantaram brings out the humane side of the Lin who couldn’t help but fall in love with innocence of people and led his life in abandon savoring each and every tide of life in his own stride. I have fallen in love with Prabaker and his optimistic ways and constant smile.
Do not let the fact that this is almost 1,000 pages deter you - it flies by! Consider it "more for your money" :-) This is amongst my list of top books of all time. A definite must read!
Rating: 5 DEFINITE Recommend