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A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi Hardcover – 4 Oct 2012
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"A Free Man is a brilliant capturing of the language and bloodstream of a city. Aman Sethi has made a book that's remarkable in its voice and evocation." (Michael Ondaatje)
"Fascinating, funny and extraordinarily moving." (Lewis Jones Spectator)
"Funny and disturbing." (Arundhati Roy)
"A deeply moving, funny, and brilliantly written account from one of India's most original new voices." (Katherine Boo, author of 'Behind the Beautiful Forevers')
"A Free Man is a beautiful work of journalism, sympathetic and graceful. The author follows, and progressively befriends, a homeless day laborer in Delhi. What starts as classic ethnography becomes a gripping story, and ends as a homage to a lost friend." (Esther Duflo, author of 'Poor Economics')
A bestseller in India, this brilliant account of the life of an itinerant Delhi labourer marks the debut of a major new writerSee all Product description
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I am from Delhi and I have, for a long time, been looking for a book with an Indian perspective of life in Delhi. Yes, William Dalrymple has written fantastic books on Delhi, but while his fascination and description of Delhi's underbelly is quite entertaining it remains somewhat impersonal. Aman Sethi, on the other hand, has written this book based on his own experience (over 5 years) in one of Delhi's most inhospitable places, hanging out with some of its most (on the surface) unremarkable people.
This book illustrates life for the underclass, the labourers, the homeless. Aman's writing style is easy, laid-back, with a lot of Hindi/Delhi slang but the editing has been fantastic and it is always in context, so even non-Hindi speakers can infer the meaning of the various colloquial phrases and words used.
Years from now, we will be admiring this book as an Indian classic, the 'Oliver Twist' of our times and hopefully we will see many more books come from the Aman Sethi.
found it difficult to understand.The problem is that there are too many
Urdu/Hindi words without translation.A good glossary of these words
is necessary unless of course you are a native of India.
I have read few non-fictional narratives of India, and this is by far the best. I will even risk the audacity of saying that this narrative is better than Naipaul's ( though Naipaul's inferences of a culture could be better).
Sethi knows how to keep his philosophical jibes really short and treats the incidents with a detached flow, still giving away the immensity with which these lives touched him.
As a middle class Indian, the book leaves me with a regret of not being able to do much for the working class. Hopefully some good will come out of this book!
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