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on 14 July 2017
One of the best books I've ever read (and I've read quite a few!) It has such rich descriptions and characters that you feel you're there every step of the way. I went through the whole gamut of emotions and was left with a real urge to visit the places and see the sights for myself. The author obviously has such a genuine love for the country and its people, which was apparent on every page. I've gifted this book to many friends and will continue to do so. It's wonderful!
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on 30 September 2017
Recommended by a friend - definitely a must read and it educated me a bit more about India and how it's like to live there for the lower classes. My only issue is the author preaches A LOT which gets a bit annoying. It's like he's trying to make himself be like this amazing guy that just knows everything, at least that's how he came across to me.
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on 17 November 2017
This is a book that can be read many times, it swells the heart, the poetry the wisdom the compassion and the honesty shine from the pages like a beacon of hope . It transcends fictional novels because it is a real raw amazing life experience such as most of us will never have. Why it is so compelling is that it has not been written by a saintly person loaded with platitudes, it has been wrung from the heart of a giant of a man who has come from the dark into the light
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on 27 December 2014
This is a great story, an old fashion yarn, some of it is true some is writers licence, this is not a negative, if anything it makes the tale more interesting and characters more lovable; because y suspect that unadorned and unromanticized they would be run of the mill thugs or drug addicts. the writer loves to infuse this ruffians with noble ideas and grandiose motives for their dastardly actions, it gives him and his egoism a better defense and a more romantic persona.
The Bombay underworld and Bombay in the eighties open up to be explored in the pages of this book and this never disappoints giving us many surprises and unimaginable experiences, a little of rural India seeps through and glimps of what was to become the modern Muslim movement beginning to awaken from India to Afghanistan, during the russian occupation, some of those conversations are prophetic but unaware of their place in history.
The editor was not present enough in some places, this is a large book that could have been tighten up a little with out loosing any of its charm. For me the philosophising from some of the character was not handle properly, and was way too long, but that is a minor complaint when you consider all the good in this book.
You will not be disappointed, this is a fun and interesting read that lends itself to some investigation in the net, where you will find plenty of controversy on the veracity of some of the writers claims; I found that even the deniers some how proved that a lot the tale is true or based on fact.
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on 15 August 2017
Really did not like this although my friend loved it and can't wait to read the follow up. For me the author comes across as having an ego bigger than the cosmos and from the actual background I read seems he's used a lot of whitewash in this book. Not terrible well written either.
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on 14 May 2013
The first half; I really enjoyed this...took me a while to read but it's gripping and fairly fast paced. OK, it's not literary gold but then these types of books never are and those seeking literary excellence shouldn't really be buying books like this in the first place. Suffers from the slight tendency that 'true stories' have to slightly over-glorify the hero...to the point where you're reading about a slightly unbelievable character, who everyone seems to immediately trust...eg gets invited to high up mafia meetings as the only white person there, seemingly on a vague whim of the mafia boss after a chance meeting...that sort of thing). Obviously he's allowed a bit of artistic license though and it's not too overbearing most of the time. Superb all round adventure and a must for those interested in India for whatever reason.

Then the second half...to be honest the story doesn't really move on much and sort of gets enveloped by constant glorification of the main character and the over elaborate descriptions and philosophical musings. In fact the main purpose of the second half of the book seems to be to glorify the main character (in case you weren't quite sure yet from the first half that he is the best person in the world, ever). There's even a totally unrelated bit about how good he is at knife fighting, beating a much bigger and more experienced man in his first ever knife fight, showing compassionate mercy at the end. Why? He seems to be in charge of the whole of Mumbai. Everything that happens is organised by him and he has a hand in everything, bit much to be honest and a shame it wasn't edited better...there's not really much plot in the second half and it's a bit exhausting to read. The elaborate descriptors which int he first half convey a real sense of the wonders of India just become tiresome and pointless., like he's trying to fill a word count. Shame.
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on 17 January 2018
lovely big read to get into. lovely way to get an insight into India, the people and the people living in the slums..so much vibrant colourful description, absolutely loved it, he sustains the excitement and delight in the book right to the very end. i like to buy this book for friends, a great travellers' read.

shame about the sequel, but hard to rival i'm sure.
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on 17 October 2017
This is an epic book, that is so much more that the usual travelogue. If you're lucky enough to have traveled in India it will bring back all your memories of the wonderful assault on all you senses that India is. I you read it and are thinking of travelling to India you will be booking your flight by the time you've finished the book. If you've never dreamt of visiting India, this may be the book that makes up your mind
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on 18 March 2015
Words cannot express how deeply moved I was by this novel. This is not something I would normally pick up due to its subject matter and great length. However, on the strong recommendation of a friend, I was compelled to buy this book and I am so glad I did. It took me a long time to get through it as I had to read every beautifully written line in order not to miss ANYTHING. Better than a travelogue or documentary, Mr. Roberts' intimate and colorful descriptions of India place you right there, in the heart of the action, the heat, the color and the smells of Bombay. This is an eye opening saga that lends itself to the big screen, and I will be the first there when this movie is made. Mr. Roberts is an artist with words, penning phrases that are so beautiful that they have to be read over and over again. I have bought this book for others and implore everyone who admires masterful storytelling to read the story of Lin and to feel the real Bombay through Mr. Robert's powerful imagery.
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on 17 October 2017
This book "chose" me a good few years ago and since then I read it several times. It's engaging, heartbreaking, funny and deep all at the same time. It's about love and surrender, a true masterpiece. I was very pleased with the hardback format, which I wanted for my library since I love the story so much. It arrived very quickly and in perfect condition.
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