A Long Way Home

A Long Way Home

When Saroo Brierley used Google Earth to find his long-lost home town half a world away, he made global headlines.Saroo had become lost on a train in India at the age of five. Not knowing the name of his family or where he was from, he survived for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by a couple in Australia.Despite being happy...

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Title:A Long Way Home
Author:Saroo Brierley
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Edition Language:English

A Long Way Home Reviews

  • Sharon

    At the age of five, Saroo an Indian boy becomes lost after after being separated from his brother. After traveling on a train for quite some time, Saroo ends up in Calcutta. Saroo is not only frightened and alone, but he is also faced with having to scavenge and beg for food for his survival. He has no idea of his surname or the village he comes from which make it extremely difficult to find his way back home. Life is looking very bleak for, Saroo and he worries if he'll ever see his family agai

    At the age of five, Saroo an Indian boy becomes lost after after being separated from his brother. After traveling on a train for quite some time, Saroo ends up in Calcutta. Saroo is not only frightened and alone, but he is also faced with having to scavenge and beg for food for his survival. He has no idea of his surname or the village he comes from which make it extremely difficult to find his way back home. Life is looking very bleak for, Saroo and he worries if he'll ever see his family again.

    After being in an orphanage for some time, Saroo's life takes a turn for the better after being adopted by an Australian couple who take him to live in his new home in Hobart, Tasmania. His adoptive parents are wonderful and loving people who do all they can to make Saroo feel at home. Even though Saroo has settled in very well with his adoptive parents he still thinks about he's family back in India. Will Saroo ever see his family again?

    What a remarkable story about never giving up. This was an inspiring and heartwarming story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have no hesitation in HIGHLY recommending this book.

  • PattyMacDotComma

    5★

    I remember hearing about this story when it ‘broke’ a few years ago, and then it surfaced again when Nicole Kidman starred in the movie LION, and the rest will, no doubt, be history.

    First, I have to say that although I already knew the bones of the story, as so many potential readers may, it only made the reading that much more enjoyable. Ghost-writer Larry Buttrose isn’t listed on the cover although he’s credited “with Larry Buttrose” inside.

    The Goodreads description is the first four introdu

    5★

    I remember hearing about this story when it ‘broke’ a few years ago, and then it surfaced again when Nicole Kidman starred in the movie LION, and the rest will, no doubt, be history.

    First, I have to say that although I already knew the bones of the story, as so many potential readers may, it only made the reading that much more enjoyable. Ghost-writer Larry Buttrose isn’t listed on the cover although he’s credited “with Larry Buttrose” inside.

    The Goodreads description is the first four introductory pages of the book. It is so long and thorough, you can get a good idea of what it sounds like. (Read that, if you haven't.) Saroo tells his own story, and I think Buttrose has captured his tone and feelings well.

    Saroo (he doesn’t know his last name) is five, gets lost in Calcutta (as Kolkata was then known), is eventually adopted by Aussies in Tasmania, and rediscovers his birth family using Google maps. Each step of his convoluted journey to Australia makes the outcome even more unbelievable. Just surviving was quite an achievement

    His experience makes a wonderful, terrible, terrifying, exhilarating and ultimately satisfying adventure, but there are certainly dark undertones about the children loose on the streets in India. I can’t say they are “neglected”, because that makes it sound as if there’s a choice that they wouldn’t be.

    Saroo’s mother (dad left with a surprise second wife) works carrying stones on her head for construction sites, leaving 5-year-old Saroo at home to mind his even younger little sister while two older brothers beg and scavenge for food. It’s just the way it was (and is). They are always hungry and live in a shed with a cow-pat floor.

    Hindi was his native language, but typical of many small children in desperately poor areas of the world, he had very little vocabulary to work with when he was found. Many refugee children arrive in Australia with little language or smatterings of several but command of none.

    His mum (as he always refers to Sue Brierley), had a violent childhood, but Dad, John Brierley, had a happy upbringing, which gave stability to the family. They were in complete agreement about what they wanted to do together.

    The story moves back and forth, quite naturally, from Saroo’s memories to his searches to today, and it’s amazing how much and how well he remembered. But it wasn’t by accident.

    He replayed everything he did and everywhere he went in his mind, so he wouldn’t forget. As soon as he woke up lost in Calcutta, he tried to replay his memories of accidentally falling asleep on a train so he might figure out where it came from. He hopped on every train he could find, but with no luck.

    Later, growing up in Tasmania, he continued to practice retracing everything in his mind, as a kind of meditation, from walking around his village, to crawling into hiding places (sewer pipes – yuck!), to escaping dogs, sexual predators, and organ collectors! The odds on his surviving intact were slim indeed. But he never forgot all the landmarks he’d committed to memory. At FIVE!

    As I said, knowing these details won’t affect the fun you’ll have reading his story and enjoying the many photos that accompany it. Unfortunately, the adoption process takes longer than it did in the 1980s, but he says it’s quicker if you don’t demand a certain age or gender. If any Aussies are interested:

    I bet there’ll be a surge in demand as more people see the movie, LION, (the meaning of his name, Sheru, in Hindi).

    The Wikipedia article about Larry Buttrose has a nice story about how he worked on the book.

    Terrific book, unbelievable story from an amazing memory, wonderfully told! (Oh, am I gushing?)

  • میعاد

    وقتى شروع كردم اين كتاب رو ترجمه كنم، میدونستم به علت موضوع قطعن كار سختيه. تمام حدودن پنجاهوچند روزى كه كتاب رو ترجمه و بعد نمونهخوانى كردم، با لحظههايى كه سارو درد میكشيد، درد میكشيدم. همه افرادى كه ترجمه مىکنن (بهخصوص وسواسىها) مىدونن كه مكث كردن روى تكتك جملهها، باعث میشه كه دوبرابر حالات نويسنده رو درك كنى. من اين كتاب رو فقط براى اون حرفى كه داره واضح میزنه دوست ندارم، كتاب پُشتش پُر از حرف و فلسفه دربارهى زندگى آدمهاست؛ اينكه بچه دار شدن چقدر مسئوليت مهميه و بعضى از افراد اصلن به اين قضيه

    وقتى شروع كردم اين كتاب رو ترجمه كنم، می‌دونستم به علت موضوع قطعن كار سختيه. تمام حدودن پنجاه‌وچند روزى كه كتاب ‌رو ترجمه و بعد نمونه‌خوانى كردم، با لحظه‌هايى كه سارو درد می‌كشيد، درد می‌كشيدم. همه افرادى كه ترجمه مى‌کنن (به‌خصوص وسواسى‌ها) مى‌دونن كه مكث كردن روى تك‌تك جمله‌ها، باعث می‌شه كه دوبرابر حالات نويسنده رو درك كنى. من اين كتاب ‌رو فقط براى اون حرفى كه داره واضح می‌زنه دوست ندارم، كتاب پُشتش پُر از حرف و فلسفه درباره‌ى زندگى آدم‌هاست؛ اينكه بچه دار شدن چقدر مسئوليت مهميه و بعضى از افراد اصلن به اين قضيه توجه نمی‌كنن و فقط كوركورانه بچه‌دار می‌شن... اينكه چقدر خوب می‌شه اگه قبل تصميم گرفتن به عواقب كارمون فكر كنيم.

    خوشحال می‌شم كه كتاب رو بخونيد و نظرتون رو درباره‌ى ترجمه و خودِ كتاب بگين. من تا حد امكان كتاب رو نمونه‌خوانى كردم، و خب خیلی از مشکلاتی که از دید من وجود داشت رو اصلاح کردم، چون ویراستاری سلقه‌ایه و با بعضی از تغییرات ویراستار مشکل داشتم.

    به‌هرحال می‌دونم كه قطعن باز ايرادهايى داره، هيچ كارى بى‌ايراد نمی‌شه، ولى واقعن سعى كردم بهترين ترجمه‌اى كه در توانم بود رو براى كتاب انجام بدم، اميدوارم لذت ببريد🌺❤️

    می‌تونيد کتاب رو با پانزده ‌درصد تخفيف از سايت نشر البرز و يا شماره‌ی زیر سفارش بدين.

    02188405182

  • Margitte

    Few life stories involve such impossible odds, incredible love, and sheer determiniation as Saroo Brierley's. For several years after watching 'Slumdog Millionaire', my mind kept returning to these little boys and their heartbreaking story.

    When I started reading the book, after the title attracted me to it, I was unaware of Saroo Brierley's true story. After finishing the book I discovered that the movie "Lion" with Nicole Kidman in his Australian mother's role was made. I realized for the firs

    Few life stories involve such impossible odds, incredible love, and sheer determiniation as Saroo Brierley's. For several years after watching 'Slumdog Millionaire', my mind kept returning to these little boys and their heartbreaking story.

    When I started reading the book, after the title attracted me to it, I was unaware of Saroo Brierley's true story. After finishing the book I discovered that the movie "Lion" with Nicole Kidman in his Australian mother's role was made. I realized for the first time how big his story really became. He talked in the book of the press getting hold of it, but it never really dawned on me, or rather sunk in, how far and wide his amazing story traveled all over the world. And it is the most amazing story ever, of this five-year-old boy, born in extreme poverty in central India, who under calamitous and traumatic circumstances got lost at a train station and landed in an an orphanage, two thousand kilometers away from home, was adopted by Australian parents and decided 20 years later to find his family, even though he had the names of towns all wrong (almost right), and even pronounced his own name incorrectly.

    All through his life he always worried about his little sister who he took care of since he was four years old. He still felt responsible for her. And he was worried that his older brother, who at fourteen years old, was the head of the family with many responsibilities, was still looking for him, after Saroo was left at the train station that night to wait on his brother. He worried about his mother who had to work as a brick carrier on construction sites to make ends meet, and had nobody to take care of his little sister.

    With the help of Google Earth, it took him 4 years, but he never gave up. Mentally, I was so involved in his search, I even marked his memories on sticky notes to help him search. Total madness, I know, since he wrote the book after the fact. But I just burst out in tears when he found the water tower at the train station where he got separated from his older brother one night so many years ago. In my mind I told him: "Oh Saroo, let's go! Let's go! I feel it in my bones your mum is there!" Given the fact that he went through hundreds of towns and villages connected to railways and just could not find the right one. During the day he worked in his adoptive father's business, and at night he spent hours on Google Earth. In a country with almost 2 billion citizens, it was a daunting undertaking. Oy! Of course he did not really need me. :-)))

    The title of this memoir is perfect. It was not only a journey of thousands of kilometers home, but also an emotional road through terrible memories and gut-wrenching losses. I could just imagine his biological mother's joy when he stood in front of her after twenty five years. Well, yours truly cried like a baby.

    I haven't seen the movie, but the book was an emotional journey with a young five-year-old boy, who became a gentle giant with a mission in life. It was perfectly written. And they all lived happily ever after, and so did I. There are several videos and interviews available on Youtube which I still must watch. Can't wait.

    It is not a story that you will easily forget. It's a miracle, really. I loved the tone of the book. The innocence of the little boy is so well portrayed and brings a charm to the book, which makes it authentic. It's really well-written.

  • Maria Espadinha

    Destino ou Acidente ?

    A Vida tem daqueles Dias que só nos permitem satisfazer os caprichos de Sua Majestade, El Rei D. Inesperado.

    Ora foi num desses Dias que Saroo, um jovem com apenas 5 anos de idade, se perdeu do seu irmão mais velho, numa estação de comboios.

    Desorientado, sem a ínfima ideia de como regressar a casa, enfia-se num comboio, em busca de Salvação.

    Porém, a ansiada Salvação não chega, e em alternativa, após longas horas de viagem, Saroo vê-se despejado nas ruas de Calcutá!

    E por lá

    Destino ou Acidente ?

    A Vida tem daqueles Dias que só nos permitem satisfazer os caprichos de Sua Majestade, El Rei D. Inesperado.

    Ora foi num desses Dias que Saroo, um jovem com apenas 5 anos de idade, se perdeu do seu irmão mais velho, numa estação de comboios.

    Desorientado, sem a ínfima ideia de como regressar a casa, enfia-se num comboio, em busca de Salvação.

    Porém, a ansiada Salvação não chega, e em alternativa, após longas horas de viagem, Saroo vê-se despejado nas ruas de Calcutá!

    E por lá deambula algumas semanas, sobrevivendo o melhor que pode a Perigos Vários, mal sinalizados. Até que um Anjo que patrulhava os Céus de Calcutá o eleva nas suas asas e o entrega aos cuidados dum orfanato. Mais tarde, é adotado por um casal e parte com eles para a Austrália, onde inicia uma outra vida.

    Embora tenha tomado um Novo Rumo, Saroo nunca esqueceu as suas Raízes!

    Pouco se lembrava dos locais da sua infância.

    Revisitava-os na memória, truncados, fragmentados em parcas peças dum puzzle muito inacabado.

    Só volvidos 25 anos sobre o Fatídico Dia em que se perdera, é que Saroo, com a preciosa ajuda do Google Earth, foi capaz de identificar essas peças que teimavam em assaltar-lhe a memória e finalmente desvendar a solução do puzzle que lhe devolveu as Raízes perdidas!

    Finda esta estória, só nos ocorre agradecer:

    Obrigada Internet!

    Obrigada Google!

    És Aquele Génio da Lâmpada!

    O Exterminador Implacável dos mais Duros Impossíveis!...

    E Vocês? Que pensam de tudo isto?

    Acidente ou Pura Ironia do Destino?...

    Ah! E anda por aí um filme :

  • K.

    Good Lord. FEELINGS.

    This book is effectively two separate stories:

    1. How Saroo got lost and ended up being adopted by an Australian family.

    2. Saroo's search for his home 20 years later.

    The first story is horrifying when you think about all the ways that his story could have ended differently. The second is nothing short of astonishing. Not only that he managed to find a needle in a haystack on Google Earth, but that his mother had made the decision to stay in the same neighbourhood for 20+ year

    Good Lord. FEELINGS.

    This book is effectively two separate stories:

    1. How Saroo got lost and ended up being adopted by an Australian family.

    2. Saroo's search for his home 20 years later.

    The first story is horrifying when you think about all the ways that his story could have ended differently. The second is nothing short of astonishing. Not only that he managed to find a needle in a haystack on Google Earth, but that his mother had made the decision to stay in the same neighbourhood for 20+ years on the off chance that her son found his way home again.

    I'm pretty stinking excited to see the movie version now to compare the two. Although I think I'll hold off until I can watch it in the comfort of my own home with a very large box of tissues and no one to judge me for sobbing periodically...

  • Cheri

    Sad, horrifying, wondrous, life affirming, heartbreaking and heartwarming.

    When Saroo’s father left his mother and their family for another woman, another family, they moved from the Hindu community / side of town to the Muslim side moving into a single room falling apart with a cowpat and mud floor and a small corner fireplace. What light there was came from candles. No electricity. Broken, unpaved streets outside throughout the poverty-stricken neighborhood.

    Kamla, Saroo’s mother, worked 6 days

    Sad, horrifying, wondrous, life affirming, heartbreaking and heartwarming.

    When Saroo’s father left his mother and their family for another woman, another family, they moved from the Hindu community / side of town to the Muslim side moving into a single room falling apart with a cowpat and mud floor and a small corner fireplace. What light there was came from candles. No electricity. Broken, unpaved streets outside throughout the poverty-stricken neighborhood.

    Kamla, Saroo’s mother, worked 6 days a week, morning until nightfall, hard physically grueling work, sometimes gone for days at a time. Still, it wasn’t enough, so Guddu, the oldest at ten, went to work, washing dishes for 6 hours for half a rupee. I don’t know what that was worth then, but now one rupee is equivalent to 1.6 cents, so less than a penny for 6 hours of washing dishes. Still, they ended up begging for scraps from neighbors, anyone. Still, there were moments that Saroo would look back on later with fondness: playing peek-a-boo with Shekila, his baby sister. Playing with his brothers, Guddu and Kallu.

    Guddu also tried extra jobs, selling items at the train station platform, but that created new problems with the law.

    Looking up to his older brother, five year-old Saroo decides to go with Guddu one night. It would be years before Saroo would return. With only a vague idea of the name of the village he is from, and many miles in between, it’s amazing he ever found his way back.

    Five years old, I remember naps in school, a playground, an older brother and a brand new baby brother. I did have a long distance trip that year – to Disneyland, my father, my older brother and me, but Calcutta is nothing like Disneyland, everyone spoke my language and money was not something I was concerned with. I was more concerned that my father didn’t know how to do pigtails.

    All a far cry from a five year-old boy, in Calcutta, with no money, no family and no idea of where he is or how to find his way home.

    He tries. Over and over.

    And then, after a series of unfortunate circumstances followed by one fortunate one, Saroo ends up in an orphanage, and is “found” by one woman working there - Saroj Sood. She seeks to find his home going on the only words he associates with his home. Ginestlay. Berampur. His town. The train station. Neither name is recognized by anyone, and after months pass, he is declared “lost,” so that he is now available for adoption. A wonderful Australian couple are hoping he would like to come live with them, let them be his new family and live in Tasmania. Mrs. Sood asks Saroo if he thinks he would like to live with this family. This couple has lovingly put together a scrap book, photos of the plane to transport him to Australia, their home. His future in pictures.

    Saroo owes much of his open heart to Sue and John Brierley, a couple who were heaven sent. They opened their hearts a second time, a few years later, to adopt a brother for Saroo, a second son for them, named Mantash.

    Years go by, time passes and one day in 2004, Google purchases Brian McClendon’s company “Keyhole, Inc.”, and suddenly the world is at your fingertips. Google Earth. By this time, Saroo Brierley is a young man, and the internet as we know it is even younger, but there is a promise of something, just knowing it is out there and can be found. Consistent persistency with no results is emotionally draining. Exhausting. More time passes and the demand for instant everything brings faster speeds. Less time looking with better results. All this benefits Saroo in his search.

    From the first days after he came to live with his Mom and Dad, his new parents were extremely supportive and helpful. Photographs, maps were drawn of his vague memories as a five year-old, which she kept. In case he ever wanted to find these answers. What an amazing gift, and what an amazing gift he gives them in return.

    This book was originally titled “A Long Way Home: A Memoir,” and was reissued as “Lion” as a tie-in with the movie. Although he didn’t know this until his search was complete, Saroo’s given name was actually Sheru, which, in Hindu, means “Lion,” – and that became the name of the movie.

    An inspirational, true story, a life most of us can’t imagine – all this is the story of Saroo Brierley.

  • Jennifer

    is

    's personal account of finding himself tragically lost from his family at the young age of 5 years old. His journey back to his birth mother 25 years later is a truly amazing story. The fact that he survived before (and after) being discovered as homeless is a miracle in itself. Despite my thoughts about the astonishing facts, I have mixed feelings about this reading experience. In my perspective, this memoir was very to-the-point and caused it to feel disappoint

    is

    's personal account of finding himself tragically lost from his family at the young age of 5 years old. His journey back to his birth mother 25 years later is a truly amazing story. The fact that he survived before (and after) being discovered as homeless is a miracle in itself. Despite my thoughts about the astonishing facts, I have mixed feelings about this reading experience. In my perspective, this memoir was very to-the-point and caused it to feel disappointingly one-dimensional. A little help with the writing and overall storytelling could have added personality and allowed this piece of nonfiction to pull at the heartstrings and keep the reader on the edge of suspense, because when you think about Saroo's experiences, those emotions are within reach. I plan to watch the film adaptation:

    and have no doubt it will more than make up for my lack of connection to the book. Regardless,

    is a story to be heard and I don't regret reading it.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    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 probably wasn't going to be a great book is the fact that the blurb wasn't even 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 eve

    Find all of my reviews at:

    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 probably wasn't going to be a great book is the fact that the blurb wasn't even 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.

    is about 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 he lived in a place that sounded something 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

    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 comprehensive 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.

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