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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 in his new family, Saroo always wondered about his origins. He spent hours staring at the map of India on his bedroom wall. When he was a young man the advent of Google Earth led him to pore over satellite images of the country for landmarks he recognised. And one day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for.Then he set off on a journey to find his mother....

Title : A Long Way Home
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Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 pages
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A Long Way Home Reviews

  • ♥ Sandi ❣

    Great story wrapped in a short book. It details the treacherous journey of not only a 5 year old as he leaves his home in India, but also the exhausting journey of a 30 year old as he finds his way back to that home.

    Written as a memoir, this starts as a heart breaking story. It is easy to read, but gripping in detail and frustrating in fact.

    It has become the 2017 Oscar nominated movie - Lions.

    4.25 stars

  • 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

  • Sarah

    3.5 Stars.

    I found out about this book when I watched the trailer for the 2016 movie "Lion". The trailer had me in tears and then when I saw it was based on this true story, I knew I had to read this. First of all, it is an incredible and heartbreaking story. I can't even fathom how Saroo, a 5 year old Indian boy survived for weeks on the streets by himself. So many awful things could have happened to him but he was extremely lucky that no major harm came to him and he was even luckier to get ado

  • 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

  • mohsen pourramezani

    داستان واقعی یک پسر هندی به اسم سارو است که در پنجسالگی توی ایستگاه قطار برادرش را گم میکند. به صورت اتفاقی توی یک قطار گیر میافتد و به شهر دیگری میرود. مدتی در خیابان زندگی میکند و با کمک یک خانواده به یتیمخانه میرود. یک زوج استرالیایی فرزندخواندگیاش را به عهده میگیرند و او را به استرالیا میبرند. بعد از ۲۶ سال سارو موفق میشود آدرس خانوادهاش را در هند پیدا کند.

    پ.ن: اولین بار بود که یک کتاب طولانی انگلیسی زبان میخواندم و به همین دلیل خواندنش خیلی طول کشید. احتمالا جزئیاتی را هم به خاطر زبان ضعیفم

  • 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

  • PattyMacDotComma


    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

    “Mum had always been fascinated by India and knew something about the conditions many people were living under there: in 1987 Australia’s population was 17 million, and that same year in India, around 14 million children under the age of ten died from illness or starvation. While obviously adopting one child was merely a drop in the ocean, it was something they could do. And it would make a huge difference to that one child. They chose India.”

    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.

    “His best known book is A Long Way Home, the Saroo Brierley memoir, which he ghost-wrote in 2012. He researched and wrote the book between September and December of that year, including research trips to Hobart to interview Saroo and his family, and a month-long journey to India with Saroo. There he met Saroo’s Indian family, and travelled with Saroo on a rail journey across India, retracing for the first time the journey that Saroo took two and a half decades before as a young child, that ended him in Calcutta (now Kolkata). Buttrose completed the book in his Kolkata hotel room, and emailed the manuscript to the publishers Penguin on the date of the deadline.”

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


  • TL

    An amazing story and a bit mind boggling really when you think about everything that happened to Saroo (I had a suspicion about what had happened to his brother). Add that to him surviving on the streets and how everything eventually turned out for him... very lucky he was.

    The writing was so-so, not everyone is a natural writer (which is fine, we all have our strengths) though *shrugs* It didn't bring the experience down for me but I didn't enjoy it like I thought I would. It almost felt like re