Murray's Reviews > La ciudad de la alegría

La ciudad de la alegría by Dominique Lapierre
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Jun 05, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography, historical, india, novel, spirituality
Read in June, 2010

Although this is a novel, it is based on two years of 'up close and personal' research by Dominique Lapierre. The City of Joy referred to is one of the most poverty stricken slums of 1980's Bombay. This is a place of murder, riots, sewage that flows into houses, scorpions and death through exhaustion. It is also a place of many, many acts of selfless kindness, love and moments of spiritual transcendence. All of this is captured in Dominique's expert writing, and at times moved this reader to tears.

The central character of the book (not the film) is Stephan Kovalski, a catholic priest who decides to experience the life of the absolutely poor by becoming one of them and living with them. While Catholicism comes out of this story rather well, so does Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and indeed those whose prime motivation is a spiritual concern for those whose lives cross theirs.

It is hard to believe that this book did not influence at least a little bit, the extraordinary Shantaram; but it is its own tale and has the prestige of being first.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Mahinn (new)

Mahinn Calcutta. Not Bombay.


Murray oops, you are right - Calcutta


message 3: by Soumyo (new) - added it

Soumyo Das The book is about Anand Nagar in Kolkata and not Bombay.


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