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A Long Way Home

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  59,856 ratings  ·  4,737 reviews
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
Paperback, AU Edition, 288 pages
Published June 24th 2013 by Viking
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Brenda Noah Yes. It will open his or her eyes to the another world and appreciate what they have. It doesn't have any sex scenes like in the movie. …moreYes. It will open his or her eyes to the another world and appreciate what they have. It doesn't have any sex scenes like in the movie. (less)
Mike Wilcox he had pronounced his name wrong all his life. Sheru was his birth name meaning Lion in Hindi..

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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  59,856 ratings  ·  4,737 reviews

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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
Jun 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biog-or-memoir
It's India in the 1980s and Saroo, his siblings and his mum live in extreme poverty sharing a single room with only a single shelf as furniture; mum and older brother get work that pays very little, and the rest of the time the mother and kids have to beg, borrow or steal to survive. One night, on an adventure with his older brother, Saroo finds himself stuck on a train and travelling hundreds and hundreds of miles away from his home. With no resources, completely lost and alone, Saroo has to ek ...more
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

A Long Way Home 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
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
Imogen Kathleen
Oh my lord this book had be blubbering like a baby. Prepare the tissues if you read this book!
When Saroo Brierley was five years old, he was separated from his family on a train. Unable to remember where he came from, Saroo eventually found himself adopted by an Australian family. This is the story of Saroo finding his home.

The Good
- A very emotional and heartwarming read.
- So easy to fly through in a single sitting.
- I can finally watch the movie!

The Bad
- Saroo's writing isn't my person
After recently watching the movie Lion for the 4th time (and crying my eyes out each time), I decided right then that it was time to pull the book off my shelf and read it!

Previously published as A Long Way Home, the book gives greater insights into Saroo's journey, both physical and emotional, than the movie could, given its time constraints. I learned more about Saroo: his birth and adoptive parents' backgrounds (including his birth father), his blood siblings (he has another older brother!),
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
A Long Way Home is Saroo Brierley'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 ...more
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
Diane S ☔
Jun 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nfr-2020
Saroo was five years old when he found himself alone and on the streets of Calcutta. Surviving by eating scraps of food, sleeping in hidden areas. After several close calls, he is eventually found and sent to an orphanage. Unable to find his family from his descriptions, he is adopted and sent to live his new life in Australia. Years later has an adult he attempts again to find the family he lost. This is the story of his journey.

I'm a doubting Thomas, I freely admit it, but I can't believe he c
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, z2016, nonfiction
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
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This is an extraordinary story, told by the person who lived it. Part of me is still “in” the story and I only hope that it doesn’t hinder me from expressing how truly wonderful this book is.

First: The Writing. Maybe an odd place to start, but when we read a book, that’s the first introduction to the story we get. The words. The writing. “Lion” is written with great humbleness, with gratitude, with simplicity and utter straightforwardness. In that way it captured me completely and continued thro
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, tear-jerker
Saroo was only five years old when he followed his older brother (himself only 14) to work along the train stations not far from his home. As Saroo fell asleep on a platform bench, Guddu his brother told him, “Just sit down, and don’t move. I’ll come back in a little while.” Waking up hours later to a dark, deserted platform, Saroo’s not certain why he stepped onto the empty train car standing before him. In all likelihood, it was to find his brother. The circumstances that would then put him al ...more
I discovered this book in the new section of books in Waterstones. I had seen the trailer for the film, and I bought it really for the sheer hell of it. I'm glad I made that decision that day.
This is a remarkable story of discovery, which in turn, has it's share of utter heartbreak and dispair as we are taken along Saroo's emotional journey. When five year old Saroo gets separated from his brother at a train station in India, he experiences a spontaneous moment, where he boards the train in fro
When Saroo Brierley was born, he was born into poverty in a small town in India. Of course he wasn’t Saroo Brierley then, and when he became lost he was only five, and could only remember his name was Saroo. His early childhood was happy in his memory. He and his siblings were always hungry, but that was a fact of life. They spent their days begging for food, eating scraps from the ground and doing the best they could. They were the typical impoverished children with big tummys bloated from gas, ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ♥ Sandi ❣ by: 2017 movie - Lion
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
Woman Reading
Remarkable circumstances displayed little Saroo's proverbial 9 lives of a cat (or lion cub).

A young child went off with his teenaged brother for an evening adventure, and neither returned home. This is the stuff of parental nightmares, no matter which country of residence. But this situation was worsened by the limited circumstances of both the family and their nation.

In rural India in the mid-1980s, the two brothers separated after Saroo, the younger boy, was instructed by 14 year old Guddu to
Apr 28, 2019 marked it as tbr-soon
Watched the movie today, and of course I cried at the end. I cannot compare to the book just yet, but it was really beautiful and sad and heart-warming how 5 year old Saroo gets lost and tries to find his way back home after 25 years with nothing but a vague memory of his childhood, his mother, his little sister and his best friend and brother Guddu, and Google Earth.
Lauren Cecile
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, poignant memoir!
Jen from Quebec :0)
It is NOT often that I say this, but-- I actually cannot wait to watch the film version of this (yes, I know it was nominated for the Oscar) because I think it will make a better film than book! Blasphemy, I know! Perhaps, if the protagonist were an actual author instead of just a normal guy trying to write his incredible story I would not feel this way....but, the book left me wanting better details/descriptions/emotions and I think the film will be great. --Jen from Quebec :0)
✨    jami   ✨
ever since I first heard about Saroo's story through the Australian media it has fascinated me. It is a harrowing story, but also such an incredible one. It is amazing to me that he managed to survive those weeks on the streets of Culcutta, being so severely separated from his family, and then managed to find his way back years later equipped with Google Earth and a few childhood memories.

I adored the movie version and I've been meaning to finally get to the actual biography for years and FINAL
3.5/5 ~ Very strong and powerful story, but the execution wasn’t one of my favorites. Shortly after I saw the movie, that hit me right in the feels.
The book is still a good add of this incredible journey. I very enjoyed the first half (young Saroo memories), while I struggled a little to get through the second half (adult Saroo).
*Listened to the audiobook via BorrowBox!*

Hands down, this is one of my favourite audiobook experiences of the year so far. Lion is inspired by the author's true story of being born in India, ending up accidentally lost on a speeding train to Calcutta, being homeless and then rescued from the dangerous streets and adopted to a loving family in Tasmania. There, he grows up from a little boy to a successful adult but always thinking about his old life back home. Spending months searching across Go
Arianne Mix
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really liked the first quarter of the book when he recollected his experiences as a boy in India. I love memoirs and this was right up my alley. The rest of the book was about his doubts and feelings of depression and his confusion and blah blah blah. It drove me crazy. He grew up in a beautiful, good family in Australia and the story of his adoption as a 5 yr. old was fascinating. But reading about his obsessive search for his family for over 100 pages was awful--he did all of his searching o ...more
Stephanie Anze
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
When Saroo gets separated at the train station from his brother, his life takes a dramatic turn. At just five years old, he finds himself alone in an unknown and crowded platform. With a vague notion of his way home, Saroo attempts to go back but instead winds up getting adopted and going to live to Australia. Still, Saroo can not forget his family in India and (years later) begins to search for them. This is his real life journey.

Wow, going by the description of the book, one would think this i
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totally a feel-good story. I find it flipping amazing that 5-year old Saroo somehow managed to avoid any number of horrible situations while homeless and alone in Kolkata. To be adopted by a family in Australia truly was fortuitous.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully, heartbreaking memoir. 5 year old Saroo, is lost and alone, he is locked in a carriage on a train that is speeding away from his home town taking him to an unknown destination…… 24 hours or so later he finds himself in the big city of Calcutta.

Far from his small home town. With limited information of where he is from, family name etc the authorities are unable to locate his family. Eventually Saroo is adopted and flown to a loving family in Australia where he builds a new
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book tells an amazing story. There is simply no other way to describe it. It is the real-life story of Saroo, a five-year-old child in a village in central India, who gets lost and finds himself transported all the way east to Calcutta, some 1800 kms away. Young Saroo, all of five, penniless and illiterate, does not even know the name of his village and knows little else about where he was from. He gets off at the bustling, crowded Howrah train station and survives for six weeks in the inti ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
‘A Long Way Home’ describes an early childhood in India which is beyond imagination for most Americans. The poverty of poor people in India is incredible and horrendous.

But some escape it.

Saroo Brierley was adopted from an Indian orphanage by a Tasmania couple eager for children. From the age of five or six (he does not know the day of his birth), Saroo was cared for and loved by the Brierleys, and given needed medical care (internal parasites and a tapeworm). After a normal Western world upbri
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Saroo Brierley (born 1981) is an Indian-born Australian businessman who, at age 5, was separated from his biological mother. He was adopted by an Australian couple, and 25 years later reunited with his biological mother. His story generated significant international media attention, especially in Australia and India.

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  Mary Roach is a science author who specializes in the bizarre and offbeat. With a body of work ranging from deep-dives on the history of...
62 likes · 5 comments
“My mother described her reactions better than I ever could mine: she said she was "surprised with thunder" that her boy had come back, and that the happiness in her heart was "as deep as the sea".” 23 likes
“I feel strongly that from my being a little lost boy with no family to becoming a man with two, everything was meant to happen just the way it happened. And I am profoundly humbled by that thought.” 18 likes
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