চূড়ান্ত পাঠ্য + Shawn Lee Lee থেকে 28500 Mursal Köyü/Tirebolu/Giresun, Turkey
I haven't seen the movie yet, for when I spotted the book in the bookshop I decided to read it first. It's quite a nice book, but not as wonderful as all the praise on the cover and all the hooha about the movie suggest (though of course the movie might be better). What I liked about this book, was the way the story skipped around and I got to puzzle things out for myself. What I didn't like, was that there weren't any real characters. The side characters are cardboard figures whom we only see for a brief time. We are told they are 'gentle' or 'kind' or whatever, but we hardly see any evidence of that, we just have to take the narrator's word for it. There were some very interesting situations that had the potential for great character development and an exploration of the choices we make as humans, but they were all missed. Interesting characters such as Shantaram, Shankar and his mother and the Australian chap are glossed over. Even the main character is sort of flat. He's resourceful, clever and kind in an absent way, but there isn't much development and mainly the book is just a description of lots of things that happen to him and gives no information on what they mean to him or how they affect him. This is my main problem with the book, since it is this lack of truly interesting people that keeps it all a bit bland. This book had great potential, but didn't live up to it. The result is a book that's easy to read and entertaining enough, but never really touched me or made me think.