Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book - Indian Summer

This was a quick, mostly light, mostly enjoyable read.  Overall kind of a shoulder shrug.  The writing is decent and I enjoyed much of the story, especially now that I'm living in India and working with slum kids.  It's basically a memoir about how Will, an Englishman and teacher by profession, finds himself in India.  Finds himself in India mostly to escape his horrid students in London though.  And he's pretty disparaging about said profession, maybe in a self deprecating way, but here's where I start to not like him all that much.

He stumbles on this opportunity to go to India.  He finds he doesn't like it at all and plans to return to the UK immediately.  (Liking him even less.)  I forget why he doesn't and instead happenstance brings him to working with a small orphanage/school in a slum right here in Pune.  But again, almost grudgingly.  He comes around and the story of working with all these little children to put on a performance of the Ramayana to save the slum from developers is full of comedy and heartbreak and triumph.

The major events are driven exclusively by chance encounters and Will's total lack of, well, will.  I do not get the subtitle to the book:  "A good man in Asia."  The way it's presented, it's more like a not-so-bad guy that is open to anything and everything.  Which really isn't a bad thing and neither is the book.  *shrug*

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