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Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Two recent fiction books set in and depicting life in India that have become internationally acclaimed are Shantaram and The White TigerShantaram, written by Gregory David Roberts, is a semi-autobiographical fiction book based upon some of Roberts’ real life experiences as a fugitive from an Australian prison who flees to Bombay in the 80’s and has a wide range of experiences there including living in a Bombay slum and a small rural village, joining the Indian mafia, fighting in Afghanistan against the Russians, and acting in Bollywood movies.   The White Tiger was written by journalist, Aravind Adiga, and tells a fictional story of a driver in modern day India who serves an upper class businessman and ultimately becomes a successful entrepreneur in Bangalore after escaping what he calls life in the Darkness through, what most would say, the worst way possible. (more…)

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I just finished reading the recently released book The Defector, by Daniel Silva.  Silva is the best selling author of thriller and espionage books, having written 12 thriller novels, many of which have reached the New York Times best selling list.   A fan of the thriller genre, I’ve read and enjoyed Silva’s previous 11 books and as usual, quickly purchased The Defector when it was released in July.   The Defector continues the Gabriel Allon series, the Israeli intelligence hero that Silva has used in his last 8 books.   Here are a couple of initial thoughts, without giving away the entire story. (more…)

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I recently read the wildly entertaining book, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s a fiction book, but semi-autobiographical, based upon some of Roberts’ real life experiences as a fugitive from an Australian prison who flees to Bombay and has a wide range of experiences there including living in a slum, joining the Indian mafia, fighting in Afghanistan against the Russians, and acting in Bollywood movies.

In one passage in the book, he writes about the Indian gesture, the head-wiggle (also commonly called the head bobble).

From Shantaram

“No discovery pleased me more, on that first excursion from the city, than the full translation of the famous Indian head-wiggle.  (more…)

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What does the former # 2 United Nations official recommend as the top action to help developing countries?

I picked up Time Magazine this weekend and came across the article  “A Glimmer of Hope in Africa”.    While it talks about some of the improvements in Congo, the first paragraph of the article lays out some of the common problems in emerging countries such as Congo:

A region with great natural wealth, riven by war, racked with hunger and traumatized by a long history of colonial abuse, postcolonial kleptocracy and plunder. In the past 10 years alone, millions have died here, and more die each day as a result of the conflict.  Most die not from war wounds but from starvation or disease.  A lack of infrastructure means there is little medical care in the cities and none in rural communities, so any infection can be a death sentence.  The most vulnerable suffer the worst.  One in five children in Congo will die before reaching the age of 5″

That paragraph mentions lack of infrastructure, widespread disease, starvation, high infant mortality rates, tribal wars, lack of medical care in rural areas.  (more…)

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