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    Here's Why You Should Read "Lion", Even If You've Already Seen The Movie

    "The storytelling was incredibly easy to follow and I often found myself so entranced by the book that I almost missed my stop on my commute to and from work!"

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    So, BuzzFeed Oz now has a book club and we're here to give you an honest opinion about the books we read.


    ^You, me and the entire world upon hearing this news.

    We'll be reviewing everything, from past hits (like Lion), to new releases and undiscovered treasures.

    Warner Brothers

    The only theme we've got is Aussie authors! Because we have a bunch of talent in this country, so why not go ahead and celebrate it?

    Here's what we had to say about Lion (previously published as A Long Way Home) by Saroo Brierley:

    Clare Aston / BuzzFeed

    What Clare said:

    Clare Aston / BuzzFeed

    Like everyone else, I went and saw the movie when it first came out — like who would want less of Dev Patel on the big screen? This probably didn't help me when it came to reading the book, because unlike other adaptions, this movie actually stayed pretty close.

    So, obviously I knew what was going to happen, but don't worry, I won't give away any spoilers.

    My favourite part about this book was that it was an easy read with a raw story. It didn't need bells and whistles to keep you entertained. Lion reads like a recount, telling the reader exactly what happened in the exact same order that it did. Brierley doesn't delve into tangents or ask too many "what if?" questions. It's for this reason that you'll be able to finish it on an overcrowded train on your morning commute.

    I enjoyed it because it gave me a glimpse into a world and a life that I never would have been a part of before. And while the movie was a great adaption, the book allowed me go further into Brierley's mind than the movie was able to take me. For example, he explains how it was possible for him to remember life in India when he was only five and how he was able to accept life in Australia.

    If you're looking to open up your mind a little bit to struggles you've not thought of before, or even if you're a fan of the movie and you want the same story in a different medium — this is the book for you!

    What Hameda said:

    Hameda Nafiz / BuzzFeed

    I was one of the few in the book club who hadn’t seen the film before reading the book. It’s not that I had anything against it — Dev Patel on the big screen with all that scruff? Yes please — give it to me all the time, for the rest of all time. But I simply hadn’t had the chance to go and see it and then it never came up again.

    Still, I’m almost glad I now have the opportunity to see the film after reading the book, as I genuinely had no clue what the story itself was going to be about. Until I started reading of course. Saroo’s story is compelling, heartbreaking and wonderful all at once.

    The storytelling was incredibly easy to follow and I often found myself so entranced by the book that I almost missed my stop on my commute to and from work. Brierley doesn't beat around the bush — he tells it how it is, how it was and how he remembers.

    If you enjoyed stories like Life of Pi or anything by Khaled Hosseini, you won't regret reading this book. A story of survival, chance and unbelievable luck (or fate, whichever you believe in), this is one story that will stay with you for weeks after you turn the last page.

    What Natalia said:

    Natalia Krslovic / BuzzFeed

    Like most of our True Blue Book crew, I had already seen Lion in cinemas — and I cried like a baby the whole way through — and I agree that the narrative is very similar to that of the movie, so you know what to expect.

    However, Saroo's first-person recount of finding his biological family in India as an adult provides some interesting perspectives that the film doesn't offer. As a strategist, I was completely engulfed in hearing how he actually went about systematically tracking them down using Google Earth — which is equally painstaking in its intensity and relieving in its payoff.

    If you, like me, are also fascinated with languages and intercultural communication, you'll love finding out more about how Saroo overcomes linguistic and cultural barriers to build relationships with his biological family — which I think is the real value of reading the book over watching the film.

    What Tom said:

    Tom Scott / BuzzFeed

    Lion is a fantastic retelling of the incredible journey of Saroo, who was completely lost from his family when he was five and how he tracked them down 25 years later. I cannot remember a thing from when I was five, but Saroo ran over his memories of his time in India again and again, so that when he was older, he was still able to remember them.

    I enjoyed the book, even though I had seen the film. In contrast to other book to film adaptions I’ve seen, the film, Lion, actually kept in most of the details we read in the book.

    However, if you're a fan of the film, there is still enough to justify reading — we see more of Saroo’s thought process and emotional journey, like when he decided to ride all the trains at Calcutta station, or later when he would try to find his home on Google Earth before giving up and starting over again and again.

    For me, it’s just an incredible story in survival and the unstoppable power of family. It also showed me real and beautiful humans, who have no reason to help someone, but still do. The huge and positive impact human compassion can have is eye-opening.

    Buy the paperback edition for $14.83 or the Kindle edition for $11.99 on Amazon Australia.

    If there's another book by an Aussie author that you would like to see reviewed, let us know in the comments!

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