18 May

Mobile library

Beautiful forever coverBehind the Beautiful Forevers
Katherine Boo

Just finished this book and thought it might be nice to put a short review on here. I enjoyed it a lot. It contrasted pretty starkly with the beautiful French and Spanish villages we’ve been riding through.

This story is a factual account of life in a typical Mumbai slum written by an American journalist. I did not realise that until the end and I was so surprised! Firstly that the narrative and dialogue are so natural and secondly that the events described really happened. Katherine Boo spent hours in this slum with its inhabitants interviewing, observing and surveying them. It reminds me a little of the work of journalist David Simon, author of The Wire.

She used official records and translators to help fact check information and a lot of the dialogue in the book is verbatim. I liked the characters she placed in the frame despite, or maybe due to, their naked self interest and casual cruelty Perhaps because there was nothing left to hide.

“He wanted to be better than what he was made of. In Mumbai’s dirty water, he wanted to be ice.”


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