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Kimball O'Hara, an Irish orphan, is raised in Lahore by an Indian woman. When his parentage is eventually discovered, he is sent to a British school. But he longs to return home to his wanderings and heroic adventures with his friend, the old lama.
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- Pierre Gauthier
This book is more of a tale than a novel and basically deals with the diversity of India, as it could be perceived at the beginning of the 20th century, when the country was still under British rule. It tells of the vicissitudes of young man born of Irish parents who interacts with Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs and evolves accordingly. His meeting with a Tibetan lama is crucial.
The plot is basically that of a quest but is by no means captivating. The characters are all somewhat flat, each embodying his own religion and culture, and none is particularly engrossing.
Overall, the interest of the work lies entirely in its Indian setting, although it is difficult for someone who does not know the land to ascertain how validly it is described.
In the audio version, the narrator imitates Indian accents for the various characters. For someone unfamiliar with the country, it is difficult to gauge how successful she is. The result demands an extra effort on the listener’s part and turns out to be highly aggravating.