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The Village by Nikita Lalwani

The Village (edition 2012)

by Nikita Lalwani

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482242,697 (3.58)1
Title:The Village
Authors:Nikita Lalwani
Info:Viking (2012), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:2013, Your library
Tags:read 2013, fiction, amazon vine

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The Village: A Novel by Nikita Lalwani



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I'm seriously unsure between 3 and 4 stars. About half-way through I would've said 3 stars but I enjoyed the end part of the story and that brought it back up to 4 stars. The story of Ray, Nathan and Serena visiting an open prison in India appealed instantly and I loved the idea of the BBC Documentary and even more so with Ray's culture. It seemed like it could only be a perfect mix for me as a reader, however after having read 'Gifted' and giving it 3/5, I feel this was marginally better but only just.

I engaged with Ray and took a liking to her and she seemed at odds in the prison - liking and respecting their beliefs yet conflicted by own modern western values mixed with her own cultural beliefs. The novel focuses on her at all times with other characters taking the limelight throughout the unfolding story. Yet something didn't seem to hook me as much as it should and I can't put my finger on what. I think I'd expected more from the villagers but they never really stole the limelight and it always came back to Ray.

It was however the ending that boosted the star rating combined with how much I enjoyed the beginning. All in all, I'd recommend it more to someone who enjoys novels set in India rather than because of the story. ( )
  SmithSJ01 | Aug 10, 2012 |
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The Village is a masterclass in compression, zooming in from a wide-angle establishing shot to focus on individual lives. Even though the camp has no perimeter, there's an unnerving sense of constant surveillance. There are at least three levels of "seeing": the villagers who observe the BBC crew; the foreigners with their lenses, prying into local lives; and the prison guards spying on both.
Thoughtfully and often beautifully written, The Village is not just about media ethics – it also explores stubborn postcolonial prejudices, and ultimately asks what it means to represent something "real".
added by Guanhumara | editThe Guardian, Chris Cox (Jun 17, 2012)
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A follow-up to the award-winning "Gifted" traces the efforts of a team of journalists to understand and document life in an experimental open prison where convicted murderers share their lives in a humble village, a site that becomes incresingly and dangerously subject to the dubious moral codes of its drama-seeking visitors.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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