Customer Reviews for

Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

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  • Posted March 25, 2010

    Nine lives In search of the sacred in modern India By William Dalrymple A short book-review By Shai Gelber


    This book, much like the title suggests, tells the separate stories of nine different religious individuals in modern India. Unlike other travel books, the author emphasizes the life story and experiences of those he encounters and much less speaks of his own expeditions. The many diverse and unique religions practices in India allow for ample curiosity, especially to western readers who are less familiar with them. The author, after introducing a special religious devotee, retells their story from their perspective in a riveting manner. The reader is swept into this new and fascinating world of devotion and worship. Often shocking and astonishing, the stories are also very moving and heartbreaking.


    The book contains many difficult terms to comprehend and many hard words to pronounce. This fact may obstruct the natural reading flow one is used to. However, if you are able to overlook these difficulties, the book is enchanting. The anthropological and religious mixtures give an added flavor and texture.
    The fact that many people are now extremely interested in modern India could add to the book's commercial success. The book itself is well written and the characters in it are likable and relatable. The religious aspect is also intriguing and may shed light on less familiar religions and beliefs thus hopefully invoking compassion and understanding towards others, and most importantly eradicating bigotry, prejudice and hatred.

    Grade: 9/10

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    Stories as rich and colorful as India itself. Dalrymple is one o

    Stories as rich and colorful as India itself. Dalrymple is one of the best non-fiction writers I've ever read. If you're interested in Eastern religion, you're sure to love this book.

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Nine Lives- Nine Hundred Loves

    I have lived in India. I inhaled the air at higher altitudes in the Himalayas, and wondered if oxygen deprivation causes this deeper awareness and spirituality. But then everything is heavily laden with spirituality up there, every rock, every tree, every drop of water is pregnant with a rich history. I have watched the sadhus walk by on pilgrimages of one sort or another. After a brief glimpse of curiosity at each other, we moved on to our appointed destinies, each regarding the other as irrelevent in the greater scheme of the Universe. But not so for Mr. Dalrymple. He delved deeper. He noted their humbleness as having just as legitimate place as yours or mine in the Universe, and he did it with a wonderful writing style. He flooded me with memories of all the things I missed that he captured so well on the journey. And if you haven't made such journies, you will feel enriched for reading this book and taking the journey through this very competant author's pages.It's almost like being there. Well done, William Dalrymple. You are a truly gifted author.

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    Posted February 14, 2011

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    Posted May 5, 2011

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    Posted September 3, 2010

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