Subtitled 'In Search of the Sacred in Modern India'. A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet - then spends the rest of his life trying to atone for the violence by hand printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death. Nine people, nine lives; each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. William Darymple delves deep into the heart of a nation torn between the relentless onslaught of modernity and the continuity of ancient traditions. [Taken from the book cover.] [Small font]
William Dalrymple is a marvellous painter of word pictures and his subjects were so strange, fascinating and colourful it certainly made for a very interesting book. Coromandel 2
Not many finished it but those who did really enjoyed the stories. Religious content was too much for some, although good discussion regarding keeping old traditions alive and how much are they necessary in modern India? Christchurch 238
This book had mixed reviews as not everyone was intrigued enough to read it all. Culverden 1
Fantastic book, made us aware of an incredibly diverse and interesting country. 90% of us credit it was a "best book". Levin 1
A truly successful selection for our group. Auckland 94
Promoted really interesting discussion.
Our group scored the book 4/5 for enjoyment. A long and lively discussion followed, assisted by the thought-provoking questions. The one reservation was the view that the book gets off to a slow start - intending readers should be encouraged to persevere!
An unexpected mental challenge as our first book of the year, but one which provoked the most lively discussion. A truly successful selection for our group.
A lot of the group did not finish the book as they found it hard going. It was acknowledged that it was well researched and factual but not an easy read. One member enjoyed it so much that she looked up all the places cited in the book on a map of India. The majority found it a fascinating insight into the spiritual world of India.
Most in our group found it interesting although rather detailed.
Lots of us found this difficult to read. Good descriptions and interesting examples. Needs to be read over the month, each chapter separately, to get the most from it.
Some loved it, some couldn't get into it. Fascinating. Lots of discussion re religion, society, values, and the meaning of life. Made me want to go to India.
Nine Lives was our most challenging book. Many did not move past The Nun's Tale. Those that did, expressed the view that they learnt a lot!
An absorbing read and fascinating insight into the religions of India, written by a man who obviously loves the country and its people. Dalrymple writes in such an engaging manner, and we all found Nine Lives an interesting and enjoyable book.
Thought-provoking. Valuable discussion. We all admired Nine Lives - the tone, the warmth of the author, and the careful research.
Not everyone finished the book - some found it quite hard to read. Others really loved it and it's insights into spirituality and religion - meaning and purpose. Those who knew and liked India liked it the most. One person found it voyeuristic ( the Indian person in the group).