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The Sly Company of People Who Care    by Rahul Bhattacharya order for
Sly Company of People Who Care
by Rahul Bhattacharya
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2012 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

We don't often hear about Guyana in the news. Yet, as Rahul Bhattacharya tells it in his novel, The Sly Company of People Who Care, there is much of interest in this country. Its history, varied population and geography all get our attention, especially because of the story's interesting characters and language.

An Indian cricket writer has returned to Georgetown because his first visit enchanted him. One of the little-known facts about Guyana is that it has a preponderance of Indians descended from indentured laborers. Next numerous are Africans. This mixture is volatile, and the cricket writer is attracted by the resulting clash of cultures, its different kinds of music, as well as the possibilities of the place. As he becomes more familiar with his surroundings, his various forays into the countryside get kind of lonely, and so he is ever so happy to begin a bigger adventure accompanied by a lovely young woman.

The results of this adventure give him much to think about, and while he is doing that, we get a dose of the local politics and a wonderfully realistic slice of how life must be lived in these parts.

It is easy to understand why this book has received many honors. Since it might just be autobiographical, that would explain the loose ends left at the end. No matter, we are glad to have been along on this adventure and wonder whether we will get a chance to find out what happens upon the cricket writer's return to India, because he surely will look at his home country in a new way.

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