My bookshelf is very limited as of now. That is partly because I had to stop reading in my later school years to make time for the extra amount of studies. Because if you don’t, you simply won’t get a good college. And mind you, that in India with a billion plus population, competition gets really tough. And so now I’m in college and my bookshelf is full of to be reads.
I simply fell in love with the book. The story of a black man who struggles with a bunch of ill mannered kids in a school in a bad part of the city of London. The theme felt perfect for a movie. (And they made the same eight years later). And with time and with a commendable amount of dedication and hard work, the man eventually earns the love and respect of his students. The story was so inspiring and so perfect that I never even thought that this was a biopic. (Which I knew when I was in the middle of the book) The writer tells the story in a very simple and frank manner. The author really made me feel that I was inside the story like an unobtrusive observer. Throughout the story I felt the atmosphere of the scenes that the author depicted- the tension inside the class, the stench of the London slums, the hostility of racial discrimination and the overwhelming joy of Braithwaite at the end in doing himself and his students proud. I almost cried at the end and even now my heart is full of emotions as I remember the scene. For me, the book was written in the best way possible and the fact that this was a true account from the main protagonist of the story, made this book even more special.
I couldn’t even resist but see the movie. And its safe to say that Sidney Poitier completely did justice to the movie. The movie was as moving as the book even though it was a stripped down version of the original but nonetheless superb. And it was even more pleasing to know that Poitier was the first black man to win an Oscar. (Though for a different movie at a different time.)
Very few books have impacted me so much. And this book taught me so many things and made me see the world in a better way. Good books stay in you bookshelf for life but the best books stay in your heart forever.