The astrologer returned to tell my fortune. He took a sharpened stick and scratched my future on a palm leaf. ‘He will marry a girl from far, far way, from outside the village, the district, the province, the state and even the country,’ it began.
I love an interesting travel story, and even more so if it’s a love story. That being said, Per J. Andersson’s The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love is remarkable in how little of the central love story is shown.
Now don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly fascinating learning about India’s complicated history with its caste system. Furthermore, I appreciated how uncensored the book was in illustrating the hardships of those born into the Dalit aka “untouchable” caste and just how corruption and discrimination based on caste remains prevalent even with all the new laws and regulations today..
While both PK and Lotta are characters in the so-called “love story”, The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love truly is the story of P.K., the titular “man”. The book is told in a way that is similar to a documentary where we follow P.K’s life from birth to his days as a struggling student and artist who is eventually “discovered” by some influential figures to when he meets Lotta. Unfortunately we do not get much insight into why or how they fall in love with one another.
While not the ultimate love story, The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love is astonishing in that showcases the power of one extremely fortunate man’s perseverance in addition to showing readers just how kind strangers can be to one another especially travellers. Well-written despite the overuse of exposition, The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love while not a book for everyone may be enjoyed by those intrigued by the class structure and distinctions in India.
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.