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    Available in PDF Format | Lascar.pdf | English
    Shahida Rahman(Author)
Lascar is the epic story of one man's journey to fulfil his destiny. When Ayan discovers his brother has cancer, the need to cover medical expenses propels him to leave poverty-stricken Bengal and emulate their late father by becoming a Lascar - shovelling coal in the bowels of the steamships trading between India and England. The brutal reality of this existence leaves Ayan fearing for his life. Fleeing the ship, he disappears into the bitter-cold streets of Victorian London. After serving time for a crime he did not commit, the kindness of a new friend, and a chance meeting with a young half-caste street urchin changes everything, prompting Ayan to re-examine his life. With his faith restored, and the realisation that his journey is complete, Ayan must begin the long trip home.

'Lascar' is a wonderful study of one man s struggle to be true to himself. The central characters' determination to trust inhis faith, despite the violence and prejudice that hampers his everyattempt at improving his lot, is truly inspirational. As 'Lascar' moves from the slums of Calcutta, to Victorian London, theauthor expertly brings to life the sounds, smells and chaotic nature of London at the height of the Ripper murders. 'Lascar' is a great read, the research involved in creating this novelmust have been exhausting!' --Clifford Thurlow, Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling AuthorLascar is an evocative story that brings to prominence a neglected part of history. Shahida 's beautiful descriptions of Bengal are punctuated with glimpses of colonial cruelty that foreshadow her protagonist's nightmarish experiences as a sailor on a British ship. From the rice fields of his home to the squalor of Victorian London, Ayan Miah the Lascar of the title brings the reader on a journey that encompasses not only oceans but also metaphorical gulfs of the spirit. It is a compelling story of endurance in the face of brutality, survival against prejudice and poverty, and the inner struggle to maintain faith and dignity under almost unimaginable hardship. Lascar is not only historical fiction but also a testimony to the strength of the human character. --Caroline Rance, Author of novel, Kill Grief .Lascar brims with all the grand topics of literature: love and death, heroism and skullduggery, humour and pathos, loyalty, brotherly love, art and religion. A good old-fashioned novel. This is a story that needs to be told and it is told by an exciting new writer of literary fiction. --Jon Breakfield, Author of DEATH BY GLASGOW

3.5 (4436)
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Book details

  • PDF | 294 pages
  • Shahida Rahman(Author)
  • Indigo Dreams Publishing (4 Jun. 2012)
  • English
  • 6
  • Romance
Read online or download a free book: Lascar

Review Text

  • By Holly10 on 7 June 2012

    Wonderful story of a well hidden event in history very well written and hard to put down excellent looking forward to next installment

  • By davo rhinehart on 21 August 2012

    this was an impulse buy, based firstly on the great cover art, and secondly on remembering my Nan (who grew up in the East End at the turn of the century) mentioning Lascars when we would visit Wapping and Stepney to see her old haunts.well what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be. I was so impressed by the strength of characters, and richness of the story, and the way the author painted a picture in my mind. i was willing Ayan to overcome all the wicked things that were put in his way, and without spoiling anything for those who haven't read Lascar yet, there was definitely a lump in my throat as I turned the last few pages.well done Shahida, I hope you have more to follow

  • By Janice G on 20 June 2012

    Very much enjoyed reading this. Starts off in East India with two young boys struggling to survive and ends up decades later in Victorian London - not your 'Upstairs Downstairs' glossy coated version but the real life & death story. You'll be entertained with the romance and pathos but also educated.The writer has done amazing research on a subject that has been completely forgotten by mainstream historians and it pays off. I recommend this book to anyone who likes history or just a good tale.

  • By Longshanks on 3 July 2012

    A very enjoyable read which creates a vivid picture of the life of lascars. Further vastly details the endurance of foreigners to England in the Victorian period for the prejudices that they received, mapping the struggle for a fair life. Rahman writes exceptionally well and I would definitely recommend reading it.

  • By simizat (junior literary critic) on 29 August 2015

    This book was extremely well written and had lots of great descriptions! Ayan's journey is an incredible one and will intrigue many young adults. Just how this one man faces slavery, the death of friends and being bullied and insulted because of his skin colour but still stands tall until the end is so awesome!! At times it got a bit complicating or slightly boring because I think it was written for older ages and the ending was a bit unclear, but other than that it was a great book! Also, it is a bit violent so I wouldn't read it if I were below 11. A great read! Loved it!

  • By Noosner on 28 October 2013

    Lascar tells the story of one man's search to find meaning in life. As other reviewers have said, the book is extremely well researched and sheds light on a very interesting corner of history - the life and times of the lascars who came to the UK many years ago, working their passage by doing arduous and dangerous work in the belly of the great sailing ships of the era. Lascar follows the changing fortunes of one man as he struggles to find his feet, first on the ships, then on dry land. An emotional and gripping read.

  • By samui gal on 6 September 2012

    like a previous reviewer, I too was first drawn to 'Lascar' by the great cover art. Reading the back, I was surprised that I had not heard of Lascar's before, and the short synopsis sold me immediately. What a lovely read it was too, it made me root for Ayan as he endured such terrible prejudice and hardship. There were lovely descriptive pieces that properly described the darkness of Victorian London or the colourfulness of India. Highly recommended.

  • By Anand Subhuti on 27 September 2012

    This book is an adventure story, a romance and a history lesson all rolled into one saga. The central character seeks his destiny by signing up as a Lascar, an Indian hired to stoke coal-fired boilers aboard a British colonial steam ship in the nineteenth century. His brutal treatment, his escape, his love affair in London... all these experiences help to bring him the maturity and wisdom he desired. An eye-opening novel and a great read.

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