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Travelers' Tales India: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides)
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Manufacturer: Travelers' Tales
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 915.4
EAN: 9781932361018
ISBN: 1932361014
Label: Travelers' Tales
Manufacturer: Travelers' Tales
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 518
Publication Date: 2004-01-14
Publisher: Travelers' Tales
Studio: Travelers' Tales

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Editorial Reviews:

This popular book in the Travelers’ Tales Destination Series weaves a tapestry of sensory images, profound transformations, and compelling history about a land that has lured and puzzled travelers for centuries and continues to do so today. Now in a new edition, Travelers' Tales India includes 49 stories and dozens of sidebar anecdotes covering the sprawling canvas of the country, from the high Himalayas to the dense jungles teeming with wildlife, to the chaotic inner cities and deceptively slow-paced villages. Among the stories: Jan Haag participates in a traditional Indian wedding, noted chef Madhur Jaffrey feasts on food for body and soul, Jonah Blank encounters the caretakers of the dead on the Ganges, William Dalrymple penetrates the mysteries of the Sufi masters, and David Yeadon takes a bath with 15 million people.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Excellent Range of Perspectives
Comment: I agree with the above reviews. There is such a variety of subject matter and types of writing collected in this book and I found myself saving so many pages with great information about places in India that I had not yet heard about but wanted to make sure I visited now when I plan my own trip!

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: launching point for learning about India or planning a trip to India
Comment: I'm giving this book five stars not because the individual travel stories comprising this are five star stories (though many of them are), but because the breadth of subject matter and perspectives this book offers are remarkable. From the frosty passes of the Himalayas to the bustling streets of Calcutta, from the Ganges to shores of Goa, from the rarely-visited tribal interior to the even more desolate Rann of Kutch, this book portrays a country with a topography perhaps as diverse as Europe's. From the barriers of caste to the oppression of women, this book portrays a social evolution still in progress but with roots in ancient times.

Highlights for me included Rory Nugent's eccentric search for the supposedly extinct pink-headed duck, and David Yeadon's brilliant portrayal of character interactions (including an Indian interrupting his narrative digression in real time "Sir, are you hearing me, sir?"). For every traveler that timidly scratched the surface of India without real discovery (such as a particularly uptight and sheltered Oxford Fellow's first trip) there was one so recklessly bold that you're glad you could relive the experience from the safety of your own home (including one author's visit to a tribal island where past visitors had been killed). Somewhere in the middle there's bound to be powerful inspiration for a trip of one's own.

Reading this book was not only satisfying, but served as a launching point for future reading of the complete works from which these tales were excerpted (David Yeadon's Back of the Beyond and Jonah Blank's Arrow of the Blue Skinned God seemed particularly interesting to me).

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Vicariously experience the best and worst of India
Comment: I read this book after reading the DK guide to India and Leila Hadley?s A Journey with Elsa Cloud (the latter is about a tour of parts of India in the 70s). This excellent collection of true stories really made all the places come alive and gave me a much richer and fuller sense of India than I could get from just Hadley?s book. The poverty, sexism, and daily encounters with excrement that are a part of life in India are compellingly conveyed at the same time as we come to feel the vast heavy weight of so many centuries of history, so much spiritual questing, so much diminished glory. Since I finished the book, I have found myself repeating stories to friends from the excerpts from Rory Nugent?s The Search for the Pink-Headed Duck and from Mark Shand?s Travels on My Elephant, which were particularly vivid and fascinating to me. There are a suprising number of tales featuring cyclists--evidently India is a popular place to tour by bike.

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