Planes, Trains and Auto-Rickshaws
Jul 17, 2012
A Journey Through Modern India
Author: Laura Pedersen
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing (May 29, 2012)
I'm a sucker for a good travelogue type story. I've been a huge fan of Bill Bryson for years and when I was offered a similar type book claiming travel information and sharp wit, I jumped on it.
Laura writes in a slightly more serious vein than Bill does, with more in-depth coverage of issues pertaining to the areas she's traveling in, but her sarcasm, humor and dry take on world events brings out the chuckles at the same time.
Laura travels through all of India and you get to share in her experiences, including temples, food, travel, insects, dealing with people, taxis, zoos, bird sanctuaries, and her attempts to wear a sari. A favorite temple visit, to me, was her attempt to check out the temple that worships the rat. Thousands of rats everywhere and yes... you are still required to take off your shoes.
Laura discusses the concepts that we hold in regards to native Indians, some are completely wrong and racist, and some are right on the money. She gives each experience a fair shake, even when she goes into an area with a strong pre-developed prejudice herself.
I much enjoyed the book, and if it didn't make me want to visit India, I did enjoy learning what I did about the area.
PS: if you visit, I would avoid the Howrah Bridge, which apparently is eroding/corroding from the massive amounts of spit it has rained down on it by the men that chew the red Betel leaf all day. That's just too nasty to think about.
Reviewed by Idgie. If you would like to have the Dew review a book, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org