I read this for the BookLikes-opoly game. Somewhere back in my blog posts is the history. . . .
Anyway, I got the Kindle edition free when Open Road Media was giving stuff away last year, and it fit whatever square it was that I landed on. So I read it. I knew nothing about author Norman Lewis, and not a whole lot about India, other than what I've picked up reading a few novels set there -- The Far Pavilions, Shadow of the Moon, The Zemindar, The India Fan, Blood Moon over Bengal and The Moonstone.
Lewis sets out in the early 1990s on an exploration of a part of India that the tourists don't see, where the indigenous tribes still live supposedly much the same way they have for centuries. I was expecting something like Margaret Mead or Bronislaw Malinowski, and I was even prepared to set aside what I expected to be Lewis's racist, colonial point of view in order to enjoy the book.
The racism and colonialism are there, but there wasn't much else. The hotels were bad, the food was bad, the phone service was bad, the roads were bad, and Lewis never got to see any animals. No tigers, no elephants. Every morning he and his driver set out in the fog, and there were such lyrical descriptions of the fog, as though some dramatic, evocative narrative was going to unfold. It never did.
Government was intruding on the tribes, tearing down their traditional homes and replacing them with concrete houses. That's the primary thing I came away with, other than the fog. Tribe after tribe - I've forgotten their names, which were often similar to each other -- with little in-depth exploration and virtually no personification.
Was there a goddess in the stones of the temples he encountered? Oh, I think so, but I'm not sure. Not enough of one to be memorable. The book just didn't live up to the title, or even the cover.
I finished it, because I truly wanted to learn. All I learned was that there was nothing there. Not even a tiger or an elephant.
This is a collection of short stories, mostly featuring Jeeves and Wooster in America but with a few of Wodehouse's other, older stories thrown in. My favourite story (Helping Freddie) features the scene where the two bachelors are taking care of a young child (there's a story behind that as well) and after managing to get the kid undressed for bed, they prod the pool of assorted clothing items and realize it'll be absolutely impossible to get the kid dressed again without help.
Simon Prebble as the narrator is great, as usual.
Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #1
So this was weird. Definitely weird. I was interested enough to keep reading and I did like part of the ending, but there was definite weirdness going on. I mean, the phone calls...?
And the people warning me about the gruesomeness really weren't kidding. Overall I'm not really sure what to make of it since it was also quite dry and clinical in parts, so I'm going with a completely middle of the road rating unless I change my mind. I know I could put off writing a review, but I'd rather just put something down now so that it's done.
I'm thinking about checking out the next one in the series because I didn't mind Carol and I thought Tony might be better in future books. I also quite like police procedurals.
I read this for booklikes-opoly Mystery 35 "Read a book tagged police procedural or detective on GR, or has a MC who is a police detective". This one is tagged police procedural and one of the MC's (Jordan) is a police detective, so I'm pretty sure it counts. Other people confirmed the genre too. At 416 pages, this adds another $10 to my bank, leaving me with a whopping $247!
He opened the boxes and took out the stacks of document wallets they contained. Carol had labelled them all neatly. Fluent capitals, Tony noted. A woman comfortable with the written word.
Also, what is a "fluent" capital? A neat capital letter? As opposed to indecipherable scrawl?? This is for case evidence documentation back in the 90s. Of course it would be legible.