On 20th May the Indian summer monsoon will begin to envelop the country in two great wet arms, one coming from the east, the other from the west. They are untied over central India around 10th July, a date that can be calculated within seven or eight days. Frater aims to follow the monsoon, staying sometimes behind it, sometimes in front of it, and everywhere watching the impact of this extraordinary phenomenon. During the anxious period of waiting, the weather forecaster is king, consulted by pie-crested cockatoos, and a joyful period ensues: there is a period of promiscuity, and scandals proliferate. Frater's journey will take him to Bangkok and the cowboy town on the Thai- Malaysian border to Rangoon and Akyab in Burma (where the front funnels up between the mountains and the sea).
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Alexander Frater is chief travel correspondent for the Observer in London and has written for the New Yorker, Punch, and others. He is also the author of numerous books, including Beyond the Blue Horizon.From Library Journal:
The monsoon in India is an exalting, inspiring event which heralds the rebirth of greenery. Yet, in chasing the summer monsoon along the coast, journalist Frater ( Stopping-Train in Britain: A Railway Odyssey , LJ 5/1/84) quickly discovers it can turn sinister. The monsoon overpowers technology, bearing disease and floods to an overpopulated land where runoff-preventing asphalt has replaced forests. In his engaging, witty travelog replete with anecdotes and asides, Frater comes to terms with his parents' deaths and learns to accept the Indians' attitude of submission to more powerful forces which, for them, makes the inevitable more bearable. The pleasure of reading this lively book can be enhanced by pairing it with Steve McCurry's spectacular photographic essay Monsoon (Thames & Hudson, dist. by Norton, 1988), which covers other monsoon areas as well as India. For general travel collections. BOMC and Quality Paperback alternates.
- Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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