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David Tomory traces the continuous western influences at work on Goa from the time of the Portugese to the present day. This entertaining and informative tour through the totality of western contact with Goa reveals what Goa is actually like for both westerners and Goans, and catches Goa as it stands at the brink of a complicated future.
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If one theme dominates Hello Goodnight, then it's a debate of Hubert's law: "progress always means deterioration". Having first visited Goa in 1971 and returned so many times since he's almost a local, New Zealander Tomory has seen the Indian state evolve rapidly. His descriptions of '70s Goa life are vivid, dominated by insects, jungle and heat, humans residing in mud huts alongside scarab beetles, lizards, frogs, ants and lazy dogs. He documents the hippie days, an "amoral paradise" of psychedelics and nudism; innocent times when iron-mining supported the locals, rather than tourism. This was before motorbikes, concrete "Hollywood Baroque" construction, Internet cafés and "plastic detritus"--the new suburban package-tourist Goa, a "Multinational empire on which the sun never sets".
However, Hello Goodnight puts the new tourist tides into context. Before these invaders came many others-- shaman, Buddhists, Hindus and (most-notoriously) the colonial Portuguese Christians. Hippies/tourists are merely an afterthought in a dramatic history beginning with ancient myths enshrined in Sanskrit texts. Goa's turbulent past includes complex religious wars, the Inquisition and a brief glory as a trading capital, complete with slave auctions and exotic bazaar. A third of the book is dedicated to colonial history, while other details include the ghadis (ancient shaman), Dhangas (tribal people), snake mythology and the Ghats, the forested mountains way beyond the beaches. Disappointingly, it skips over the '90s Goa dance culture, which it calls "Generation Techno", somewhat dismissively.
If you want a brief, simplified Goa history, then Lonely Planet Goa, is adequate. For something more meaty, then Hello Goodnight goes into unprecedented detail (perhaps too much for some readers) delving into geology, architecture, mythology and theology. It condenses every word written about Goa into one exhaustive story, enlivened with anecdotal tales. --Sarah Champion
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Book Description Lonely Planet, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1864500611
Book Description Lonely Planet Publications, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1864500611
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-1864500611