From the publisher:
Norman Lewis avoids the easy pleasures of travelling through the hill-forts of Rajasthan, visiting palace hotels and the Taj Mahal. Instead his travels in India begin in the impoverished, overpopulated and corrupt state of Bihar - the scene of a brutal caste war between the untouchables and higher-caste gangsters. From these violent happenings, he heads down the west coast of Bengal and into the highlands of Orissa to testify to the life of the indigenous ‘tribals’ who have survived here in isolation. There is much wisdom to be gained from these threatened cultures and Lewis is the perfect guide.
As William Dalrymple observed in The Spectator, ‘the great virtue of Norman Lewis as a writer is that he can make the most boring things interesting; whatever he is describing – whether it is a rickshaw driver, an alcohol crazed elephant, or a man defecating beside the road – Lewis senses are awake for sounds or smells, and he can make you think twice about scenes you have seen ten thousand times before … the book is full of some of the strangest facts imaginable ... It is a joy to read.’
‘As sharply and elegantly turned as we might expect from the doyen of English travel-writing. There is something uncanny about Lewis’s endless ability to deliver.’ Jonathan Keates, The Observer