Author: Trevor Fishlock
Publisher: John Murray
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0719555205
A delightful narration of journeys across Indian subcontinent, this work is written with a sense of adventure, full of sharp vignettes. It is the stuff of the subcontinent, exhilarating, shocking, comic and moving.
Trevor Fishlock set off from the harsh and haunted gables of the Khyber, zigzagged to the dazzle of India's southern tip at Cape Comorin and came at lat to the little town whose intriguing name was the seed of his odyssey. Out of it all emerges the smell and feel of the subcontinent, a grand tapestry, history laced into the urgent present in witty and compulsive narrative.
Cobra Road ranges from the land of the 'Khuyberees' nursery of the ruthless modern conquerors of Afghanistan, to brilliant and bloodied Punjab; to Kashmir, a paradise seemingly cursed by malignant gods and the unfinished business of history; to the deserts of Kutch; to the place where Gandhi drove in a coach and four to be hailed as the Great Soul; to the halls of haughty Rajput kings to Bombay, teeming, loved and loved; to Delhi; to the pepper provinces around Cochin and the coconut grove in Kerala where the first spice-hungry Europeans landed; to the highlands of Coorg; to bandit country; to the Center of the World . . and beyond.
What shines through is the marvel of an enduring diversity. In India a billion people wrestle with the question of what India means and what it means to be Indian. In fact the motif of India is the crowd. Its spirit is the vigor of the brash new rich and the insistent demands and potential of the poor and the virtually enslaved. Its essence is the vast network of beliefs, the skeins of pilgrimage. It is a society heavy with tradition, sharpened by impatience, driven by the heartbeat of modern hopes.
Cobra Road is written with a sense of adventure, full of sharp vignettes. It is the stuff of the subcontinent, exhilarating, shocking, comic and moving.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
Cobra Road slips down as lightly as a glass of good Indian beer after a hot summer's day. Fishlock's fans will find here all the virtues that have made his previous books so widely read and loved: the quiet humor, a beguiling eye always on the look out for the strange and quirky; and most of all, a self-deprecating harm that is uniquely his own.-William Darlymple
What makes Fishlock's narration delightful is his keen observation of detail, his irreverence, his evenhandedness. I can't recall reading anything better written on India in many years.-Khushwant Singh