Read: The Elephanta Suite

Enjoyed this one. Paul Theroux has written so many books covering so many topics it’s a bit difficult to really place him in any one category. If I had to might be travel but then again that isn’t the perfect fit. I once sat on a beach somewhere and watched him write. Yellow legal pad, pen, chair in the water. I thought “That kinda looks like Paul Theroux.” Then later I was told by a local, “Yep, that’s him.”

India is on my list but ONLY when I have real-time. Like several weeks. I’ve been invited to teach in India at least three times but each trip was less than three weeks and that wasn’t what I was looking for. In one case it was less than a week. Crazy. Elephanta Suite has a dark side, but it’s the side we all share and one that we all see and hear. Some of us have learned to deflect, bury, and ignore. Theroux makes you revisit then contemplate how close to home these stories are. If you like India, if you like to travel, or if you like reading about the stress fractures of human life then this baby is for you.

10 Comments on “Read: The Elephanta Suite”

  1. still one of my all time favorite authors. haven’t read this one though. have you read ‘deep south’ or ‘on the plain of snakes’ yet? looking forward to his new one ‘under the wave at waimea’…

  2. Read an interesting profile of him recently. Maybe New York Times? He’s aware that there’s less appetite for Western guy visits foreign place, analyzes that place, and explains that place. I’m not doing the sentiment justice. I think it’s a worthwhile discussion. That same discussion has been happening a lot in photojournalism. Hmmm, you know, there are people who live there who can take photographs and communicate? As always, things are never that simple, but I’d be glad to see more thought given to how we share and frame stories of other people. Rambling. The interview with him was good. If I find it I’ll come back and share the link.

  3. I tried to slow down and savor each page but the stories were too well-crafted, the characters well formed (and all too human) to stop reading. First Theroux book for me, certainly not my last.

  4. I will add this to my list of must reads. I traveled to India while I was in Kundalini yoga teacher’s training. You are correct, don’t go for less than 3 weeks. By the way, India isn’t another country. It’s another world and it’s mind blowing.

    1. Hannah,

      My good friend here lived in an ashram for ten years. Was an Osho follower. FAscinating stories of India. And he’s a great cook.

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