Travels on My Elephant

Mark Shand, Author
Mark Shand, Author Overlook Press $22.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-87951-454-9
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-4059-9
Paperback - 266 pages - 978-0-87951-868-4
Paperback - 206 pages - 978-1-906011-69-7
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-14-016680-4
Hardcover - 978-1-85686-094-9
Ebook - 145 pages - 978-1-78060-007-9
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This tale of a recent 800-mile journey across India on an elephant is at once entertaining and exasperating. Shand ( Skulduggery ), who has also head-hunted in Indonesia and motor-raced from London to Sydney, impulsively buys a 30-year-old elephant to ride from Konarak on the Bay of Bengal to Sonepur across the Ganges to the great elephant bazaar. In addition to Tara, the elephant, Shand gathers Indian helpers and advisers as quirky as himself, and together they travel across the country--Shand on Tara, his party in a jeep--astounding, amusing and puzzling those they encounter. Along the way, Shand learns about the care and feeding of elephants; and about rural India, which still worships the elephant God Ganesh and which leaps to life in this book. The group attends village festivals, receives the hospitality of princes and policemen, and Shand becomes so enamored of Tara that they share a slug of whisky and mingle their tears at his leave-taking. Overly coy in the telling, The characters (including the elephant) are difficult to identify with, but the local color is delightful, despite the overly coy prose. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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