Friday, July 20, 2012
Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat -- a book review
Title: Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat: A celebration of Calcutta
Author: Joe Roberts
Genre: Memoir (Sort of. I got suckered in again.)
Rating: 2 out of 5
Summary: Joe and his wife, Emma, and their baby live in Calcutta for five months because they love it. They only stay five months because that's how much money they have. When it ran out, they went back to England.
Review: What I loved about this book was the idea, first and foremost. I mean, who wouldn't? Rambling about India just for the fun of it? Sign me up! The next most loved thing about the book was Roberts' portrayal of the people he met. Great characters. And one's I could see. With my own eyes. All the way in Oregon, U.S.A.
But that's where my love affair ends.
There was tons of history thrown in and around the narrative, and while some of it was interesting ... it mostly turned me off. Because, you know, I purchased a memoir. Not a history book. (This has happened to me before.) It's one thing to make reference (historical or otherwise) to whatever it is you are writing about, but that could be summarized in a paragraph or two -- not pages.
Also, I really wanted to know WHY? Why they chose to go to India and why they chose such a cool travel experiment in the first place and how they made it work in their assumably routine and work-filled lives back home? I mean, I know he's British, but SOME emotion would've been nice to read.
And then the book just ends.
Which was weird. And slightly irritating. I say slightly because I was kinda skimming at that point.