[Chasing the Monsoon Books ] Free read as Epub AUTHOR Alexander Frater

Alexander Frater ½ 6 Read

Ed within seven or eight days Frater aims to follow the monsoon staying sometimes behind it sometimes in front of it and everywhere watching the impact of this extraordinary phenomenon During the anxious period of waiting the weather forecaster is king consulted by pie crested cockatoos and a joyful period ensues there is a period of promiscu An affectionate romp through India as refreshing as a monsoon burst after the heat of summer Frater has all of VS Naipaul s ear for dialog and eye for telling little details without the cynicism and bitterness I love books that focus on one weird theme and then mix in people places history and science This one was great fun and sometimes surprisingly moving Chasing The Monsoon is the third travelog type book I ve read for the HBC India Challenge all based on trips made during the late 1980s and I m now convinced that authors find the India and the people they are looking for and with over a billion suare miles of territory and 12 billion people to choose from that is probably to be expected VS Naipaul was looking for the disaffected and found them by the dozen Elisabeth Bumiller was looking for downtrodden women and found them too Frater seems the most open of the three looking simply for the way in which India experiences the monsoon and what he finds is a special kind of delightHere s a little taste On Kovalam Beach near the southern tip of India the Southwest spring monsoon is expected to make first landfall In the scorching heat a line of spectators from all over India has formed to await the glorious momentThey were dressed with surprising formality many of the men wearing ties and the women fine saris which streamed and snapped in the wind Their excitement was shared and sharply focused like that of a committee preparing to greet a celebrated spiritual leader or a victorious general who would come riding up on the beach on an elephantThe sky was black the sea white Foaming like champagne it surged over the roadWe stood rocking in the blast clinging to each other amid scenes of great merrimentA tall pale skinned man next to me shouted Sir where are you from England I yelled And what brings you here This Sir us also We are holiday makers I myself am from Delhi This lady beside me is from Bangalore and we too have come to see the show Thunder boomed Lighting went zapping into the seaThen beyond the cumuliform anvils and soaring castellanus turrets we saw a broad ragged band of luminous indigo heading slowly inshore The rains everyone sangThe wind struck us with a force that made our line bend and waver Everyone shrieked and grabbed at each otherThe deluge began

Summary Chasing the Monsoon

Chasing the Monsoon

Ity and scandals proliferate Frater's journey takes him to Bangkok and the cowboy town on the Thai Malaysian border to Rangoon and Akyab in Burma where the front funnels up between the mountains and the sea Alexander Frater's fascinating narrative reveals the exotic often startling discoveries of an ambitious and irresistibly romantic adventu I picked this book up with very high expectations because I m from Trivandrum Kerala from where the monsoon begins its journey across the Indian subcontinent year after year and I ve always loved the expectant darkness just before a monsoon shower and the exhilaration and the poignancy that fill your soul on a rainy afternoon in June or in October during the retreating monsoonDespite the author s attempt to capture the spirit of the monsoon and the effect it has on the people and places it drenches I found the book dry and unappetizing There were a few factual inaccuracies that stood out and plenty of poverty porn while in Mumbai the author stares at a poor homeless woman nursing her infant on the pavement and tries to guess her age from the roundness of her breast His descriptions of Indian women seem voyeuristic and he often alludes to the gifts that the British gave India during their colonial subjugation of its people Another aspect that did not appeal to me was how he seemed to justify the proselytization of New World populations as a sort of redemption from savagery and culturelessness In fact while in Mumbai where he had an unpleasant encounter with a couple of locals he mentions that their eyes reminded him of the eyes of the cannibals that his grandfather had converted to Christianity Perhaps my review is a little harsh but then again rather than a refreshing account of the monsoons these are the things that remained in my memory after I had finished the book

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The fascinating and revealing story of Frater's journey through India in pursuit of the astonishing Indian summer monsoon On 20th May the Indian summer monsoon will begin to envelop the country in two great wet arms one coming from the east the other from the west They are united over central India around 10th July a date that can be calculat I have read this book several times usually as a summer read at the beach and each time I am transported to alluring and exotic places and times by Frater s colorful descriptions and lyrical prose The binding of my original copy is broken with the pages stained with sweat tanning oil seawater sand and muck secured between the covers by means of a large rubber band Yet the experience of reading the battered pages while sweltering in the heat and humidity of a summer s day along the Florida coast only amplifies the gritty beauty of India and the air of anxious anticipation for the arrival of the monsoon rains Truly a brilliant and inspiring travelogue


10 thoughts on “Chasing the Monsoon

  1. says:

    This is without doubt the most fascinating travelogue I have ever read Frater follows the monsoon from its genesis in Kerala up to Cherrapunji in Assam the wettest place on earth in the process he gives fascinating insights about India the monsoon India the monsoon a strange entity and human nature in general His writing is wryly humorous without being sarcastic and sympathetic at the same timeBeing from Kerala I know and love the monsoo

  2. says:

    ‘Chasing the Monsoon’ is a wonderful travelogue It was published in the United States in 1990 but I think the author Alexander Frater journeyed to India in 1987 Frater was on a mission to follow the onset of the Monsoon up the western coast of India from Trivandrum to Bombay then crossing to Delhi and Calcut

  3. says:

    I have read this book several times usually as a summer read at the beach and each time I am transported to allu

  4. says:

    I loved this book We found it in a stack of books marked free on someone's lawn as we walked home from the market We liked the look of the cover and because it is a Penguin book decided to give it a try We Couldn'

  5. says:

    I enjoyed book without pushing on to a 5 a lot of reviewers loved it which had given me high expectations but it was easy to read and passed on information in a comfortable wayNot only writing about his travel in India travelling with the monsoon starting in Kerala moving north and ending Cherrapunji Meghalaya the author also writes a lot about his early life in Vanuatu the New Hebrides as it was called at the

  6. says:

    An affectionate romp through India as refreshing as a monsoon burst after the heat of summer Frater has all of VS Naipaul

  7. says:

    I picked this book up with very high expectations because I'm from Trivandrum Kerala from where the monsoon begins its journey across the Indian subcontinent year after year and I've always loved the expectant darkness just before a monsoon shower and the exhilaration and the poignancy that fill your soul on a rainy afternoon in J

  8. says:

    'Chasing the Monsoon' is a travel book by Alexander Frater where he describes his journey through India following the Indian monsoon Travelling through many states and cities he tells the stories of the people whose lives are touched upon by

  9. says:

    What an amazing journey this book has taken me on filling me up with a longing to visit the places that Frater travelled through while on his pursuit flooding my mind with countless memories of the monsoons that I

  10. says:

    Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater was an enjoyable travel book one that I read in just a few days The author's intention as one might guess from the title was to follow the progress of the summer monsoon through India beginning in the southernmost tip of the subcontinent Cape Comorin and following its progress up the west coast through Trivandrum Calicut Goa and Bombay then jetting over to Delhi and then to exper

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