Around India in 80 Trains

Around India in 80 Trains

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In 1991, Monisha Rajesh's family uprooted from Sheffield to Madras in the hope of making India their home. Two years later, fed up with soap-eating rats, severed human heads and the creepy colonel across the road, they returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths. Two decades on, she turns to a map of the Indian Railways and takes a page out of Jules Verne's classic tale, embarking on an adventure around India in 80 trains, covering 40,000km - the circumference of the Earth. She hopes that 80 train journeys up, down and across India will lift the veil on a country that has become a stranger to her. Along the way, Monisha discovers that the Indian Railways - featuring luxury trains, toy trains, Mumbai's infamous commuter trains, and even a hospital on wheels - have more than a few stories to tell, not to mention a colourful cast of characters. And with a self-confessed 'militant devout atheist' in tow, her personal journey around a country built on religion isn't quite what she bargained for...

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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 134 x 212 x 22mm | 340.19g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • B&W map
  • 1857885953
  • 9781857885958
  • 45,283

About Monisha Rajesh

Monisha Rajesh is a London-based journalist at The Week. She has written for the London Evening Standard, Conde Nast Traveller, the Guardian, TIME magazine, and The New York Times.

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Review quote

'A promising debut from a writer to watch. I am stung with jealousy, not just for the epic journey she makes rediscovering her Indian heritage - on ordinary trains, luxury trains, Mumbai's packed commuter trains, even a toy train - but just for the talismanic power of such a ticket: the idea that you could have one in your hand tomorrow and just go!' -Giles Foden, Conde Nast Traveller 'A wonderfully wry and witty debut. Crackles and sparks with life like an exploding box of Diwali fireworks.' -William Dalrymple, author of 'The Last Mughal' 'One can only envy Monisha Rajesh as she embarks on this epic journey through the vast tangle and bewildering extension of India's railways. The ticketing bureaucracy is mad, the travelling companions infinitely varied, the pleasure, discomforts and revelations such that she is guaranteed what even the most sceptical traveller yearns for: some deeper knowledge of oneself.' -Tim Parks, travel writer and Booker Prize nominee. 'I love train trips and I love travelling around India. If you do too, then this book is a wonderful companion.' -Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting 'A great big lovely shambling train ride of a book, offering wonderful views, hilarious interludes, all sorts of dodgy characters and some very peculiar smells, all for the one ticket.' -Giles Coren, bestselling author and Times columnist

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