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The Elephanta Suite download epub

by Paul Theroux


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Book design by Lisa Diercks. The text of this book is set in Monotype Dante

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003. Book design by Lisa Diercks. The text of this book is set in Monotype Dante. Printed in the United States of America. Hanuman is deity in image of monkey, as Ganesh is image of elephant, and Nag is cobra," the Indian said. And what is your country, if you please?" "We're Americans," Beth said, happy at last to have been asked.

Paul Theroux has written many works of fiction and travel writing, including the modern classics The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, My Secret History and The Mosquito Coast. Paul Theroux divides his time between Cape Cod and the Hawaiian islands. Библиографические данные.

Paul Theroux's The Elephanta Suite sees Americans tackling life in a contrasting culture, says Adam Mars-Jones. The presiding images of the book are the monkey and the elephant, Hanuman and Ganesh. The monkey inevitably represents our baser nature and the rule of instinct, the elephant, despite its genetic remoteness from us, a higher preoccupation. Yet the elephant also has a double nature, as a story told in the first novella indicates, about a man confronted with a stampede. The lead elephant made straight for him, lowering his tusks, but the intention was protective, to save him with barriers of ivory from the trampling of the other beasts.

Elephants pervade the stories. The Elephanta Suite of the title is a suite in a luxury hotel in Mumbai. Another great book by Paul Theroux. Interesting stories of foreigners in interesting situations in an interesting (India) country, presented with that unique Theroux point of view and dry wit. It's presumably named after the Elephanta Caves on an island in Mumbai harbour, which once had a huge statue of an elephant outside them (it's now in a museum in the city). I started out reading Theroux's nonfiction travel books.

Paul Theroux's The Elephanta Suite is named after a luxury hotel suite in Mumbai (Bombay) that figures briefly in all .

Paul Theroux's The Elephanta Suite is named after a luxury hotel suite in Mumbai (Bombay) that figures briefly in all three novellas in this collection. The elephant keeps her centered throughout some increasingly crazy events around her. She ends up being stalked (and later, worse) by one of her American accent students.

Paul Theroux is a writer I have long admired Addendum: The Elephanta Suite would be an excellent book club selection; among its many other virtues, it is eminently discussible.

Paul Theroux is a writer I have long admired. His is a prodigiously gifted teller of tales; this make him equally adept at writing fiction and non-fiction, much of which is concerned with travel to remote and often dangerous places. I remember being riveted, some years ago, by The Mosquito Coast, a novel that was made into an equally riveting (and curiously underrated) film starring Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, and River Phoenix. I also strongly recommend Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown. Addendum: The Elephanta Suite would be an excellent book club selection; among its many other virtues, it is eminently discussible.

Hanuman is deity in image of monkey, as Ganesh is image of elephant, and Nag is cobra, the Indian said. And what is your country, if you please? We’re Americans, Beth said, happy at last to have been asked. There are many wonders here, the Indian said, unimpressed by what he’d just heard. You could stay here whole lifetime and still not see everything. We’re up at Agni, Audie said.

This fabulous, far-reaching book breathtakingly captures the tumult . Theroux's characters risk venturing far beyond its well-worn paths to discover woe or truth or peace. A young woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore.

This fabulous, far-reaching book breathtakingly captures the tumult, ambition, hardship and serenity that mark modern India. A holidaying middle-aged couple veer heedlessly from idyll to chaos. We also meet Indian characters as distinctive as they are indicative of their country's subtle ironies: an executive who yearns to become a holy beggar, an earnest young striver whose personality is transformed by acquiring an American accent, a miracle-working guru, and more.

A master of the travel narrative gives us three intertwined novellas of Westerners transformed by their sojourns in India.This startling and satisfying book captures the tumult, ambition, hardship, and serenity that mark today’s India. Paul Theroux’s characters risk venturing far beyond the subcontinent’s well-worn paths to discover woe or truth or peace. A middle-aged couple on vacation veers heedlessly from idyll to chaos. A buttoned-up Boston lawyer finds succour in Mumbai’s reeking slums. And a young woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore. In these pages, we also meet Indian characters as singular as they are indicative of the country’s subtle ironies: an executive who yearns to become a holy beggar, an earnest young striver whose personality is rewired by acquiring an American accent, a miracle-working guru, and more. As ever, Theroux’s portraits of people and places explode stereotypes to exhilarating effect. The Elephanta Suite urges us toward a fresh, compelling, and often inspiring notion of what India is, and what it can do to those who try to lose — or find — themselves there.From the Hardcover edition.

Comments: (7)

Zut
I will give this collection of three novellas the most objective review I can for someone who has never visited India, where all three are set. The clash of cultures, particularly with an erotic twist, is a pervasive Theroux theme, as is the ability to view all cultures with a discerning, if sometimes jaundiced, eye. The stories concern: (a) a self-centered American couple who can't leave the worst aspects of their American-ness at the door when entering a religious-centered spa; (b) an American "fixer" of similar bent whose betrayal by a colleague has an unanticipated result' and (c) an open-minded American college girl who has an unpleasant encounter with the negative side of India. The endings are quite a surprise until the reader runs them through his/her mind again and sees they are probably the only endings that should have been expected. (Don't mean to be cryptic, but can't give them away.) World traveler Theroux can be expected to have a fairly deep understanding of the subcontinent - and certainly knows the mindset of his own country - such that his outcomes are persuasive as well as interesting to read.
Clandratha
I've read several books by this author and I've loved every one of them. The Elephanta Suite is no exception. Here, the sights, sounds, smells and way of life in modern India are rendered in three short novelas, each poignant with meaning deep enough to give me chills as well as lots of food for thought. Written in 2007 and 273 pages long, I felt I was transported to the author's world, feeling his power to bring these stories to life and he does that job so well that I couldn't help but shudder. These are not easy stories to read. They showcase Americans trying to cope with the monolith that is India, making mistakes, and being crushed by their ignorance and presumptions. Each of these stories shattered my understanding and left me shivering. I do not think I will ever forget them.

The first story is about a wealthy American couple vacationing in India and ignoring its prohibitions. The second story is about an American businessman who gets into a romantic relationship with two young Indian girls. The third story is about a young American woman who is compromised by the unwanted attentions of an Indian man. Each of these stories has a rather sad ending. And yet each of them tells an unwanted truth about the naivety of the Americans and the problems they create for themselves.

The writing is fast paced and I literally could not put the book down. The stories opened my eyes to the world depicted by the author. They will live in my consciousness a long time and I will likely never forget them. Rarely does a book move me in this way. This is not a pleasant book to read but for those willing to be immersed in a way that is sure to be troubling, I give it my highest recommendation.
Kemath
MONKEY HILL is a definitive portrayal of how and why the expected touristic unease in an ancient country among impenetrable customs, totemic rituals, tribal distinctions, societal barriers, indistinguishable classes, furtive glances, foreign whispers, gods and myths, erotic ennui, erotic fumbling, turns into stark terror. When Paul Theroux gets it right, as he does here, he gets it right forever. When he gets it wrong, THE GATEWAY OF INDIA and THE ELEPHANT GOD fill out the book.
Yozshunris
The Elephanta Suite is made up of three inter-related novellas. The overall theme is the voyage of self-discovery the characters in each make as (and if) they open themselves to the utterly "other" that is India. Each begins with the American visitor inside the cocoon of their own culture. The protagonists (a husband and wife) of the first story never really leave that cocoon, with dire consequences. In the second, the central character, an American businessman stationed in Mumbai, does leave the American cocoon, but advances only as far as the second cocoon, the Indian one (an ashram). The girl at the centre of the third story completes the journey from American to Indian and out again. I won't say any more, but I think it's important and useful to note that this pattern is there - the stories are not stand-alone, they connect, there's a progression.

Elephants pervade the stories. The Elephanta Suite of the title is a suite in a luxury hotel in Mumbai. It's presumably named after the Elephanta Caves on an island in Mumbai harbour, which once had a huge statue of an elephant outside them (it's now in a museum in the city). The elephant is Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles - the symbolism is clear enough, but not obtrusive (you don't actually need to know this in order to enjoy the book). The businessman of the centre story stays in the Elephanta Suite (his cocoon), eating tinned tuna and looking out the window, unwilling to commit himself to the city. But eventually he does, and so begins the story that takes him to the ashram. The girl of the final story also has an elephant in her life, a real one - and this elephant does indeed remove an obstacle for her. The businessman finds peace in the ashram, but the girl comes out of the ashram (a different one) and finds a different, possibly more lasting, peace. And the couple of the first story have no elephant at all - they have Hanuman the monkey instead, who has a reputation for violence.

Another theme is sensuality. The couple of the first story are in health spa somewhere in the mountains. They try to find sensual adventure with the spa staff, and fail, with disastrous consequences. The businessman, because he is more respectful of Indians, suffers no such disaster, but instead eventually sees through the shallowness of sensuality. For the girl of the final story it's not her own sensuality that provides the problem. (Sensuality, by the way, is bound up with violence and betrayal in all three stories).

At a more basic level, the narrative in the central and last stories move forward much better than that of the first - I think Theroux might have had a problem, in that all three stories had to be about the same length, but as each extends the reach of the one before, there really wasn't enough to say in the first story, and it does tend to drag at times. The characters are believable (anyone who has visited India will recognise these people), and India itself comes alive.
Black_Hawk_Down.
Another great book by Paul Theroux. Interesting stories of foreigners in interesting situations in an interesting (India) country, presented with that unique Theroux point of view and dry wit. I started out reading Theroux's nonfiction travel books. This was the first book of his fiction that I read, and I've since continued to enjoy all of his work, fiction and non-fiction
Akir
I've read a couple of Theroux's books, and this is up there as one of my favourites. I think the smart thing about the stories in this book are that they are all explorations of India from an outsiders perspective, and in this way give us interesting insights into the cultural differences between India and the USA.
The Elephanta Suite download epub
Short Stories & Anthologies
Author: Paul Theroux
ISBN: 0771085346
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: Short Stories & Anthologies
Language: English
Publisher: Emblem Editions (June 24, 2008)
Pages: 288 pages