John Gimlette - Elephant Complex - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £14.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781782067979
    • Publication date:01 Oct 2015
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781784291051
    • Publication date:01 Oct 2015

Elephant Complex

By John Gimlette

  • Paperback
  • £14.99

A Spectator Book of the Year 2015. From Ceylon to the Tamil Tigers, the first in-depth account of Sri Lanka by an award-winning travel writer.

A gripping account of an under-reported island' Spectator, Book of the Year
'[A] brilliant new book about an island that has a geography from heaven and a history from hell' Daily Telegraph
'A brilliant work of travel, history and psychological insight . . . astute and sympathetic . . . very funny' Wall Street Journal
Everyone has wanted a piece of paradise
John Gimlette - winner of the Dolman Prize and the Shiva Naipaul Prize for Travel Writing - is the kind of traveller you'd want by your side. Whether hacking a centuries-old path through the jungle, interrogating the surviving members of the Tamil Tigers or observing the stranger social mores of Colombo's city life, he brings his own unique insight to the page: a treasure-chest of research and a gift for wry amusement. Through him, Sri Lanka - all at once dazzling, strange, conflicted and beautiful - comes to life as never before.

Biographical Notes

John Gimlette is the winner of the Shiva Naipaul Prize for Travel Writing. He crossed the Soviet Union at the age of seventeen, worked in Argentina on the eve of war and has travelled to over eighty countries. He has published four previous books: At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig, Theatre of Fish, Panther Soup and Wild Coast (winner of the Dolman Travel Book Prize) which have all featured on Radio 4, and contributes articles and photographs to various newspapers and magazines. He lives in London where he practices as a barrister.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781782067993
  • Publication date: 04 Aug 2016
  • Page count: 528
  • Imprint: riverrun
The reader in search of a thoughtful adventure is in good hands. Gimlette brings a brisk barrister-like inquisition to proceedings, allied with amiable good humour and a searching interest in the history of peoples and places . . . Intrepid to the last, Gimlette wanders among mountains and jungles, drawing his journey to a close among the wreckage of the civil war . . . Rich in humour, full of insight and humanity, Elephant Complex is a very fine tribute to this enigmatic island nation — Spectator
Brilliant . . . It displays his gift for graphic imagery and his eye for the absurd. But it is, perhaps, his darkest book yet . . . Along with the swimming trunks and the sunblock, I'd pack a copy of Elephant Complex — Telegraph
A gripping account of an under-reported island — Sara Wheeler, Spectator, Book of the Year
Insightful and interesting . . . holistic observation of humanity as entalged in acryptic webbing of mortality, immortality and matter that Gimlette offers us . . . The great appeal of this book is that we travel alongside him — Ceylon Today
A quest to understand the country, and not a mere description of it. This is what sets the book apart from the legion of Ceylon and Sri Lanka travelogues. . . Sri Lankans themselves will find Gimlette's renditions of places from Colombo to the desolate Wanni inspiring and evocative . . . While many travel writers on Ceylon often tended to trim and twist the country to fit it into their own neat narrative, Gimlette does not hide the incongruities and bafflements he encountered — Sri Lanka Sunday Times
Book of the Year: The 'elephant complex' of the title refers to ancient paths that the creatures have always followed on the island. Gimlette believes he must trace similar historical paths to get under the skin of Sri Lanka. He does so with wit and the occasional scrape with the authorities — The Times
An intrepid journey to the famously reclusive island unearths a paradise amid trauma and obfuscation . . . An effortless, elegant writer, Gimlette chronicles the stories of these truculent, traumatized people . . . An exuberant, eye-opening travel quest — Kirkus
As for Mr. Gimlette, it is hard to think of a more astute and sympathetic companion for a journey around the island and into Sri Lanka's episodic bouts of madness. He is beguiled by the place and its people, for a start. He writes beautifully, all freshness and verve. And he is also very funny — Wall Street Journal
To read Elephant Complex is to get the most accurate and thorough modern history of Sri Lanka - and to read it is to understand what it is that makes it so magical, in spite of its recent ugliness. — Kristin Fritz, Everyday ebook
He brings the open mind, the erudition and the eye for telling detail . . . no rogue is denied a fair hearing; no hint of the absurd escapes his attention and no metaphor misfires . . . Admirable in its candour . . . Elephant Complex has a sting in its tail — John Keay, Times Literary Supplement
Travel books by writer, barrister and Londoner John Gimlette win praise for their witty, detailed adventures, drawing on local characters he meets — The Guardian
Witty, detailed adventures, drawing on local characters he meets . . . Gimlette hears from ex-presidents, tea-planters, terrorists and pilgrims, exploring the country from the capital, Colombo, to the ancient reservoirs that attract the island's thousands of wild elephants — Guardian, Best New Travel Books
Quercus

Countries of the World in Minutes

Jacob F. Field
Authors:
Jacob F. Field

The Countries of the World in Minutes is the quickest way to understand the modern world and every country in it.For each of the 195 officially recognised countries of the world, a mini-essay clearly and concisely explains its key history, characteristics and social and political structures. Alongside, an outline map shows each country's global location, main geographic features and capital city, whilst a table of essential data details its population, political system, languages, major religions, currency, gross domestic product, main industries, and much more.Illustrated with 195 up-to-date country maps.

riverrun

Ottoman Odyssey

Alev Scott
Authors:
Alev Scott

Alev Scott's odyssey began when she looked beyond Turkey's borders for contemporary traces of the Ottoman Empire. Their 800-year rule ended a century ago - and yet, travelling through eleven countries from Kosovo to Greece to Palestine, she uncovers a legacy that's vital and relevant; where medieval ethnic diversity meets 21st century nationalism, and displaced people seek new identities.It's a story of surprises. An acolyte of Erdogan in Christian-majority Serbia confirms the wide-reaching appeal of his authoritarian leadership. A Druze warlord explains the secretive religious faction in the heart of the Middle East. The palimpsest-like streets of Jerusalem's Old Town hint at the Ottoman co-existence of Muslims and Jews. And in Turkish Cyprus Alev Scott rediscovers a childhood home. In every community, history is present as a dynamic force.Faced by questions of exile, diaspora and collective memory, Alev Scott searches for answers from the cafes of Beirut to the refugee camps of Lesbos. She uncovers in Erdogan's nouveau-Ottoman Turkey a version of the nostalgic utopias sold to disillusioned voters in Europe and the U.S. And yet - as she relates with compassion, insight and humour - diversity is the enduring, endangered heart of this fascinating region.

Jo Fletcher Books

The Lisa Tuttle Collection

Lisa Tuttle
Authors:
Lisa Tuttle

A three-book young adult collection from award-winning author Lisa Tuttle, featuring Love Online, Panther in Argyll and Snake Inside.Love in the digital age has its ups and downs in Love Online.In Panther in Argyll, Dannielle possesses a rare ability: an empathetic link with creatures, particularly the black panther, her 'totem animal'. But the link means more than just understanding: Dannielle is about to discover the excitement of being able to change into a panther herself . . .And in Snake Inside Lia is convinced her mother is a murderer, several times over - but she's not a normal serial killer. Could it possible be true that she's turning into a snake to murder all these men? If Lia doesn't find out the truth, and quickly, the results could be calamitous . . .Endlessly inventive, Lisa Tuttle's young adult collection is a gripping riot of imagination with the subtlety and power of a master storyteller.

Quercus

The World of Tides

William Thomson
Authors:
William Thomson
Quercus

How to Land a Plane

Mark Vanhoenacker
Authors:
Mark Vanhoenacker
riverrun

At the Strangers' Gate

Adam Gopnik
Authors:
Adam Gopnik

'A dazzling talent' Malcolm GladwellWhen Adam Gopnik and his soon-to-be-wife, Martha, left the comforts of home in Montreal for New York, the city then, much like today, was a pilgrimage site for the young, the arty, and the ambitious. But it was also becoming a city of greed, where both life's consolations and its necessities were increasingly going to the highest bidder. At the Strangers' Gate builds a portrait of this particular moment in New York through the story of this couple's journey--from their excited arrival as aspiring artists to their eventual growth into a New York family. Gopnik transports us to his tiny basement room on the Upper East Side, and later to SoHo, where he captures a unicorn: an affordable New York loft. He takes us through his professional meanderings, from graduate student-cum-library-clerk to the corridors of Conde Nast and the galleries of MoMA. Between tender and humorous reminiscences, including affectionate portraits of Richard Avedon, Robert Hughes, and Jeff Koons, among many others, Gopnik discusses the ethics of ambition, the economy of creative capital, and the peculiar anthropology of art and aspiration in New York, then and now.

MacLehose Press

Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa

Joseph Farrell
Authors:
Joseph Farrell

Almost every adult and child is familiar with his Treasure Island, but few know that Robert Louis Stevenson lived out his last years on an equally remote island, which was squabbled over by colonial powers much as Captain Flint's treasure was contested by the mongrel crew of the Hispaniola.In 1890 Stevenson settled in Upolu, an island in Samoa, after two years sailing round the South Pacific. He was given a Samoan name and became a fierce critic of the interference of Germany, Britain and the U.S.A. in Samoan affairs - a stance that earned him Oscar Wilde's sneers, and brought him into conflict with the Colonial Office, who regarded him as a menace and even threatened him with expulsion from the island.Joseph Farrell's pioneering study of Stevenson's twilight years stands apart from previous biographies by giving as much weight to the Samoa and the Samoans - their culture, their manners, their history - as to the life and work of the man himself. For it is only by examining the full complexity of Samoa and the political situation it faced as the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, that Stevenson's lasting and generous contribution to its cause can be appreciated.

Quercus

Tragic Shores: A Memoir of Dark Travel

Thomas Cook
Authors:
Thomas Cook
Quercus

Under a Pole Star

Stef Penney
Authors:
Stef Penney
MacLehose Press

Bookshops

Jorge Carrión
Authors:
Jorge Carrión
Quercus

The Book of Tides

William Thomson
Authors:
William Thomson
Quercus

The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid

Craig Russell
Authors:
Craig Russell

PI Lennox - the Scottish Philip Marlowe - returns with a new helping of fast-paced detective noir. where the violent death of Quiet Thomas Quaid shows that Quaid's life had been anything but quiet. From the winner of of the Bloody Scotland Crime Novel of the Year. Lennox liked Quiet Tommy Quaid. Perhaps it's odd for a private detective to like - even admire - a career thief, but Quiet Tommy Quaid was the sort of man everyone liked. Amiable, easy-going, well-dressed, with no vices to speak of - well, aside from his excessive drinking and womanising, but then in 1950s Glasgow those are practically virtues. And besides, throughout his many exploits outside the law, Quiet Tommy never once used violence. It was rumoured to be the police who gave him his nickname - because whenever they caught him, which was not often, he always came quietly. So probably even the police liked him, deep down.Above all, the reason people liked Tommy was that you knew exactly what you were dealing with. Here, everybody realized, was someone who was simply and totally who and what he seemed to be.But when Tommy turns up dead, Lennox and the rest of Glasgow will find out just how wrong they were.

riverrun

A Book of Scars

William Shaw
Authors:
William Shaw

PEACE IS OUT. REVENGE IS ON.'William Shaw is one of the great rising talents of UK crime fiction' Peter James'If you're not a fan yet, why not?' Val McDermid'An emotional intensity found only in the very best crime fiction' Sunday Times Crime Book of the YearNever forgotten Teenager Alexandra Tozer was murdered on her family's farm. Five years later, her sister Helen will return. Never suspected As soon as DS Breen tracks down the original investigating sergeant, the man goes missing. And so does Helen. Never revealed The only connection between the suspects is the Kenya Emergency - a nightmare that Englishmen prefer to forget. But others remember. Every bloody detail. And when another woman is taken, Breen fears that history - in all its shame and horror - is coming back to haunt them.

Quercus

The Last Queen Of India

Michelle Moran
Authors:
Michelle Moran

1857, India. At nineteen years old, Sita is the shining star of Queen Lakshmi of India's imperial guard, having pledged herself to a life of celibacy in the name of protecting the young ruler. When Sita agrees to train Lakshmi in the art of military combat, a close friendship develops between the two women. But trouble soon threatens - Lakshmi's court is dangerously divided and rumours are rife that the country is at risk. Meanwhile, in London, advisors to Queen Victoria are looking to extend the power of the Commonwealth, and India is coveted as the next jewel in the imperial crown. In the ensuing battle, will the bond between Lakshmi and Sita be broken for ever?

riverrun

Style

Joseph Connolly
Authors:
Joseph Connolly
riverrun

A House of Knives

William Shaw
Authors:
William Shaw

riverrun

¡Golazo!

Andreas Campomar
Authors:
Andreas Campomar
MacLehose Press

The Book of Legendary Lands

Umberto Eco
Authors:
Umberto Eco
Jo Fletcher Books

The Secret of the Nagas

Amish Tripathi
Authors:
Amish Tripathi
Quercus

50 Wonders of the World

Hugh Thomson
Authors:
Hugh Thomson

From Stonehenge to the Empire State Building, and from Angkor Wat to the Pyramids, this book surveys every continent to discover the most impressive, exotic and intriguing man-made wonders of the world.Arranged in order of longitude, and illustrated with over 100 spectacular photographs, maps and illustrations, 50 Wonders of the World reveals the awesome architectural achievements that man has created over the centuries. This is also the story of the extraordinary peoples and civilizations that created these buildings and the key roles they played as centres of religion, culture or trade.Hagia Sophia; Sydney Opera House; Altamira; Dome of the Rock; Easter Island statues; Chartres; Petra; Empire State Building; Eiffel Tower; Peterhof; Golden Gate Bridge; Neuschwanstein; Solovetsky Island; Lincoln Memorial; Florence Duomo; Minaret of Jam; Monte Albán; Colosseum; Red Fort; Chichen Itza; Pantheon; Golden Temple; Tikal; Grand Canal; Taj Mahal; Machu Picchu; Parthenon; Mahabalipuram; Nasca; Knossos; Angkor Wat; Tiahuanaco; Pyramids of Giza; Potala Palace; Brasília; Abu Simbel; Borobodur; Clifton Suspension Bridge; St Catherine's Monastery; Great Wall of China; Stonehenge; Forbidden City; Alhambra; Djenné Mosque; Itsukushima shrine; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Great Zimbabwe; Todai-ji; Sagrada Família; Lalibela.