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Kaleidoscope City: A Year in Varanasi Hardcover – 21 Apr 2015
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Description for Kaleidoscope City: A Year in Varanasi
“[Moore Ede's] careful detailing of the world around him shows a keen and tender sensitivity . . . We find ourselves gunning for him unreservedly . . . The arc of Moore Ede's journey . . . is so sincere and carefully told that the result cannot help but move.” ―Financial Times on All Kinds of Magic
“[Moore Ede] is acutely sensitive to landscape, light, people and mood . . . He gives us a sympathetic and nuanced account of [the countries he visits] . . . This is a good and engaging book whose real importance is to give notice of a fine new talent.” ―The Guardian on Honey and Dust
“An extraordinary handbook on the art of escapism . . . Unusual, compelling and restorative.” ―Mail on Sunday on Honey and Dust
About the Author
Piers Moore Ede was educated at Winchester College, Exeter University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Two previous travel books were published in the UK by Bloomsbury: Honey and Dust, nonfiction winner of the DH Lawrence Prize, and All Kinds of Magic. Moore Ede is also a photographer and blues guitarist, and runs the popular website TheIndiaphile.com.
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Kaleidoscope City is a very well written report of Piers Moore Ede's year in Varanasi. He's met so many interesting people and writes about their encounters. Not all of these meetings are with men and women who have something happy and positive to tell. Even though the lives of some of these people are hard and sometimes miserable they aren't afraid, because they know that death will mean they're ready for something better.
I loved the chapter about the Ganga. The river is so important and it's suffering, because it's polluted. Some people are very worried about that, but so far their battles haven't had much result. Piers Moore Ede talks about it with both the highly educated who are working from an office and those who use the river itself and whatever it has to offer as their main source of income. That's something I like about this book. It's mainly observational and because of the conversations the author has with a great variety of people the reader gets to see many different points of view. Another chapter I loved was the one about the weavers of India's beautiful intricate fabrics. Modern times are making it difficult for some of the weavers to keep earning money, but for others it's a golden opportunity.
Kaleidoscope City is a perfect read for those who like travel stories and who want to know more about India. Because the author stayed there for a year he had the time to get to know Varanasi quite well. I think the report is beautiful and honest and it's certainly interesting. I learned a lot from it and think it's a fascinating read.