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Customer Review

1 August 2017
When I was a child growing up in Hyderabad, a "Society to Save Rocks" used to come to our school to conduct awareness sessions about the ancient rocks in our immediate surroundings. We found the idea of saving rocks hilarious, but the hilarity soon changed to curiosity and then wonder.

Pranay Lal's Indica took me back to the excitement of those times, so simply and enthusiastically does it explain the world around us. The first page starts with a discussion of how the rocks in the Nandi hills comprise of the 3.5 billion year old Dharwar Craton, and moves on from there to map a history of the geology, flora and fauna of India. As previous reviewers state, the book is scattered with fascinating tidbits - one of my favourites is about the Habur or Abur limestone from a village in Rajasthan, which is so densely packed with the remains of coiled and shelled creatures which lived in seas that existed there, that the yeasts in its cavities can curdle milk without the addition of any culture.

My one minor quibble is that a large part of the focus of the book is on rocks and geology, which is interesting but only in limited amounts. I would have enjoyed it more if there was more detail on flora and fauna, but that is a personal taste. I also echo the sentiment of a previous reader that the editing could have been better - grammatical errors have crept in which can be a tad distracting. However, these are quibbles - I would happily recommend the book to any one interested in natural history, Indian history or non-fiction in general.
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4.7 out of 5 stars