Andrew Fidel Fernando’s travelogue on the beautiful country of Sri-Lanka is an honest, brutal, heartwarming and glorious compilation of his journey across the length and breadth of this country and its cities- full of dreams, history, culture and its fair share of problems. Fernando’s precise observation, witty narration and unbiased portrayal of cities, people and government make this a true account of what any country is supposed to be like.
The citizen residing here are from diverse backgrounds and Fernando provides a parallel account of their life and the history they collectively share. Through a creative and engaging narrative, the author meticulously pens down all about they livelihood, day to day interactions, relation with other tribes, religious rituals and every other detail that makes up a community full of life and everyday chaos. We see recurring mention of historical figures who had a significant contribution to Srilanka’s journey to freedom and the subsequent shaping of the community that has now grown to be vibrant, almost peaceful and lively.
While bringing the cities to life, Fernando also gives a vivid account of the wildlife in Srilanka and the simultaneous exploitation of their habitats and their endangerment. Be it their interaction with the other species, or their reproductive cycle, the descriptions read like any other entertaining account of nature, utterly engaging and never dull. Other than that, expect picturesque and luscious beaches, war-torn lands and their stories and industrialization.
As an outsider, this book is everything you need to know about Srilanka. I don’t know where the book stands from a native’s POV, but it made me want to leave the comforts of my home and visit this gorgeous country that has so much to offer. Fernando’s personal experience fuels the story, turning this into a must-read. Go, pick it up because here is a travelogue that is compelling and entertaining, with simultaneously being a brutal reflection of life for the natives.
Tedious reading overall. Very labored effort including the language. Uses 10 sentences where one would do. The characters peopling the book are caricatures. The thread of a travelogue is poorly defined. And the overlying wit is pretentious. Disappointing.