Elephant Complex

Elephant Complex

Travels in Sri Lanka

Book - 2016
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"From one of our most widely praised travel writers--author of Wild Coast and Panther Soup--an eye-opening journey through Sri Lanka that, in the author's inimitable mixture of history, observation, and interpretation, reveals the island nation to us as never before. Writing with his signature eye for the unusually telling detail, his sense of urbane wonder, and his investigative desire for the whole story, John Gimlette takes us from Sri Lanka's exuberant capital city of Colombo to the dry interior where more than 5,300 wild elephants congregate around its ancient reservoirs; from the Portuguese-built forts of cinnamon country to the tsunami-ravaged south-east; from the tea plantations of the highlands and the Shangri-la-ish city of Kandy to the desiccated Jaffna Peninsula in the north. He examines Sri Lanka's colonial history (Portuguese, British, Dutch and Arab); the centuries-old strife between Sinhalese and Tamils; and the most recent civil war, which lasted from 1983 to 2009. He describes his encounters with world-class cricketers, terrorists, a former president, ancient tribesmen, British expats, survivors of the civil war massacres, and with the island's amazing flora and fauna, including the world's greatest concentration of leopards. He discovers a place of both extravagant beauty and profound devastation, a place capable of being both heavenly and hellish at the same time, and succeeds in bringing it to vibrant, fascinating life on the page"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2016]
Edition: First United States edition
ISBN: 9780385351270
Call Number: 915.493 G429e
Characteristics: 399 pages : maps ; 25 cm


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Jan 30, 2019

This is not a travelogue. It is a superb study of the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka by a human rights expert who traced the course of the last stages of the war across the country. It is much more than a guidebook

Feb 01, 2017

I didn't make it beyond Page 5 - this was supposed to be a travel book???

Jan 20, 2017

Like the other commenter noted, this book is dense. It's mostly history with some of his travel stories peppered throughout. I quit around pg. 120.

Jun 20, 2016

A British lawyer travels around Sri Lanka for 3 weeks while keeping a blog which he publishes as a 400-page book. Although the subtitle is "travels", the content is dense on history and politicians. I quit at page 57. The map didn't show the first town mentioned in the text!


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