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Chasing the Monsoon: A Modern Pilgrimage Through India
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Frater began the book discussing his childhood in the New Hebrides, a group of islands in the South Pacific jointly administered at one time by both France and the United Kingdom, how growing up his missionary father helped instill in him a fascination for weather. His father had talked about one of the rainiest spots on Earth, Cherrapunji, India, which was known at the height of the monsoon season in July to get as much as 75 feet of rain, though more often in the 30 to 40 foot range, receiving as much as 40 inches in one day. Though Frater's father never visited Cherrapunji and lost interest in meteorology due to mounting family financial problems and the Second World War, Alexander himself never completely lost interest in the weather.
After relating how he finally decided to follow the monsoon in the summer of 1987 and if possible visit Cherrapunji, he detailed his pilgrimage throughout India. Though Frater did discuss some of the science of the monsoon and in particular the history of its study (noting such famous researchers as H.F.Read more ›
The story starts in the "condominium" of the New Hebrides, in the South Pacific, which was jointly administered by the British and the French prior to the Second World War. It is here that Mr. Frater spends his childhood, clearly a "path less traveled" prior to the arrival of the winds of war. And it is here that his father instills in him an interest in meteorology, and speaks of going to Cherrapunji, in India, which he likens to "one of the Stations of the Cross," as a "pilgrimage." It is this town that holds the world's record for the highest amount of annual rainfall. (and also for a day - 35 inches!)
His father's desires lay dormant in the son, and are finally activated by an event that literally occurs in Kashgar, in China, where the author develops medial problems that lead to a waiting room in London, and conversations with fellow patients about the monsoon. Shortly thereafter, he is on his way to witness one of the grand spectacles of nature, one that make much of India inhabitable. He starts at the very southern tip of India, at the end of May, in the town of Trivandrum, where he reports the anticipation and excitement which accompanies the annual life-giving event. By the 9th of June he is on a plane north, to Bombay, to await the monsoon as it moves north.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great personal story the includes lots of information about the character of monsoons and the affect on the culturePublished 12 months ago by margaret birrney
Have travelled the length of India and island-hopped around Vanuatu and dammit, I'll just have to go back yet again! Read morePublished 15 months ago by Allielew
Great book for Indianophiles. Also a great read and insight into Indian culture. Funny and thoughtful. I highly recommend this book.Published on June 29, 2014 by Nancy Adamson
Alex has to be the most humorous observant gifted and politely satirical writer EVER.
His best work is " Beyond the Blue Horizon" however whatever he writes is hugely... Read more
These two complement like bread and butter, I read this book long time back, now I am doing it the second time and that too slowly.Published on July 8, 2013 by Ajit Chaliha
Well worth the effort, a fine account of one of the great natural events of life, played out against the backdrop of IndiaPublished on May 28, 2013 by Michael J. Field
This book is like a spiritual journey through the monsoon drenched areas of India...he looks at India like no other and writes a book with such poetic eyes... Read morePublished on January 9, 2013 by Rajeev Thomas
You will learn a lot about India while reading this entertaining book. You don't need to be interested in weather. Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Lauren
Arrived at quoted time, and in the condition stated. Not bad for a couple dollars! Great book by the way too.Published on March 27, 2012 by averson