For many years I have really enjoyed reading novels set in the destination I have chosen to visit/or have visited. For example, I just read The Fallen Angel by David Hewson that just brought memories of Rome flooding back.There is a good site that brings together novels that are set in location http://www.Tripfiction.com which has helped me find a lot of new novels. Anyone else read a really good novel set in location?
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Is a travel cliche but I loved reading the Beach while in Thailand, and also Alex Garland’s follow-up The Tesseract while in the Philippines. All of our country guides come with a section on recommended books so happy reading!
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I’m going to go against popular opinion here probably but I personally don’t. I read voraciously, and write that way too, but I like reading genres or books that I enjoy, rather than a book simply based on the premise that it is set in the country I am travelling in. I’d rather just see and experience a place through my own eyes, rather than the eyes of another author.
But then if other people enjoy it, then all’s good!
“Shantaram is an amazing book”
Amazing that someone published it is closer to the truth.
Pre-India, Maximum City or Sacred Games are really good looks at Mumbai (MC non-fiction – SG fiction).
Accidental Apprentice is the new one by Vikas Swarup (Slumdog MIllionaire, originally Q&A) and is excellent. Chetan Bhagat has One Night At A Call Center & 3 Mistakes I Made In Life as 2 of his best. The White Tiger by Aravind Ardiga is very quirky and enjoyable.
I’ve been in India a long time now, and enjoy reading the new writers that are growing faster than the population, it seems. Lots of zombies, too
I love reading books set in the places I’m visiting or have visited. It’s great to be able to read a book and think “wow, I remember that place” or know what the author is talking about when he describes certain things.
Pirate – I remember reading Chetan Bhagat’s books on sleeper trains in India. I also agree that Shantaram is incredible – a really great read for people visiting Mumbai. Another pretty good one is Behind the Beautiful Forevers which is about the lives of people in Mumbai slums. Rather a depressing tale but I couldn’t put it down. I’ll see if I can get Accidental Apprentice.
I love reading all kinds of books set in particular places, non-fiction as well as fiction. Sometimes I think it’s more interesting to read books written by local writers rather than those ‘bussing in’. The only problem is that many of these books aren’t translated although I have discovered a series called city-pick published by Oxygen Books which has books on quite a few world cities like Berlin and Istanbul. Some great pieces on David Bowie and 24-hour clubbing from some Berlin scribes in the one and some more complex but also some lovely writing about Istanbul from many Turkish writers. Good as they are the non-Turkish writers sometimes ‘orientalize’ too much and the local writers offer a nice balance.