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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“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 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.
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’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!