Next book

The India Ride


What may make for engaging film with stunning scenery stalls as a written account.

Two adventurous brothers describe their 54-day motorcycle trip around India.

Not long after completing their motorcycle ride through China, Colin and Ryan Pyle (The Middle Kingdom Ride, 2013) decided to take on a different country: India. Ryan, a photographer, chose India based on its diversity of landscapes, sense of rapid change, and population density. His younger brother, Colin, assumed that after China, this ride would be “a breeze.” The brothers, a cameraman, and a film assistant planned to start in Delhi and ride along India’s periphery. From Day 1, the population density that had once sounded thrilling quickly proved to be the biggest, most arduous hurdle of their ride—and it never relented. Traffic was a constant; lawless, poorly constructed motorways made for chaotic and dangerous traveling. The brothers rarely found any of the remote tranquility they experienced in China. Commercial areas offered them their only respite: Nashik vineyards, the Mahindra factory, and the Taj Mahal stood in contrast to the rampant poverty they came to expect. During an excursion to Karni Mata Temple at Deshnoke, also known as the Rat Temple, both brothers were repulsed by the unsanitary conditions and the more than 20,000 diseased rat inhabitants—believed by many to be ancient ancestors. A common religious refrain—God’s will determines fate—quickly grated on them as they believed it led to a lack of self-determination within the country. Both became aggravated with what they viewed as India’s failure to fix obvious issues: infrastructure, sanitation, and poverty. Though clearly excited to be on another adventure, the authors’ perspectives tend to dwell on the surface. Their straightforward accounts of the most basic elements of each day (time and distance traveled, state of the hotel, level of exhaustion, and upcoming stops) drain the momentum of their motoring through the country. Both brothers take time for introspection, but they repeat themselves; they’re tired and accept they will never understand any country from riding through it eight hours a day. And yet, their honesty is refreshing; it’s rare to find a travelogue that never resorts to high drama. Instead, they let their experiences speak for themselves.

What may make for engaging film with stunning scenery stalls as a written account.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9575762-4-7

Page Count: 280

Publisher: G219 Productions Limited

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2015

Next book


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Next book



An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

Close Quickview