The Elephanta Suite by Paul Theroux

elephanta suiteThe Elephanta Suite is comprised of three interconnected novellas about American tourists in India.  In “Monkey Hill,” a wealthy middle-aged American couple confronts both the cracks in their marriage and the poverty outside the walls of their luxurious hotel.  “The Gateway of India” follows an apathetic businessman who discovers the pleasures his American money and name can summon.  And in “The Elephant God,” a young backpacker forges has an unlikely encounter with a stoic, protective elephant.

“Motionless at the edge of the ravine, they were miles from the city and the wide flat river that snaked into the glow, the sun going gray, smoldering in a towering heap of dust like a cloudbank.  The lamps below had already come on, and in the darkness the far-off city lay like a velvety textile humped in places and picked out in squirts of gold.  What were they looking at?  The light dimmed, went colder, and the creatures stirred.”

Paul Theroux is the author of many novels and short stories, including The Mosquito Coast and The Elephanta Suite.  He is also known for his travel memoirs, including The Old Patagonian Express and Dark Star Safari.  Theroux has lived in both Singapore and the U.K., but now resides in Cape Cod and Hawaii.

Published:  2007
Length:  274 pages
Set in:  India



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