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India Rising: Tales from a Changing Nation [Kindle Edition]

Oliver Balch
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

India is on the up. Historically derided as the lumbering elephant of Asia, this vast sub-continent has quickened its pace. The economy is booming. Tens of millions have been pulled out of poverty. Software and service companies abound. Millionaire entrepreneurs are springing up at every turn. Bollywood is going global and Indian expats are flooding back home. What's more, these changes are occurring within the world's largest democracy - a far cry from neighbouring China. But who and what lies behind India's apparent ascendency?

In India Rising Oliver Balch takes the voices and stories of everyday Indians and presents a fresh, vivid, highly personalised account of the changes as they are unfolding.Travelling the length and breadth of the country, Balch leads readers off the tourist trail and onto the streets of modern day India. Through Mumbai, Dehli and Chennai, from Bollywood to cricket stadiums, from shopping malls to rural schools and shanty towns, the book blends the best of reportage and travel writing to get under the skin of this nation in transition.

What emerges is a captivating portrait of a country at a crossroads. Old versus New. Global versus local. India's march into the twenty-first century is full of tensions and uncertainties. But so too is it brimming with optimism and hope. With over half of its billion plus population under the age of twenty-five, India's future will be written by its youth. In describing their hopes and exploring their fears, India Rising unpicks what makes this vast nation tick and asks where it's heading.

Oliver Balch is a UK freelance journalist, whose work has appeared in a wide range of international publications, including The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Traveller. His first book Viva South America! Was shortlisted as 'Book of the Year' at the UK Travel Press Awards.

Product Description


'Oliver Balch beautifully captures the spirit and rhythm of a nation. Balch foregoes analysis and history-book fact-feeding for a collection of lively anecdotes gathered from across the subcontinent ... The stories are illuminating, and Balch s writing is just plain excellent.' --Irish Times

'Oliver Balch brings a zestful, youthful approach to a sub-continent as ancient as history but young in the perpetual reinvention of itself ... Energised and excited by India, Balch's set pieces add up to a well-made drama of lives in a complex, colourful, competitive landscape where extremes, often to their mutual dismay and distress, collude and collide.' --Iain Finlayson, The Times

The first thing to recommend is how well written it is. The second is that as well as talking to tycoons, Balch also asks ordinary folk about the bewildering pace of change.' --Conde Nast Traveller

Book Description

In India Rising, Oliver Balch travels around India telling true stories from the front line of an emerging economy.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 798 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0571259251
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Non Fiction (1 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007N3WGOK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #297,561 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying need and greed 17 Feb. 2014
By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER
Themed under the headings of Enterprise, Aspiration and Change, the ten chapters of interviews with a wide range of Indians can be picked and mixed in any order. With the stated “overarching gain a flavour of the place… the approach is unapologetically subjective” and anecdotal. In this, the author succeeds, but is it enough? I admire Balch’s enthusiasm and confidence, but found myself crying out for more context and analysis, as I searched for nuggets of information in the often banal padding and attempts to showcase Balch’s budding skills as a journalist.

Some of the least likely chapters are the best, as in “Actor Prepares” where the author tracks down Naval, the wannabee Bollywood director who has broken with tradition by giving up the course financed by his father, without telling him. In the process, Balch describes the urban tragedy of the hideous, jerry-built concrete housing blocks in unfinished suburbs where recent migrants to Mumbai are crammed without the money or knowhow to equip themselves adequately.

After visiting the artificial bubble of a western style shopping mall, which girls can only attend chaperoned or with friends, Bauch interviews the retail millionaire who feels that aspiration levels, even amongst the poor of India, are now too high to halt the growing tide of consumption: “material things are rewards for performance”. Can Gandhi’s opposing philosophy of the importance of inner peace and harmony survive against this? It is interesting to read how the ingenious poor of India are beginning to set about achieving their ends. There is the “microfinance” (controversial in view of the interest rates levied) which enables groups of women in the slums to borrow money for small-scale activities, guaranteeing repayments for each other as necessary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, fun and illuminating! 2 July 2014
By M Singh
Really enjoyable and fascinating read into modern India perfectly sculpted by the illuminating writing of Oliver Balch. A real pleasure to read and very informative. Balch's writing style is fun and witty, the real-life characters had me in stitches at times (Babu), would definitely recommend!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ok, maybe for you, but not me 9 Dec. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of India and writings on her. Every now and again I find a book I struggle with and this is one of them. I have not finished it. It may be different for you. This is stories of people in contemporary India but I could not get on with it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating 30 Nov. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An interesting read like wandering into people's lives for a brief chat and cuppa and then popping in to do the same with someone else. Written with great warmth and consideration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 29 Dec. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really great service thanks was really impressed.
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