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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An evocation of Calcutta.
As someone who has never been there, this book conveyed to me the smells, the sounds, the sheer scale of this great city, as well as something of its social composition and history (and food too for those who are interested). The language and style is eminently readable, the pace sustained - neither hurried not languid. A good read for an armchair traveller.
Published on 24 Feb. 2000

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yet another outsider pretends
I live in calcutta...I am bengali and this book does little credit to both...probably it was not meant to do any ... Hope other enjoy it because I did not.
Published on 22 Feb. 2000


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An evocation of Calcutta., 24 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat - A celebration of Calcutta (Hardcover)
As someone who has never been there, this book conveyed to me the smells, the sounds, the sheer scale of this great city, as well as something of its social composition and history (and food too for those who are interested). The language and style is eminently readable, the pace sustained - neither hurried not languid. A good read for an armchair traveller.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on contemporary Calcutta published so far., 21 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat - A celebration of Calcutta (Hardcover)
Abdul's Taxi To Kalighat is one of the best books I have read on this multi-dimensional and split-personalited city. Joe Roberts, through his wonderful prose where humour, empathy and perception blend to delight the reader, draws marvellous pen-pictures of his perception of a much applauded and a much-maligned reality in India made famous by the British Raj and Mother Teresa.
Roberts looks beyond the grime and poverty of Calcutta. His sharp eyes and an incisive mind explore the subtle nuances of the city, whether it is through its people or its past history. Both fascinate Roberts in large measure and he is unapologetic about the city's innate vitality and character that is often viewed by foreigners as sad and lonely.
Joe Roberts' Calcutta has many layers. Much of the city's magic enchants him through the various people he and his family meet and make friends with. He is open to experiences, not all of them positive, but he is pragmatic about his views that are candid and look at the positive side of Calcutta.
I hope this book will be read by everyone who wants to visit this city or know more about such a volatile destination. I am sure Abdul's Taxi will give him a comfortable ride - without frills, without the patronising smirk of Western travellers - but the way the city really is: full of talkative and delightful citizens, redolent with memories of the past and quite, quite beautiful beaneath its carapice of poverty and crowds and grime!
Abdul's Taxi To Kalighat is the best tribute a Westerner could have paid to Calcutta and it is certainly one of the most exciting tomes on the city I have read in the last decade.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A sensitive and heartfelt look at Calcutta by a foreigner., 24 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat - A celebration of Calcutta (Hardcover)
Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat has touched a wonderful chord in the hearts of all those who love Calcutta. Joe Roberts is honest and open about his reaction to the city, and his sensitive handling of the subject is heartfelt. I specially enjoyed his meticulous but unobtrusive research on the finer points of Bengali culture like music and cuisine. He has a sharp eye for detail and the characters he meets are invested with affection and wry humor. Not once does there creep in a feeling of superiority or condesention. He makes it clear in the Forword that his book is not a history of Calcutta. It is merely his personal reaction to the places and people he visits and meets along with his family. I strongly recommend the book to all readers wanting to visit Calcutta. Roberts has portrayed it with clarity of vision and not swept the grime and dirt under the nearest carpet. He has, thankfully, looked beyond. And, I am delighted that he has found the heart of the city that is kind and compassionate and full of fun and foibles. Thank you for writing a wonderful book about my city, Mr. Roberts!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A really great & informative read, 24 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat - A celebration of Calcutta (Hardcover)
This is the first Joe Roberts book I have read and it was a thoroughly enjoyable & informative read. Although I have been to India many times I've never been to Calcutta. This book gets under the surface of Calcutta & captures Calcutta life from a Western perspective. His strangely different observations and manner of writing stand closer examination. They illustrate a world unnoticed by Western eyes. I can really recommend this book to anyone who is travelling to India and who is interested in the way of Indian architecture, food & culture.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant evocation of this most captivating city, 20 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat - A celebration of Calcutta (Hardcover)
Brilliant evocation of this most captivating city. It is nothing like the hell-hole many people imagine, but is vibrant, welcoming and often beautiful. Joe Roberts has an eye for the absurd and really brings the characters and locations to life as we follow him round the city with his wife and infant son in tow. I've already booked my flight for a third visit, with new places to find thanks to Roberts' telling descriptions. Don't miss his earlier book 'Three Quarters of a Footprint' about South India.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yet another outsider pretends, 22 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat - A celebration of Calcutta (Hardcover)
I live in calcutta...I am bengali and this book does little credit to both...probably it was not meant to do any ... Hope other enjoy it because I did not.
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Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat - A celebration of Calcutta
Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat - A celebration of Calcutta by Joe Roberts (Hardcover - 17 Jan. 2000)
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