FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Around India in 80 Trains has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Around India in 80 Trains Paperback – 8 Nov 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 8 Nov 2012
£10.99
£5.55 £3.99
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£10.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Around India in 80 Trains
  • +
  • Lonely Planet India (Travel Guide)
Total price: £25.26
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing; 1 edition (8 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857885953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857885958
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A wonderfully wry and witty debut. Crackles and sparks with life like an exploding box of Diwali fireworks. (William Dalrymple)

One can only envy Monisha Rajesh as she embarks on this epic journey through the vast tangle and bewildering extension of India's railways. The ticketing bureaucracy is mad, the travelling companions infinitely varied, the pleasure, discomforts and revelations such that she is guaranteed what even the wriest and most sceptical traveller yearns for: some deeper knowledge of oneself. (Tim Parks, travel writer and Booker Prize nominee)

I love train trips and I love travelling around India. If you do too, then this book is a wonderful companion. (Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting)

A great big lovely shambling train ride of a book, offering wonderful views, hilarious interludes, all sorts of dodgy characters and some very peculiar smells, all for the one ticket. (Giles Coren, bestselling author and Times columnist)

A promising debut from a writer to watch. I am stung with jealousy, not just for the epic journey she makes rediscovering her Indian heritage on ordinary trains, luxury trains, Mumbai's packed commuter trains, even a toy train but just for the talismanic power of such a ticket: the idea that you could have one in your hand tomorrow and just go! (Giles Foden Condé Nast Traveller)

This beautifully written book is a witty and insightful traveller's-eye view of the country from inside its rail network. It is also an account of a life-shaping journey. An assortment of mustachioed maharajas, wicked wedding-crashers, pinstriped Sikhs, indignant inspectors, spotty know-it-alls in Che Guevara T-shirts and crafty rickshaw drivers bursts from the pages... all of this is done with the lightest of touches and a dry wit. There are laugh-out-loud moments at which seasoned and fresh Indian travellers will cringe with recognition: male snoring on the trains; the drastic effects of the Imodium pill; 87 very good reasons why you should never eat Indian bacon. This excellent debut will stand the test of time. Just like India's railways. (Sunday Telegraph)

Remember Wes Anderson's film The Darjeeling Limited, about train journeys in India? Here's the book version. You'll be booking a flight by the final page. (Company)

Amusing and thoughtful by turns, Rajesh has sidestepped the navel-gazing pitfall common to many wannabe travel writers and piped up with an informative, yet fresh and engaging voice that we will surely be hearing more of. Rating: 9/10 (The Press Association)

A rollicking account of Modern India at express pace: from the good sprawling temples and scrapping tigers to the bad groping passengers, churning stomachs and officious ticket inspectors. Rajesh's quick-fire writing is unflinchingly frank, with details packed in as tightly as passengers on Mumbai's commuter trains. A lively read. (Lonely Planet Magazine)

Book Description

'Crackles and sparks with life like exploding Diwali fireworks.' -William Dalrymple | Monisha Rajesh turns to a map of the Indian Railways and takes a page out of Jules Verne's classic tale, embarking on an adventure around India in 80 trains.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am planning to take a 4 to 6 week trip around India by train in the next year 2013 so I bought this as a guide (one of many). Its not a guide as such more One woman's Odyssey in text, derived from Jules Verne's book around the world in 80 days. The story comes across as true and not glossed up, about the trials and tribulations of a British born Indian woman who as a child lived in Madras for 2 years, and Norwegian man friend, who armed with rail-passes and 3 month's spare travel 30,000 km around India by train. 250 pages took me 2 weeks to read and was very interesting and enjoyable to me a man(46).
3 Comments 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A month ago I set out for the trip of a lifetime armed with a ridiculously heavy backpack holding; far too many clothes, a plethora of chargers (for various different electrical goods most of which I'll never use), more hand-sanitizing gel you could shake a nasty bacteria at - but with hindsight, most importantly, my copy of Around India in 80 Trains. I loved every minute of this beautifully written and incredibly witty reportage of India, its people and the lifeblood of the country; its railway system. Monisha Rajesh's journey makes mine look so tame in comparison but I learnt so much about 'Mother India' in 80 trains that it gave me the knowledge and the confidence to make my voyage everything I wanted it to be and so much more.
If you're thinking of travelling this wonderful country then you could do a lot worse than adding this diamond to your lonely planet or your rough guide. If you're not, read it anyway.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Born in the early 60s to parents extremely fond of travel, my best memories of childhood and youth are of long trips the length and breadth of India with family or friends. Still remember vividly the interaction with fellow passengers - in trains as well as at railway waiting rooms. There is something about the railways that encourages socialising: which just does not happen on long intercontinental flights.....
Monisha's travelogue brought those travel experiences to life. Her book is not so much about describing destinations. Its more about describing the human interactions on all those long trips - which she has done brilliantly in a very witty manner.
Readers looking for a "cerebral" read may be disappointed, but those - like me - who like to see the funny side of meeting new people, this book is a delight.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant, hilarious, razor sharp, life changing journey... A really fresh take on "travel writing". Massively entertaining and a real education. Every year I say "I must go to India" this year. Every year I chicken out. I bought this book because I love train journeys, and found the idea of touring a country using its rail network really romantic. I read this book at two sittings (on the Eurostar, in fact) and absolutely loved it. There's a bigger story here than just "travel" or the concept of ticking off trains... the author brings her whole family history and personal experience to the table and does it in such a bright and evocative way. I bought a Bill Bryson book once and lasted two chapters - I just felt like he makes it all up and has little to say. Rajesh really lives it - good, bad, terrifying or magical... and has plenty to say. In many ways, the book has made my mind up: I'll now never go to India because I can't hack what Rajesh went through. It sounds ghastly! In other ways, it makes me want to go tomorrow - there are so many wonderful moments. And what Rajesh does so well, is keep the reader glued with her prose and imagery. It's cliché free and often hysterically funny.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is remarkable for a first book. It's an interesting subject well told. But it's the humour that lifts it - the self-deprecating asides, the oblique jokes - excellent! I would recommend it to anyone.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I read this book while travelling on Indian Railways myself. Armed with a rail pass the author and her companion undertake a trip of a lifetime on one of the biggest rail networks of the world. Inter spread with her experiences of travelling on the trains themselves, is a rich storyline of her Indian roots, her family and her experiences with religion and spirituality. The process of how she chooses, books tickets and embarks upon each journey may be of practical interest to those planning a train trip or two themselves.

As someone who has traveled across Indian Railways over several years, I can relate to most of the trials and tribulations, joy and exasperation, pleasant and unpleasant surprises that the author lays down in the book.

While the book was very enjoyable and a worthy debut, I do have a few minor reservations namely
1. The desire to use a variety of trains is well founded but ends up with a cliched selection. Some of her trains are tourist traps for rich foreigners serving a 'Disney' India of snake charmers, palaces etc. As expected, she hardly meets another Indian on these trains, apart from the staff. At the other end of the scale, she uses some very low quality trains to cover journeys which most sensible Indians prefer to cover by road.
2. The author's route across India seems unnecessarily haphazard. As a fastidious travel planner I found her itinerary a bit arbitrary.
3. The author's companion is there to keep a photographic record of the whole trip, yet the book does not have a single photograph.
4. A map of her journeys would have been a nice addition - not all readers will have a high degree of familiarity with Indian geography.

All in all, I would readily recommend this book, irrespective of whether you plan to travel around India.
1 Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback