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Beyond the Devil's Teeth: Journeys in Gondwanaland Hardcover – 1 Apr 1995

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Octagon Press Ltd; First edition (April 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863040292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863040290
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.9 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,825,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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When I first read, and thoroughly enjoyed, `Beyond the Devil's Teeth,' just after it was first published, I assumed it was a straightforward account of a long and arduous, surprise generating journey through Gondwanaland, the super-continent which existed when India, Africa and South America were joined. Eighteen years later, I am more aware of Tahir Shah's extraordinary powers of observation; of the incredible imagination which allows him to create works which are finely balanced between fact and fiction; and of the humour which can bubble up into his writing.

The journey starts when he flies to India in search of antique treasure. A Mumbai tailor supplies him with shirts of sackcloth and boxer shorts of silk, and finds two assistants to help in the quest. One is a translator because the other is illiterate, cannot speak English and communicates through Indian sign language. The treasure is more elusive than expected, but the search for it brings him to places tourists rarely, if ever, see, in Mumbai, Dehli, and on the edge of the Thai desert. It allows him to meet people like pimps and arms dealers whom tourists tend to avoid; and he finds treasure in the shape of regal Rachana whom he succeeds in dating.

Before he leaves North Gondwanaland, his sister Saira entices him to Pakistan with promise of treasure. It is just after the Soviet-Afghan war, and the frontier town of Peshawar is full of reporters, aid-agency workers and heavily armed Mujahadin. The Russians have left Afghanistan, but warrior factions fight over the country. Saira brings Tahir to a hospital where child victims of the conflict are being treated.

The journey through Central Gondwanaland, starting in Senegal and ending in Kenya, is gruelling and hindered by bullying officials.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Reviewing from my old print edition.

'Another week passed and I asked Prideep and Osman to try and find out if there was a town hall in Bombay. They both thought however that it was totally logical to be taken to the control tower of an airport when asking for the main building of public affairs. I began to get to grips with the fact that it might be me who was going insane......'
'Do I look cuckoo to you Vinod?'
'Sahib you not a cloo-koo.'
And so it goes on... hilarious ... and it gets darker... BUT Tahir Shah is mad in a special way and it behoves one to keep one's reading eye open.
Do read this book.
Highly recommended.
I have just re-read Beyond The Devil's Teeth date 20th october 2013..with enormous interest. The more you read it the better it gets. Across Gondwanaland, the company and the sights/insights continue; culminating in the magic ring.
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Format: Hardcover
Reviewing from my old print edition.
'Another week passed and I asked Prideep and Osman to try and find out if there was a town hall in Bombay. They both thought however that it was totally logical to be taken to the control tower of an airport when asking for the main building of public affairs. I began to get to grips with the fact that it might be me who was going insane......'

'Do I look cuckoo to you Vinod?'
'Sahib you not a cloo-koo.'
And so it goes on... hilarious ... but Tahir Shah is mad in a special way and it behoves one to keep one's reading eye open. Do read this book. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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