Who am I?
Why did David love this book?
Maybe it’s true that the best travel writers can convince you to consider doing things that you wouldn’t do otherwise. This year alone, I have entertained ideas about piloting an aircraft over Africa (Beryl Markham) and driving the Pan-American Highway from Alaska to Argentina (Tim Cahill).
Then there’s John Gimlette’s Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka. His combination of meticulous research, compelling story-telling, vivid description, and insightful interview made me want to walk through the tropical jungle, sleep in a tree house, meditate in a serene Buddhist temple, and savor scalding curry in Colombo.
Last year, I was a person who was only peripherally aware of Sri Lanka. And now, a mere 450 pages later, I’m a person who desperately wants to go.