Monday, June 25, 2007

BOOKS | Guardian's the Great Escape

The Guardian recently featured a two-parter on books that writers read on their travels. [Part 1, Part 2]

This one stands out, for me, amongst all the choices: Pico Iyer, who read Graham Greene's The Comedians while he was in Bhutan:

The books we read on holiday cannot fail to take on colour from the environment in which we read them; but beyond that, Greene, more than anyone, throws a light on the poignancy of sitting alone in a very foreign place, after dark, surrounded by the sorrows and rending challenges of the world, and wondering what, as a visitor, one can and cannot do. At home, I'm not sure my conversation with the book would have had any of this intensity or sense of being laid bare; but in a small room in Bhutan, Graham Greene seemed the closest friend, the most unsettling cross-questioner, that any traveller could hope for.

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