915: Brian on the Brahmaputra by David Fletcher

by Gerard


915.416: Fletcher, David. Brian on the Brahmaputra: (With Sujan in the Sundarbans). Leicestershire, UK: Matador, 2013. 272 pp. ISBN 978-1-780886-879.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 910: Geography and travel
  • 915: Geography of and travel in Asia
  • 915.4: India
  • 915.41: Northeastern India
  • 915.416: Far northeast of India

In Brian on the Brahmaputra, David Fletcher delivers an unusual travelogue of India. Through the characters of Brian and Sandra (husband and wife), we explore the social, culinary, and natural landscape of northeast India. It is a true day-by-day account of a group of middle-aged British nature enthusiasts on an excursion to a newly-opened area of India. They travel up the Brahmaputra river through an area of India nestled between China, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Along the way, they share interesting stories, observe several new species of birds and mammals, and generally soak in the Indian countryside.

The use of the third-person in this book is a bit weird, but it may serve to both distance the author from the writing and reduce the inherent egoism that comes with first-person travel narratives. With many books like this, you can get the feeling that the author is getting privileged access or uses the writing to push a social or political agenda. Fletcher’s writing is more along the lines of what a friend would tell you after traveling abroad. Brian has definite opinions about his surroundings, but the experiences are the most important things here. You do have to get used his slightly cynical voice, however. After that, it makes for quite a delightful and quirky journey through India.