Tuesday 4 October 2011

Shanti Bloody Shanti: An Indian Odyssey

Shanti Bloody Shanti: An Indian Odyssey ($25.95, Transit Lounge, November 2011) 

In the travel adventure Shanti Bloody Shanti, writer Aaron Smith flees his shady Australian past and travels to India where he encounters a murder mystery, witnesses the tragic death of a friend, dodges terrorist attacks and a revolution and befriends a colourful cast of fellow characters fit for a Bollywood flick. More than just a funny and warm 'coming of (middle) age' travel tale, Shanti Bloody Shanti allows the reader to sink into the paradox and beauty of India without drowning in sentiment. It's a bit like Sarah Macdonald's Holy Cow but more dramatic or Gregory David Robert's Shantaram but laugh out loud funny.

Author Aaron Smith is an ex-punk rocker and one-time policeman on the Australian television series Blue Heelers, a theatre and script writer, and ex-first world drop out who lived in the favelas of Rio di Janeiro. He works as a freelance journalist writing for a number of Australian and international publications, including most recently Australian Geographic, AG Outdoor, Australian Traveller, Forty Degrees South and The Mercury. Aaron also appears regularly on ABC Radio 936 to talk about travel. He is completing a Masters in Journalism at the University of Tasmania where he lives with his hard-headed no-nonsense Brazilian wife.

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