The Gardens of Mars
A journey – both historical and contemporary – among the fantastical landscapes, resourceful inhabitants and isolated tribes of the world’s fourth-largest island of enduring fascination for its rich biodiversity: Madagascar.
‘A beautifully written depiction of the history of this beguiling island’ Literary Review
‘Courageous, exploratory, humane and with a wry sense of humour’ Spectator
‘A feat of journalism, observation and determination’ Dr Alyson Hitch
‘Wonderfully witty and wry’ Benedict Allen
We think we know Madagascar but it’s too big, too eccentric, and too impenetrable to be truly understood. As well as visiting every corner of the island, John Gimlette journeys deep into Madagascar’s past. Along the way, he meets politicians, sorcerers, gem prospectors, militiamen, rioters, lepers and the descendants of seventeenth-century pirates. Insightful and wryly humorous, here’s an encounter with the people, landscapes, politics and history of one of the most remarkable places on Earth.
PRAISE FOR JOHN GIMLETTE: 'The reader in search of a thoughtful adventure is in good hands. Gimlette brings a brisk barrister-like inquisition to proceedings, allied with amiable good humour and a searching interest in the history of peoples and places ... Intrepid to the last ... Rich in humour, full of insight and humanity, Elephant Complex is a very fine tribute to this enigmatic island nation' Spectator. 'Admirable in its candour ... Elephant Complex has a sting in its tail' TLS. 'Fabulously vivid and absorbing' Independent, on Wild Coast. 'Panther Soup is at once raw and erudite, deeply moving and strangely leisurely. It's also rich in black humour and insight' Guardian. 'As a born traveller and writer, he takes an epicurean pleasure in place and language' Sunday Telegraph, on Panther Soup.
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