Highly diverting, very funny. The best sort of travel book. - Eric Newby
I travelled with Mrs Trivedi from Madras to Bangalore, overnight on the mail train. First class this time so that you are not overwhelmed. It was my second night in India and I was already overwhelmed.
Joe Roberts stayed five months with the Trivedis in Bangalore. Using that as a base he travelled all over southern India. Wherever he went he met extraordinary people Major Trivedi warned him that nothing is as fixed as you think. In Pondicherry he found Rita, a melancholy divorcee banished to an ashram. He encountered worshippers at the great temple at Madurai and on the holy island of Rameswaram. He mingled with the vociferous crowds at the snakeboat races at Arunmala and in Cochin he was offered heroin in the Jewish cemetery. Funny, empathetic, and always entertaining, Three Quarters of a Footprint has established itself as a travel classic about modern India Praise for the Book. Joe Roberts writes a crisp, succinct style and, like the reincarnated Naipaul, lets the people he meets in India speak in their own voices, without judging their character odd or their syntax flawed. - India Today The book has quite rare authority and insight. It is also endlessly entertaining. - Norman Lewis As long as new writers like Joe Roberts are to be found, the travel book has distinctly not had its dayfull of insight backed up with scholarship. - Geoffrey Moorhouse
- A travel classic about South India like other great travel books about India such as Eric Newbys Slowly Down the Ganges, Mark Tullys No Full Stops in India and The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux.
- With a new preface
Joe Roberts was born in Bath, England, where he still lives with his wife and three sons. Since the publication of his first book, Three Quarters of A Footprint, in 1994 he has visited India many times. He has published three books since Three Quarters of a Footprint including Abduls Taxi to Kalighat about Kolkata and a novel about Edward Lears visit to India, Bengal, The Cold Weather, 1873. He has also written regularly for The Times, Cond Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveler and many other magazines. He teaches in the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries at Bath Spa University and is working on a third Indian travel book about Lucknow. His interests are broad, ranging from gastronomy - he is a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Food - to art history, but his real passion is India.