Book Review, Non-Fiction

Book Review: It was a Happy, Trusting World, Then by Vilas Kale|A travelogue|

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Blurb (as on Goodreads):

‘It Was A Happy Trusting World, Then’ is the story of a three-month hitchhike through fifteen countries in 1971 by three youngsters from Nagpur in Central India to Europe and back.

Inspired by Western hitchhikers, the cousins Vilas, Kumar and Vidula plan out their own trip. Traveling on a shoestring budget, they complete the journey by ship, bus and friendly lifts. Starting in Bombay, where they board a ship, the narrative takes us through vignettes of lands of a wholly different political era.

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It was a Happy Trusting World, then tell us about a journey three teenagers- Vilas (the author), Kumar and Vidula (the author’s cousins) took. A journey that started in Nagpur and went up to Europe. The journey took about three months and it was one great adventure. The author has mentioned every place they stopped and every good and bad event they faced.

The writing style is simple and the author has jotted down his memories of the journey. There is an absence of any poetic/nostalgic lines, but the author had pointed out their astonishment they felt, as and when they saw the developments these countries underwent. India was a very poor country back then and technological advancements were minimal. The escalators, buses etc were completely different, proving a very novel experience. The author has also mentioned the total money they spent throughout the journey (which is impressive) and the strangers they stayed with (who welcomed them with open hearts). The author has tried to give us a glimpse of every city they visited, but it wasn’t very descriptive.

The book is more details than emotions, which I think was a bad thing for me. The journey happened years ago and remembering every detail can be difficult, but the writing style could have been enhanced to produce a sense of attachment/belonging.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed knowing the world back in the 1970s, it was indeed a different read.

ratings

5-heart-rating

Purchase Link:                                      |Amazon Paperback|

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**A huge thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own**

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