Title: Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity
Author: Sam Miller
Release Date: July 20, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Travel
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In this book, Sam Miller, a BBC correspondent based in Delhi, walks around his beloved adopted city and relates stories and history, giving the reader a sense of the unique personality of this vast metropolis.
I absolutely love travel books, so when I first heard about Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity by Sam Miller, I immediately knew I wanted to read it. I’ve visited Delhi just once, but it left a striking impression upon my brain, so I was eager to see whether what I remembered actually was the truth.
Delhi is a travelogue of the best kind. Miller’s passion is to walk, so he tackles the city by walking in circles, in order to ensure he doesn’t miss anything. He takes the reader by such famous landmarks as the Qutb Minar and the place where Mahatma Gandhi was killed, but also stops at the nameless ruins that have been forgotten by history. Each section includes a map so the reader can see exactly where different buildings and temples Miller discusses are.
What I really enjoyed about Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity, though, is that Miller takes those beautiful, incredible ruins and structures and juxtaposes them against everyday life in the city. While he’s walking from one landmark to another, he might stop and have a conversation with a photographer trying to make a living by selling silly pictures. As a result, the reader gets a real sense of the dual nature of this city. Delhi is beautiful and majestic at the same time it’s poor and its people are struggling.
Miller also gives the reader the modern history of the city and visits places that are rarely touched by tourism. Some of his experiences are funny, others are stomach wrenching. All are honest and told with a deft hand and experienced eye. Miller’s love for Delhi is clear on every page, even when he’s discussing difficult subjects that are usually swept under the rug.
I cannot recommend Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity highly enough. It’s well-written, fascinating, and Miller’s descriptions are such that the reader can hear the sounds of the bustling city. It’s a must for any armchair traveler, or anyone interested in learning more about India.