Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pg. 99: Tim Brookes' "Thirty Percent Chance of Enlightenment"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Thirty Percent Chance of Enlightenment by Tim Brookes.

About the book, from the official website:
The new travel book by Tim Brookes, author of A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow (one of the Top Travel Books of 2000–the New York Times and Booklist) and Guitar: An American Life (one of the Best Books of 2005–Library Journal).

Often hilarious, ultimately profound, Thirty Percent Chance of Enlightenment begins when Tim Brookes receives a phone call from his editor at National Geographic asking if he’d like to write an article on weather forecasting—an assignment that doesn’t go as forecast.

He embarks on an adventure that starts in a hurricane on an icy mountaintop in New Hampshire and takes him to India to watch the monsoon come ashore and write about the elaborate, almost mystical art of monsoon forecasting. When the rain begins, however, a series of misunderstandings finds him banned from every single office of the India Meteorological Department.

Before long, his journey turns into a cross-country road trip in search of the true meaning of the monsoon—a trip that takes him through the spice villages high in the Western Ghats, to a Hindu wedding at which all the main participants end up drenched, and leaves him ankle-deep in a holy river where the temple elephants bathe. He discovers the history of the umbrella, the bizarre ritual of rain-inducing donkey weddings, and for his erratic and dusty labors, he ends up being rewarded with a glimpse into the spiritual nature of water.
Read an excerpt from Thirty Percent Chance of Enlightenment, and learn more about the book and author at the official website.

The Page 69 Test: Guitar and other books.

The Page 99 Test: Thirty Percent Chance of Enlightenment.

--Marshal Zeringue