a review by Surajit Basu
What ?You not been to Slaka ? Not yet, you say ? Don't know how to ? Why go ? Where it is ? All your questions and answers are available in "Welcome to Slaka", a guidebook to the land of Slaka, a guidebook translated from native Slakan by the late Malcolm Bradbury, Professor of English and expert on Eastern Europe.
Bradbury keeps the spirit of Slaka and the original Slakan in his amazing translation. Chapters with headings such as "Slaka : how was?", "Slaka: how to?" and "Slaka: how is?" cover her history, travel routes and current affairs. Creative photographs and statistics help the reader imagine the country, as do the collection of very useful phrases translated to Slakan; these include "Help! Help!", "Police!", "You mean this is the police?", "Let me go." and "Take me to the Consulate".
With intimate details of restaurants and the night life, the recommended spots for tourists, and Slakan customs, "Welcome to Slaka" is my favourite guidebook beating the Lonely Planet for its sheer inventiveness. As Slaka is ignored by most map-makers and guide-books ( even the Lonely Planet does cover Slaka - Not yet, Not yet!), as if it does not exist, "Welcome to Slaka" is a remarkable book, helping us understand the life and times in Slaka. On my bookshelf, it stands next to that other classic "Photographs of Greeneland".
For those who love to travel, while sitting at home, for those who love laughter cloaked in seriousness (and vice versa), for those who have missed out on this unique world, "Welcome to Slaka" is a must-read, a remarkable document that stands unparalleled in English literature.
Short Stories ?
Home | Places | People | Book-Case | My Notebook | Site Map