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The best book I've read in a while.

The Amazing Racist - Chhimi Tenduf-La

I read this book because I was visiting friends in Sri Lanka and it happened to coincide with the author coming to visit their book group - what amazing good luck!
I had no idea what to expect, I'd never heard of Chhimi Tenduf-La before, but The Amazing Racist was such an entertaining book that the 240 pages flew by and when I met the author, he was charming.


The narrator and main protagonist is Eddie Trusted. He is in Sri Lanka, teaching English in a school, when he meets Menaka, a beautiful Sri Lankan girl. They plan to marry but first he must pass muster with Menaka's father, the irascible Thilak Rupasingh. Actually, irrascible is almost too generous a word as Thilak Rupasingh is wholeheartedly against the match and does everything he can to cause trouble.
Then Thilak Rupasingh becomes a grandfather and a softer, more loving side to his character appears and we can't help but feel some degree of affection for him, in spite of our better judgment.


There are some great lines in this book, I kept highlighting them one after another:
"Yes, they had made a special kind of 'mild' chicken curry for the white man. It seemed they had run out of chicken and subbed it with more red chilli. Even my nipples began to weep."
"Columbo mumbo jumbo"
" 'Your marriage to a suddha (white man) is more likely to be the death of me than a few drinks and cigarettes' "
" 'I'm embracing your culture', I say. 'You're embarrassing my culture' he says."


A lighthearted read with a message about love and loyalty, I'd recommend this as a most enjoyable book.